In the community

Seuell poised to be grand marshal of Nyssa Nite Rodeo

Marvin Seuell, this year’s Nyssa Nite Rodeo grand marshal, said he’s never volunteered in the community for the recognition.

When the news of his honor broke, Seuell, 62, told organizers that he was flattered but that others were more deserving of such recognition.

From coaching the Adrian boys basketball team to serving as chief of the Nyssa Fire Department, giving back to the community has always been a priority for the third-generation farmer.

Before becoming storage manager at Fort Boise Produce in 2015, Seuell and his wife Sara Laurance and son Eric grew onions, wheat and potatoes. However, the pressure from the bank to become bigger and grow more crops became too much.

“I needed to get bigger, or quit,” Seuell said. “The banker told me you need to get bigger and I said, well, you’re not going to loan me more money and he said, ‘well, we’ll figure something out.'”

Ultimately, Seuell said, that was not going to work for him, and he decided it was time to move on.

Seuell said that lately, with Fort Boise being short-staffed, he has less time to volunteer with Nyssa Nite Rodeo. Nonetheless, his contributions to the annual event are on display. Seuell and a host of other volunteers spent countless hours improving the facility.

“A lot of people pitched in,” he said. “It was not just me. There were a lot of volunteer hours put in.”

Growing up in Nyssa, Seuell said remembers that when he was in grade school, the rodeo also had a carnival. He said he would get there early, before the rodeo, to ride the carnival rides.

The Nite Rodeo occurs at the end of the school year, so Seuell would go there to run into his friends. Seuell, a 1980 Nyssa High School graduate, said that before cell phones, a prominent community social event like the rodeo was one that people looked forward to seeing friends and neighbors.

“Now you just pick up the phone and talk to somebody,” he said, “Then, you had to rely on an event to go see people.”

He said the event has endured for that reason. During a time when traditions are disappearing, the Nite Rodeo is one that provides a chance for people to get together with friends.

Seuell, who owns a couple of horses, said beyond the more popular events, such as bronc and bull riding, the rodeo gives the public an opportunity to see what a cowboy does on a ranch. That includes roping competitions, where groups of riders chase down calfs and rope and tie them up in timed intervals. The average person does not realize the level of skill those competitions require, he said.

Seuell does not ride as much as he used to.

“I’ve found that the older I get,” he said, the harder the ground gets when I fall off.”

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