LaMoure, N.D., woman a fixture at North Dakota Winter Show

North Dakota Winter Show
Farm Forum

VALLEY CITY, N.D. — There haven’t been very many North Dakota Winter Shows that Jannene Janssen has missed.

The LaMoure, N.D., woman, born and raised in Edgeley, N.D., came into this world the same year the Winter Show began, in 1937, and she laughs when she says, “everybody knows how old I am because they know I was born the year the show started.”

Her parents, Paul and June Musland, took her to the Winter Show, and to the horse shows as she competed in them.

Janssen graduated from high school in 1955 and estimates, since the 1950s, she has rarely missed a Winter Show.

She’s not only been a spectator but a volunteer as well.

Interested in the rodeo queen pageants, she began as chaperone for the Miss North Dakota Winter Show queen in 1976 and continued in that role for five years. She’s also been a judge, a director, and served as a nervous spectator and horse handler for her daughter Joy Janssen Erstad, who won the title in 1985.

She and husband Don lived south of LaMoure before moving to town in their retirement years.

They have been faithful sponsors of the buckle given to each year’s Miss NDWS queen.

She no longer volunteers with the Miss NDWS pageant, but she’s always offered advice to the queen candidates and the winners.

The girls “always think horsemanship (portion of the contest) is the most important, but I tell them the personality is. More people see you off your horse, and you need to be wearing a smile.”

She’s worked to get other rodeo queens to attend the NDWS and make sure the girls were introduced, to become friends.

She’s even scheduled knee and hip replacement surgeries around the Winter Show, so she wouldn’t miss it.

“The Winter Show is very near and dear to me,” Janssen said. “We have so much fun.”

This year’s show will be March 10-14 in Valley City, N.D. Nightly events include a ranch rodeo and PRCA rodeo.

Daytime events include a horse pull, tractor pull, a junior livestock show, a high school rodeo, an NDRA rodeo, the King of the Sale Ring contest, and more.

This year, the Miss NDWS pageant is on hiatus, to follow suit with nearly every other rodeo queen pageant across the nation. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, pageants were not held last year. Winners are being allowed to hold their crown for an extra year. The NDWS pageant will continue in 2022.

The event will follow CDC, city and state COVID-19 guidelines.

More information can be found online at or by calling the Winter Show at 701.845.1401.

(above) Don and Jannene Janssen pose on their fiftieth wedding anniversary in 2017. Jannene has rarely missed attending the North Dakota Winter Show since the 1950s.
(right) Jannene (Musland) Janssen, left, and her parents, Paul and June, enjoyed horse shows and trail riding. Jannene volunteered with the Miss Rodeo North Dakota Winter Show Queen pageant for years.