By Ron Wilson, director of the Huck Boyd National Institute for Rural Development at Kansas State University.
“Looks like we’re nothin’ but a bunch of ranchin’ misfits,” the mother light-heartedly kidded her little girls as they laughed while doing chores on the ranch. That memorable phrase would become the name of a remarkable, award-winning business in rural Kansas.
Shelly Decker is the owner and operator of this business known as Ranchin’ Misfits. She was raised on a Flint Hills ranch. After graduating from Pratt Community College, she came to Kansas State University where she joined the rodeo team and competed in rodeo events. “I loved it there,” Shelly said.
After graduating with a degree in animal sciences and a business minor, Shelly managed a western wear store in Pratt before managing a similar store in Cottonwood Falls. She got married in 2013. Her husband is ranch manager for the Matador Cattle Company. They now have three little children.
In October 2014, bad news hit. Shelly’s mom was diagnosed with cancer. “I wanted to help, so I started selling some jewelry and purses,” Shelly said. She used the proceeds to help with her mom’s care. “I went to a couple little events, and people seemed to like what I had,” she said. Shelly’s mom passed away in 2017. Continue reading “Kansas Profile – Now That’s Rural: Shelly Decker, Ranchin’ Misfits”