Kory Keeth is part of a family-owned cattle operation, as well as a PRCA rodeo announcer
Kory Keeth has known since he was 5 years old that he wanted to announce rodeos.
“I remember watching TV and I loved the event itself, with bull riding and rodeo, but there was something about the guys talking. And anytime we went to a rodeo I was always fascinated with the guy talking,” he said. “I don’t know if that’s because I like to talk, or what. Growing up, my teachers always told me I talked too much.”
When Kory was in fourth grade, his teacher, Mrs. Price, told him he talked “way too much.”
He remembers telling her, “Well, someday I’m gonna get paid to talk.”
Kory had no idea his words to his teacher would become a reality when he went to college at Northeast Oklahoma.
“I met all the right people and got plugged in where I needed to be,” Kory explained. “My career just took off. It’s a total God thing. I do believe God puts those things inside our hearts for a reason and we should follow those dreams and desires. As we do that, doors will open if that’s what we’re supposed to do. That’s exactly what’s happened with my announcing career.”
He announced his first rodeo at the age of 19. Now 27, Kory lives on a farm with his parents, Mike and Leslie Keeth. The farm is near Conway, Mo., in Webster County. Kory owns a place across from his parents’ farm.
Announcing rodeos is Kory’s main occupation. He announces rodeos all over the United States. “When I’m home, I run cattle. So that’s my two main sources of income,” he said.
Kory partners with his dad to raise cattle.
“We have access to around 700 acres that we run cattle on,” he said. “Between my dad and I, we run about 175 momma cows.”
They have a commercial Angus cow/calf and replacement heifer operation.
“We’ve been buying bulls from Worthington Angus and we like the genetics, the background, and the heifers,” Kory said. “We want a cow that’s going to produce a steer that’s going to marble out better than anything else; a steer that’s going to have a number one rib-eye. That’s our focus with this.”
When it comes to the health of the cattle, Kory said, “I think our main deal is feed and nutrition. I think mineral is very vital to keeping cattle healthy.”
They feed a Vigortone mix. He believes that keeping the nutrition in the cattle and keeping all their minerals leveled out helps with breed-back, and reduces feet problems.
Kory did not go to school to learn to announce rodeos. He learned by doing.
“Justin McKee had a big part of making that happen,” he said. “Justin used to do all the PBRs (Professional Bull Riders) for a long time. I watched him on TV when I was 5-years-old. Wanted to be just like him. Didn’t meet him until I was in college. We met through a cowboy church. He used to announce Cheyenne Frontier Days. He’s actually their main guy for the Cowboy Channel right now, which is the official channel of Pro Rodeo. I’ve gotten to do some things on the Cowboy Channel over the last year and a half, which has been pretty cool.”
Justin made the first phone call for Kory and over the years they have created a very unique friendship.
Kory announces for the Professional Rodeo Cowboy’s Association, which would be like the “NFL of rodeo,” he described.
“It’s the highest level,” Kory said. “There are some specialized events throughout the year with calf roping.”
The biggest rodeo he has announced is the American Royal in Kansas City, Mo.
“I would consider it a top 40, maybe top 50, rodeo of the year,” he said. “Then I would say The American. I did not announce The American. I was the floor guy; the interview guy. So while everybody was at home watching commercials, I was on the center stage interviewing random people in between events,” Kory said.
He got to be part of The American, which is at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, in March. He said it’s a $2 million rodeo.
“I got to be a part of it in 2019, and got to have a small part in 2020 before they shut it down because of Corona,” he stated.
Announcing has taken him all over the U.S.
“It’s been an incredible journey and God just continues to open doors for new stuff all the time.”
He has been to Cheyenne, Wy., and said, “it’s one of my favorite rodeos. It’s on my list of one I would like to do someday, as probably the rest of the announcers in Pro Rodeo. I’ve been close, but haven’t gotten the call yet.”
In a normal year, Kory announces 25 to 30 rodeos. But 2020 was not normal.
“When Covid hit, it totally demolished the rodeo industry. I lost 70 percent of my income because of Covid,” he said. Kory, however, is optimistic for 2021.
2020 taught Kory to take some different approaches and look at things a little different. In March, it wasn’t looking good. But in December, he was looking back and thinking what a great year.’“The Lord always shows up and gets the glory for stuff like that, and He sure did,” Kory said.