Former Miss Rodeo California, Kadee Coffman, says competing in rodeo pageants helped her decide to pursue a career in TV journalism. It's no bull to say that she has roped and tied a career as a television reporter — covering anything and everything to do with horses, cattle and other livestock — that gives the Clovis native little time to rest.
"My father and grandfather helped give me a passion for the western way of life as I grew up on a horse and cattle ranch. I got my first riding lesson when I was 5 or 6," says Coffman, the 2004 Miss Clovis Rodeo Queen. "I always looked up to the competitors in the Rodeo Queen contests, so that's why I entered."
It was during the competitions Coffman began to realize she liked asking questions more than she liked answering them. After graduating from Buchanan High School, Coffman attended San Jose State University, where she earned a broadcast journalism degree.
Coffman loves the adrenaline rush that comes with covering hard news, but at the same time she has a deep passion for the agriculture world. She opted to go with her heart and moved to Fort Worth in 2010 to work for RFD TV, a cable channel aimed at rural America. She is host of "Superior Sunrise," a weekly series that offers a behind-the-scenes look at livestock auctions.
That was just the start. She also has worked for Fox Sports, RuralTV and the Pursuit Channel. Toss in working as a PRCA Xtreme Bulls sideline reporter, co-hosting RFD-TV's "Gentle Giants" with Pam Minick, and work for the GAC cable channel, and Coffman spends more time in front of the camera than away from work.
"Gentle Giants," which Coffman writes and edits, keeps her particularly busy as she travels the country to put the spotlight on the world of draft horses. These are large horses like the Budweiser Clydesdales.
During her visits home, Coffman has seen the problems local cattle ranchers are having because of the drought. She compares what is happening in California to what occurred last year in the Midwest.
"The only good thing is that when there are difficult times like these, cattle ranchers always come together," Coffman says.
As if she didn't have enough to do, Coffman has just signed a deal to work for NBC Sports. She will be part of the team broadcast of the Sporting Clays Association Tour. Coffman didn't know very much about skeet shooting before landing the job, but she spends rare free moments learning the strategies and methods used by competitors. Her first work will broadcast July 27 on NBC.
Somehow, Coffman also has found time to design her own line of western chic belt buckles that are sold in stores such as the Boot Barn. You can see the Kadee Coffman Collection at www.jandhbuckles.com.
Almost all TV journalists have a clip of themselves in some kind of weird encounter with an animal. Despite being around horses and cattle on a daily basis, Coffman has never had any problems.
"I think it is because I grew up around horses and cattle," she says. "They can sense when you are comfortable or nervous around them."
The steady drain of veteran TV talent from the local market continues: ABC30 weatherman Doug Collins is retiring at the end of May.
Collins has been forecasting local weather on TV and radio for 26 years, most recently handling the weather duties for "ABC 30 Action News AM Live." Collins leaves the station one year after the retirement of another veteran weather forecaster, ABC30's Angelo Stalis, who worked at the local ABC affiliate for 43 years.
The departure by Collins leaves Kevin Musso as the lone weather forecaster for KFSN (Channel 30). Musso has been with the station since 2008 after spending 12 years at CBS47.
ABC30 general manager Dan Adams says a search is underway to find a replacement for Collins.
The announcement by Collins comes days after Bud Elliott announced he is retiring after 23 years with KSEE24. His last day as anchor for the local NBC affiliate is scheduled for May 23.