"We are a Family"
At this point in our business we are truly a family as the four of us and sometimes extended family are at pulls to make them really special family time that shows while we work.
It is about the children and through them the families. We hope to touch some children with the ideas of sportsmanship and character. By following their children we hope, too, the families come closer together by spending time focused on the kids.This commitment to children and families brought us to make a major donation to Children and Families of Iowa through bringing pedal pulling to one of its largest venues in the region, with nearly 17,000 visitors and $180,000 plus in funds raised for the charity.
Kenneth L. Myers:
Currently Assistant Professor of Mathematics at Peru State College of Peru NE
Ken has been a Principal, Teacher, Coach, Business Manager in Denver and Family Business, State Chairman, and member of the National Board of Directors.
Developed a process commonly called reverse FOIL in mathematics and it has be used and modified by thousands of teachers. Created an academy setting in Newcastle NE accelerating the math program to have all students taking pre-algebra in 7th, algebra one in 8th, algebra two in 9th, geometry in 10th, and trigonometry and statistics in 11th. ACT math scores went from a 16 average to 24 average, with the first 30's for the school. He coached with top ten teams in most sports, including the 1986 Missouri 1A State Champions at Nodaway-Holt. Some of those records still stand in the state. This list could go on and on.
One year as Principal his school had the most improvement in drop out rate in the state of Iowa. 26% of those students were minority students.
Why mention this? because it shows the care and handwork he has when he believes in something. Ken believes in the character building qualities of this activity. So much that a family dealing with the toughest cancer issues and resulting financial still finds a way to be one of the best in the nation at this activity for children and families.
A Shot of Ken apprenticing with John Vossler in 2007
They were girls not a son, but the song is appropriate.
Kendra and Kayla Myers are employees/future owners of the business putting their pay into their college accounts and/or educational expenses. In 2005 Kendra and Kayla pedaled for the first time in a little 9 AM pull in Canistota SD where we lived. Kendra qualified for state with a second and Kayla finished third to another little girl that had just started too. Because of a pre-qualification Kayla was also allowed to qualify for state. So we loaded up and started going to a few for practice. the Next pull Kayla upset the girl that won Canistota. It would be 3 long years and about 30+ losses before that happen again. Over the time they became great friends.
An addition to this note is that through hard work and a lot of guts Kayla was able to win the 2008 National Pedal Pull title for 10 year old girls. Nationals had 351 of a possible 1080 actually appear. With this economy you don't go unless you have a real chance. Congratulations to all the State top 5 finishers it was a great year for quality in 10 year old girls as always. Take a look at the results over the last few years for this group of girls - it is hard to stay at the top.
Oh yeah the National Championship was won in a pull off with that girl from that day in Canistota SD. Miranda Painter (Montrose SD) now has a nearly 35 & 3 record against Kayla. But in Mitchell that day it was Kayla 1st and Miranda 2nd. July 11th 2009 they met again at the International and it was as it was the first day they met. Miranda 1st and Kayla 3rd in the world.... To Be Continued..
(written in 2009) Kendra is 12 years old and Kayla is now 11 years old. Their early interest got us involved in pedal pulling and they still compete at most meets, although, nearing retirement. In three short years they have gone to 6 state meets and Kayla qualified for the 2006 National. In 2006 she was 3rd in South Dakota and 14th in the National a foot out of the top three. They have been around the best pullers and competitors making them pretty good role models for proper conduct in the event. Many times in our off dates we are invited to come to other pulls so the girls in their communities can see the girls pull and learn the level they need to reach to compete at the upper State and National levels. Boys also gain in having the girls push them to their best. Our girls can and will get beat, yet they apply that to experience. They do not practice on the equipment and never have. Their main workout is biking, softball, and soccer. They gain by taking the challenge of competing against great boys and girls when ever possible, win or lose they learn from those experiences. For instance Kayla's hard headed determination with her friend.
