Manager of North Dakota Winter Show first came to show as baby

Ruth Nicolaus
North Dakota Winter Show

VALLEY CITY, N.D. — The woman behind the activity at the North Dakota Winter Show in Valley City started her Winter Show attendance as a baby in a car seat, stashed under the table at the craft show.

Tesa Rode Klein grew up in Adrian, N.D., attending the Winter Show with her mother, Patricia, as Patricia sold crafts at the fair, and her father, Loren, who, with Patricia, was part of the N.D. state Holstein sale held at the Winter Show.

It actually goes back another generation for Klein. Her maternal grandmother, Jean Miller, was part of a homemakers group that volunteered with the show, and her paternal grandfather, Paul Rode, was in the band that played during the rodeo and at the Eagles Club.

As a child, Klein was a 4-H member, showing registered Holsteins and static exhibits such as flower arranging from wildflowers or her mother’s garden flowers.

After graduating from Montpelier High School in 1996, she worked for her father, who, by this time, was no longer milking cows but doing construction work. She managed a flower shop in Jamestown, then built her own in LaMoure, complete with an old Wahoo grain bin as a coffee shop.

In 2002, she married Kelly Klein and as their rodeo business began to grow, she sold the LaMoure flower shop and went on the road with him. She continued her craft work with her business, called Wildflowers, located at her home.

Klein, like her mother, runs her own craft business, making Western furniture and accessorizing clothes. She’s learned to use power tools from working for her father, and she’s inherited her mother’s and grandmother’s “crafty” genes. She loves being original in her clothes and decorating. “I’m very much like my grandma Jean, very eclectic in that way.”

She has had a booth at the Winter Show’s craft fair for several years, as well as at other craft fairs and junk shows. Her specialty is Western décor and clothing. “I love transforming anything old, making nothing into something.”

Klein took the wheel as general manager of the Winter Show in 2019, something she had always wanted to do. “This isn’t a job,” she said. “It’s a passion for what the Winter Show represents. She credits her ag background for what she’s accomplished. “I owe everything I have to 4-H and the ag industry.”

The Winter Show, like any event, can be busy and hectic, but she thrives on the pressure. “I love the hustle and bustle of the show, the chaos and the problem solving.”

With an ag background, she is appreciative of what the show stands for. “The Winter Show has stood the test of time and has made a comeback from natural disasters in its 84 years of existence. We have grit and will go on with our 2021 show. It may be a bit shorter and different than in the past, but we have to move on safely. We have been given an opportunity and a responsibility that I don’t take lightly to keep advocating for agriculture and giving our area youth a stage to present their hard work. These days may affect them the rest of their life as they did me.”

The 84th annual Winter Show will take place March 10-14 in Valley City, N.D. Each night features a different arena event (truck pull on March 10; ranch rodeo on March 11; PRCA rodeo on March 12-13), with daytime activities including a craft fair, Kritter Corral, NDRA rodeo, King of the Sale Ring contest and more.

For more information, visit or call the Winter Show at 701-845-1401.

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

Kelly and Tesa Klein pose backstage at the North Dakota Winter Show.