June 20, 1950
Mike has always been a good friend and neighbor and always willing to help anyone. While he is a very quiet and humble man, small in stature, he is a giant in many ways.
Mike has been very active in the community. He has been a member of the UCC Church all his life, served on the fair board, fire board, school board, a 4-H horse leader, rodeo judge, and an EMS first responder. He is a member of the Nebraska Cattleman's Association and was on the livestock judging team while in college winning many 1st placings including Denver Stock Show. Mike has always been a good horseman raising and training his own horses and a very dedicated rancher.
While in high school, Mike was a good football player but his true love was rodeo. He competed in bull dogging and bronc riding and continued on in college at Miami, Oklahoma for 2 years and Kansas State for 2 years. Mike won All-Around in the Central Plains Regional Finals in 1972 at Kansas State and became one of the best saddle bronc riders with a style that was second to none winning many rodeos. In 1974, he won first in the Nebraska State Rodeo Association taking home the year-end saddle, first at Cheyenne Frontier Days and said that was his favorite buckle. He won first in North Platte at the Buffalo Bill Rodeo in 1977 riding the bronc Levi Strauss and remembers that as being his best ride.
In 1979, Mike tore his knee up so he decided to retire and become a full partner in the ranch at Seneca, Nebraska. He still ranches today with this son and daughter-in-law, Aaron and Molly, and his granddaughter, Markee. Mike said, "I really enjoyed rodeo but I LOVE ranching."