2009 Nationals Miranda 2nd and Kayla 3rd. Kayla as has been pointed out may be the strongest of all the pullers, but the combination of speed and strength Miranda and Jeanette showed edged Kayla out of the pull off by 1 and 1/2 inches. As one person commented Kayla needs the extra hundred pounds to slow down the speedsters. We know the three girls that finished in the top three have each proved themselves in the last three years to be the best.
2010 finds Kendra a retired National Qualifier taking on more of the work load from her mother - not that she wasn't already working her share. Kayla turns 12 on June 2nd and will start her last run through the schedule prior to retiring June 2nd 2011, with only, hopefully, one more International after that. There is little doubt if not for her friend Miranda and not pulling all 9 years, Kayla might have been considered one of the two or three winning-est pullers of all time. The competitive level of pulls has grow so much in our short time in the activity. The days of little or no participation in the older age groups has been over for three or four years.
Today Kendra is the beneficiary of the years of pedal pulling. Even though she did not win a ton of trophies she gained in leg strength and now is a strong and improving Discus thrower. She uses the legs and the discipline gained from pedal pulling. Kayla hopes her last run can end up with her involved in the last pull for the 2010 National Title, yet she knows it might not.
A note sent to family on July 11th, 2010. this was in reference to July 9th and 10th, 2010.
Kayla pedaled in her last once a yearly attempt at wins in 24 hours. She won Ringgold County at 4:15 on Friday in exhibition. Later Friday night we drove to Ceresco NE and she won there at 8:30PM. We drove to Belleville KS and slept from 1 to 6:30 or at least the girls did. We start Saturday with a pull in Scandia KS 8:30AM in which she won. Then we drove to Diller for a 10AM pull again winning. It should be pointed out all pulls had a girls division and up to this point she would have won coed also. At 1:30 we made it to Sterling where we knew her toughest test would come. She won the girls beating a top 12 finisher at nationals, but on the coed side it appeared she was nipped. Then to Syracuse NE at 4:30PM. She pulled at about 6:00PM winning the girls and the coed if it had one. During this our friends the Demanett's of Randolph IA traveled in convoy with us and Symone (11) also completed her run with the same results. So the two girls won 5 pulls in 24 hours and almost did it coed. In Kayla's case the 26 hour period held 6 wins. This sadly was probably the last wild run for us chasing pulls. We are incredibly proud of our girl and although a late arrival at the dance she will be know as a champion, world class performer, and more important a classy kid you can respect. Now we see if she can qualify for national and then hopefully for International next year. I just hope in her last go around she is given the opportunity for a fair fight and she will retire happy.
Just to be clear Kayla was naturally one of the country's best, but being 6-8 months younger than the rest of the best and dealing with her own medical issues, she could only catch up by going and finding the best in the nation and taking whippings until she could get good enough to compete. I remember many losses to greats like Whitney McFee of Missouri, Wing of Kansas, Woodridge of Illinois, and of course, 30 + losses to Miranda Painter. You don't get better by not letting the best compete - you get better by challenging the best till you catch them. We started out having Kayla not pedal (do exhibitions) and people were upset, they wanted their kids to take her on for real. You know she gets beat once in a while and the winner can say they beat a champion - not that I will never know if she really tried. The equipment is the best but she wasn't on ours when she won the National title in 2008, was 3rd at the International, 3rd in the Nation in 2009, 2nd at the International in a tremendous pull off, and 3rd in the Nation by a couple of inches in her last try. So I think the equipment and who runs it isn't the issue in any competition especially if the child wins by several feet, perhaps if it is an inch difference.
Quick 2012-13 note on the girls:
Kendra had an incredible year. First she was chosen for the Southwest Iowa Honor Band and traveled to the Chick-fil-a Bowl in Atlanta GA. Second she was selected to be in the Miss Teen of Iowa contest in Pella IA. Although she did not win she was a winner of one of the 6 judged categories and received a plaque. She also was selected to participate on a select AAU basketball team and is working very hard to get better. Both girls were Superior in piano contests and had roles in a musical production at school, as a matter of fact Kayla was in a major role. They are currently a sophomore and a freshman. Kendra is already getting a flood of mail from schools for the next 4 years. Kayla is certainly wowing people with her abilities in all areas.
