That Cowgirl Swag - Interview with Elle Parker - TNC Podcast - Episode 15
I sure enjoyed visiting with Elle on Episode 15 of my podcast. If you'd like to listen to the full version, click here.
To know even more about this amazing gal, here is her questionnaire:
Name, where you grew up, where you live now, give a little background on yourself.
I grew up on the Crow Indian Reservation in Lodge Grass, MT. I now live in South Eastern, MT in Miles City. I grew up on my families ranch where me and my two younger brothers and cousin homeschooled. My family raises red angus/charlois cross cattle in the most beautiful country in the state. Its called "God's Country" for a reason. I also rode and showed eventers growing up. Since then I have worked for and ran some big places all over the western united states, I have worked for some big cutting horse and cow horse trainers and now work for the Montana Department of Livestock in Miles City, MT. My little boy, Gabe and I raise some cattle and horses. I start, train and show all of my own horses in the cow horse world, as well as ride a select few outside customers horses every year. I have a huge shoeing clientele base here in eastern Montana as well. Gabe goes with me everywhere. Day working (or day thugging as he calls it), shoeing, showing, rodeoing...Hes my best "adventure buddy" and is always up to do some "cowboy shit" with mom!
What is your role in agriculture?
I have a small handful of momma cows that I raise beef calves out of. Working for the Department of livestock as a State Brand Inspector I work hand in hand with the top beef producers of this part of the state. The drought of the past 3 years for this country has taken a major toll on livestock and crops and its tough to see these big family ranches that have been around for generations have to down size.
What got you interested in ranching, farming, etc.?
I grew up on a ranch and always knew that's what I was going to do. I never ventured to far from the cowboy life.
Are you married (special someone in your life)?
I am not married, but I do have someone very special in my life, Lawson McGill. Life isn't as complicated as everyone makes it out to be. Hes showed me that if you willing to work, you can have it by the tail. I've always been hard headed but he's made me realize that maybe its not all hard headedness, but maybe a will to be better and do what most people cant, or wont, at our age.
Do you have children?
I have a little boy, Gabe. He is 7 and the best thing that has ever happened to me. He is my best adventure buddy ever.
Inspirational person in your life?
I have lots of inspirational people in my life but the top 3 have been there for me through a lot of down times in my life and I know they have my back no matter what. First and foremost, my mother. She is an amazingly strong woman. Shes never told me no, but I know she's shook her head at me probably most days of my life. Jana Leininger is one of my best friends. She has pulled me out of some very tough times. Shes the mother of 3 kids and a ranch wife as well, the strongest woman I have met in my life. The 3rd woman is my hero. Jordanne Pruitt. She is a single mother of a boy as well. She taught me to never EVER give up. If i want it, to go get it. To always strive for betterment, you can be tough and hard, but also soft and quiet. That it is ok to ugly cry on the bathroom floor but by god, get over it and pull yourself together before someone see's you. I think these three women are the only people that have ever seen me cry in my life. God has blessed me with the best.
Most memorable moment?
Oh my, that's a hard one. I'm not sure that I can answer that one be truthful about it. 90% of them have to do with Gabe!
I run 90 MPH all the time. I don't really have time for hobbies to be 100% honest. I love to rope and ranch rodeo. If ranch rodeo can be categorized as a hobby then that would be probably be it. I have passions. Lots of passions in my life. More passions that hobbies, and they all revolve around horses.
What is your favorite movie?
Lonesome Dove. Straight up the best movie of all times. And yes, I cry every time I watch it!
What is your favorite music?
I listen to a little bit of everything! I can go from Ian Tyson to 5 Finger Death Punch to Enya to Casey Donahew to Tech 9. I do on a daily basis! Music is my soul. It talks to me. When Lawson was trucking constantly this winter, I had him download my music app and he logged into my account. I made him a play list that was loaded with all my favorites and when I was putting it together I remember thinking "dear lord, please let him still see the good in me after he listens to my music for a day!" lol. He commented on it to but still listens to it!
What is your favorite food?
Cheese Burgers. I could eat a cheese burger twice a day everyday of my life and be totally fine. I do love me some sushi as well. Not a veggie fan. At all. I will eat anything though. Anything but mushrooms and tomatoes. And it doesn't matter where I am, i will pick them out. I cant make myself eat them.
What is your favorite color?
Blue. Turquoise, teal...Blue. My eyes are blue and blue has always been my favorite. I have a phobia of yellow that goes back to the old rodeo cowboys that say yellow in the arena is bad luck.
What is your favorite recipe?
My dads homemade biscuit recipe. I have had it memorized for YEARS. Every Saturday morning I have to make homemade biscuits and gravy for Lawson lol.
What is your favorite animal?
Horses. The most expensive addiction in the world. But i have made my living with them. I wouldn't be able to do what I do without them. They are my passion.
What is your biggest pet peeve?
When someone hangs a bridle and reins up wrong. I cannot stand it. My brothers are the same way. Even Gabe knows how to hang my bridles up correctly.
What is your favorite quote/motto?
My favorite quote of all time, and I fall back on this one very very often throughout the days of the year, is by one of favorite people in history, Teddy Roosevelt. I have studied that man a lot, and I am convinced that we need some Teddy back in this world right now. The quote is "It is not the critic who counts, not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming, but who does actually strive to do the deeds, who knows great enthusiasm, the great devotions, who spends himself in a worthy cause, who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory or defeat." This world is a scary place right now. This, this reminds me to never give up. To never settle. To never be like everyone else. And along with that is another quote I fall back on often and I think these 2 go hand in hand. This one is by Mary Cholmondeley, "Every year i live I am more convinced that the waist of life lies in the love we have not given, the powers we have not used, the selfish prudence that will risk nothing, and which shirking paid, misses happiness as well. No one ever yet was the poorer in the long run for having once in a lifetime, let out all the length of the reins." The world is ours! We just have to go get it!
What are you excited about (business endeavors)?
I have a coming 2 year royal bred cow horse stud that I cannot wait to start and show and promote and stand. I have a small handful of very nice mares that I am super excited to cross on him. I want to raise, show and sell my OWN horses. I don't ever want to have to ride a horse someone has raised ever again.
What are your goals/aspirations?
I think I covered that in the last question with my horses, but I've been the kind of person that if someone tells me no, it cant be done, why, I WILL do it and here's WHY. I am hard headed and probably always will. I just want the best life possible for Gabe and I and my future family and I wont stop until we have it.
Where do you go to clear your head?
Horseback. I hit a long trot and leave. When I get out of sight of everything I will stop and either get off and think, or just walk along and think. I usually don't have anywhere is particular that I go, I just go. Or driving. I do a lot of my thinking while i drive. Montana is a huge state and it takes forever to get anywhere, so my mind is always running while i drive.
Hawaii. I have always wanted to go to Hawaii.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Take care of things. Be an adult, don't be young and dumb. There is no point is "having to grow up".
And that's my friend, Elle! I'm sure blessed to know her and to call her a good friend. Hope you've enjoyed getting to know her too!