Published 6/9/2012 in Local News
By ANGIE HAFLICH
For Jeff Skaggs, working the trailer filled with Pro Rodeo Gear is right up his alley. Set up at the Beef Empire Days PRCA Rodeo on Friday, he said that he logs about 40,000 miles a year, pulling the trailer with his pickup to rodeo events across the country.
Brad Nading/Telegram Jeff Skaggs, back left, talks with prospective cutsomers Thursday prior to the night performance of the Beef Empire Days PRCA Rodeo at the Finney County Fairgrounds. Skaggs is working the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association merchandise trailer. This is the first year the trailer has been at the local rodeo.
"We only run one trailer, so this weekend alone, there's probably 15 to 20 PRCA rodeos scattered across the country, so if I get in a location where I can make a run out of several rodeos, then I just stay in this area," Skaggs said.
It's the first time the company has had the trailer in Garden City, and he said they made the stop because the location was in a radius of several other rodeos he has been to.
"I've been talking about wanting to come back into the Midwest a little bit more than what we had been because for three years, we've basically been anywhere from the west coast back to Colorado, kind of all the way top to bottom there, so we wanted to come back a little further east and try to do a little more," he said. "I came from Strong City to here, and then I'll go up to North Platte (Neb.), and then I'll do a couple in South Dakota, and then back to Minnesota, and then back to Colorado Springs, so we're not jumping 1,500 miles at a time."
The merchandise offered at the trailer includes belt buckles, caps, T-shirts, hoodies, knives, necklaces, patches, playing cards and coffee cups.
As one customer looked at a hoodie, Skaggs said if she washed it twice, she would be wanting to sleep in it. When a cowboy, decked out in a pink shirt for breast cancer awareness, stopped to peruse the merchandise, Skaggs explained the benefits of one of the caps the man was interested in.
"That one will probably be your winter hat. It's waxed cotton like the old Australia dusters. It will repel water," Skaggs said.
Many of the items say PRCA on them, but there are also a variety of sayings on the merchandise, such as "Surf the Dirt" and "Live the Ride." The company is affiliated with the PRCA and A3 Merchandise, so Skaggs travels to PRCA rodeo events all year.
"A3 merchandise holds all the rights to the PRCA merchandise, and we go under Pro Rodeo Gear. A3 and Pro Rodeo Gear are one in the same. But we own the rights to the PRCA merchandise and the Wrangler NFR Merchandise," he said.
He added that in addition to the one Pro Rodeo Gear trailer, there are 50 NFR locations. NFR stands for National Finals Rodeo.
Skaggs' actual offices are in Nashville, Tenn., and Las Vegas, but because he is rarely at either place, his pickup serves this function. While in Garden City, he offered it up for the rodeo queen to be transported in.
"I told them that they could use it as long as they don't move any of my paperwork around," he said.
For him, the transient job is ideal.
"I can last for about four days, being at home, and then I'm ready to go again," he said.
He said he isn't exactly sure what his official title is.
"I'm a truck driver and the sales manager," he said. "They just give me an idea of where they want me to go, and I take it from there."
The trailer will be at the Finney County Fairgrounds again tonight and is open from about an hour before the rodeo starts to about an hour after it ends.
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