Flash Note 2015:
Kendra has just finished her Senior Basketball season and things have been hopping. She just committed to Peru State College in Southeast Nebraska to play in the band and in basketball. She appears to be on the verge of Academic All State and some level of all conference, as the girls finished 3rd and 6th in blocks with Kendra leading Kayla in the conference. Kayla also was offered for band at Peru. Kendra will attend Peru State beginning in the fall of 2015. Scholarships to come. Appears headed for Presidential and possibly the Chancellors, both 4 year grants.
The Myers Pedal Tractor Pulls Family:
Ken - Kayla - Willo - Kendra
yes the girls are really growing
Just when you think we can't cover the big pulls we pull in the reserves
as my Mom (Erma) and sister Janet save us with their help.
A sad note Mom is suffering from Multiple Myloma with no apparent cure,
Thank You for your prayers. Why are we fanatical about cancer research?
If you think you have noticed more family around sometimes
Janet's Son-in-Law, Steve also helps at Brownville.
We are trying to tell Janet she needs her own sled.
2008 Photo - as we were just starting:
A quick shot of the company with Devil's Gulch in the background, at Garretson SD. Devil's Gulch was to have been a hangout for Jesse James, hence the Jesse James Days celebration June 20-21, 2008. Just minutes from Sioux Falls SD. this is a beautiful attraction. Glad we got the invitation to participate.
Crazies - Update
We were invited to the pre-release screening on 2/23/10
in Des Moines. Cool to see ourselves, our town, and our school
on the big screen. Exceeded my expectations check it out.
Special thanks to John Busbee and his wife.
The girls visited with Gov. Vilsak and his wife Christy at Eldon Pedal Pull
the Grant Wood Art Center was having a Grand Opening
Were they young or what?
RED, WHITE AND BLUE:
We use Red, White, and Blue as our company colors in honor of Kenneth (Gene) Myers. He was born on the fourth of July 1929. Orphaned in the depression, he worked hard to get through the 8th grade in school. He served in World War II at the age of 16. He served as a Drill Instructor during the Korean War. He returned home to drive stock cars on the local tracks with Tiny Lund and several other early NASCAR drivers, he owned the #3 locally. So it was easy to see why we were an Earnhardt household in later years. Gene then married and started a family. Gene and Erma had 6 children, all 6 attended college, 5 earned degrees, 4 went into education, and 2 went on to Masters Degrees. Gene was President of the local school board for 18 years. Retired as Head of Construction for the Omaha division of the Corp of Engineers.
He decorated his house every year for Christmas and was known in Nemaha County Nebraska as Mr. Christmas. You could see it glow for miles around. We remember people calling in later January because they were passing through and ask if he would turn the lights on as they had heard about them. He always did.
He found no greater joy than when he was with children. Thank goodness as he had 6 of his own. Every Christmas was like he was making up for the ones of his youth when there wasn't much around the tree. He never complained about the two or three jobs in the early years. He stayed loyal to his beliefs, the Corp of Engineers and his family. He past away in the fall of 2000. He lived everyday like he was the father in the song by Aaron Tippen, "You've Got to Stand for Something". We will always remember "what ever you do today you have to sleep with tonight" we always want to go to bed knowing we did the best we could for the kids.
We miss you Dad and hope you will smile down on this endeavor in your honor.
We also want to include our late brother-in-law Gary Workman, a three time Purple Heart winner, in Vietnam, in our group of family service men honored along with Dad.
We do what we do not because it is easy or we will get rich. We do this for the children and it is our ministry, community service, and hopefully it can have a positive affect on even a few of our youth.