This week I’d like to introduce you to Tanner McInerney, of Alzada, MT. This is Tanner’s second year in college and at our house. Tanner is an all around cowboy, competing in tie down roping, team roping, and steer wrestling. Although he didn’t have that great of a freshman season, this year is starting off much better. My first impression of Mr. Tanner is that he is very quiet, he seems to be wiser than his age would indicate and when he does talk, he’s typically got something good to say. He hasn’t really opened up to me but he has to Josh, and even then only during a hand of cribbage. And even then- they basically talked ranching; something I can keep up with but I am not nearly as passionate about. Tanner is one of those kids that if Josh needs a hand with something he could, and has, call Tanner and he’d come as soon as he could. We have a lot of repairs and upkeep at our place and it isn’t totally far fetched to recruit Mr. Tanner to join. And, on the other hand, if we need to move some hay, I trust him to jump in our tractor and get it done; without having something else to fix later. He can down a bag of grapes in about 5 minutes and he is appreciative.

Tanner helps put horn wraps on at a college rodeo practice.

Tanner comes from a long line of cowboys. He has 3 siblings, one brother and 2 sisters, that all rodeoed and continued in college in the Big Sky Region. When asked why he chose to stay in his home region and not follow in their footsteps to become a Bulldog, we launch into a jont down memory lane and chat about their past coach, Olie Else. She recently retired and he chose to pursue other colleges because of this. Tanner says the competition is stiffer here, but I think everyone says that about their region. I’m partial to the Big Sky, myself. This past summer, Tanner worked his time away with his brother fixing fence and traveling to a lot of rodeos. I know they must have a great relationship because when Tanner came back to school this year he was pulling his brother’s trailer. When I say that he comes from a long line, I mean it. His grandfather, Gerald McInerney, was just inducted into the Wyoming Cowboy Hall of Fame. Had Tanner not have made it in the Short-Go he would have been at the induction ceremony in Casper a couple weeks ago.

Tanner borrows a rope from another teammate while we are chatting at practice.

Tanner is majoring in Animal Science. A fitting degree since he and Josh could talk about ranching and cows all day. I understand an animal science degree but never really knew what you could do with it. Tanner has a plan for his. He explains that he wants to work for a pharmaceutical company to rep. drugs that ranchers use on the ranch. This way he gets to stay around a way of life that he has grown up in and has learned to respect. He also tells me that this should be a good career to allow him to continue to rodeo. What a brilliant idea! If he can position himself with the right company he can continue to do what he loves long beyond college rodeo and still earn a living at the same time- not relying on winning each weekend to keep going.