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Arkansas' first Black rodeo queen stops in River Valley to teach importance of farm animals to youth

In 2017 she was crowned Miss Rodeo Coal Hill of Arkansas on her 17th birthday. It was later confirmed that this made her the first Black rodeo queen in the state.

FORT SMITH, Ark. — Arkansas' first Black rodeo queen made a stop in the River Valley Saturday (July 17). 

Ja'Dayia Kursh brought some farm animals for kids to meet at Hartgraves Park in Fort Smith. She was there to help educate kids on how farming impacts their daily lives. 

"It's important that kids know agriculture because that's our future," Kursh said. "Farming is our whole community. Even the food from Walmart comes from someone raising it."

Kursh says animals saved her life and hopes she can help others through teaching about their importance. 

Ja’Dayia became involved in rodeo at the age of 13, doing pony express riding for the Arkansas Seven, followed by two years with the Old Fort Days Dandies, bringing diversity to the sport.

In 2017 she was crowned Miss Rodeo Coal Hill of Arkansas on her 17th birthday. It was later confirmed that this made her the first Black rodeo queen in the state. 

Ja’Dayia is also a model for Wrangler jeans and other western apparel companies, but she insists she is still just a cowgirl from the River Valley.

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