Ride like a man, Act like a lady. A cowboy poet's story.

Kari Kelso

Posted on January 13 2017

Ride like a man, Act like a lady. A cowboy poet's story.

Who: Jessica Hedges

Farms What: Cattle

Where: Lovelock, NV

Jessica's tee: Cattle Auction

Job: Cowboy, Cowboy Poet, Wife and Mama

Mantra: Ride like a man, act like a lady

 Wheewwwweeeee! This time I am so excited to introduce a one-of-a-kind cowboy lady from the Nevada desert. Her days are spent cowboying alongside her husband, while the rest of her time is dedicated to being a wife, mother, and cowboy poet. The cowboy way of life can be challenging at times, rough on your body, and unpredictable.  No two days are the same in the business, and with agriculture as a whole, but that is what keeps Jessica intrigued.

Jessica was raised in a culture of cowboys, unruly colts, cattle, and long days of hard work. She finds beauty in the solitude of the desert, enjoys working with horses and perfecting her roping skills. Each day brings a new adventure.

Almost always horseback, you may find her gathering calves to wean and brand, riding pens through the feedlot, or loading cattle onto trailers. Her daily experiences cowboying alongside her husband inspire the stories she writes and performs. 

Let's' back up for a bit. I know, I know.... You may be thinking, "What is a ....Cowboy....Poet....?" I asked myself the same thing the first time I saw Jessica on Instagram. After all, I grew up in the Corn Belt, and the western lifestyle isn't exactly alive in these parts. 

Jessica defines it the best, "Cowboy poetry and my life feel like one. My writing includes my experiences, hopes, fears, people I admire. It's a way to share the cowboy's history and present. It's a way to celebrate it's people and our country's beef production. If nothing else, it's always a great excuse for a story!"

But her poetry will straight up knock your boots off. And maybe your socks too!


The following video was taken 5 years ago at the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering, Jessica's first time as an invited performer. "This experience was the one that got me back into writing cowboy poetry as an adult and a reality faced by many ranch families. On that stage, Waddie Mitchell was sitting to my right, Adrian Buckaroogirl to my left. Although I've continued to grow as a writer and performer, this show still remains one of my favorite memories."

Watch video -->   Here

Are your socks still on?

Didn't think so.

Jessica is not only passionate about communicating her story but the story of beef also, "Very little has changed about the production of desert cattle in the last 100 years. What has changed is the number of people who understand where their beef comes from. I'd love to see more social and traditional media platforms covering these issues!"

She adds, "My hope is that the amount of love and dedication shown by cattle producers for our country's meat supply is understood around the world."

Well said, Jessica!

Finally, I must commend her for her amazing attitude and drive. This girl is seriously such a fighter! Several weeks ago, Jessica was bucked off a colt, and suffered a Traumatic Brain Injury. After several days in the hospital, she began her long journey to recovery.

With weeks of physical therapy ahead of her, she maintains a positive attitude, "I have set the bar high to compete in a traditional ranch roping, which requires techniques that are better for the horse and the cattle. " 

I have great admiration for this woman's strength, determination and her will power to keep on telling her story. 

Many thoughts and prayers to Jessica during this healing process!




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