The Roundup -

Aspiring Bull Rider Creates West River Hat Company

 

September 5, 2018 | View PDF

Lane Berg bull riding (photos submitted by Lane Berg).

What once started out as a dream is slowly turning into reality for Lane Berg, an aspiring bull rider, entrepreneur, and student at Dickinson State University.

Berg grew up on a farm 40 miles west of Fargo, North Dakota where he and his family raised beef and longhorn cattle. "I grew up raising cattle and helping neighbors as a ranch hand," said Berg. He attended high school at Central Cass and is now attending college at Dickinson State University (DSU) in Dickinson, ND where he is pursuing a degree in Agricultural Business.

Through his rodeo career, Berg has already claimed titles for 2010 Junior High National Qualifier in bull-riding, 2011 Junior High Qualifier in chute dogging, 2011-2018 Roughrider Rodeo Final Qualifier for bull-riding and steer wrestling, 2013-2018 Western Edge Bull Riders Finals Qualifier for bull-riding, 2015 High School National Qualifier for bull-riding and steer wrestling, and 2015-2017 North Dakota Rodeo Finals Qualifier for bull-riding.

His biggest accomplishments were making the high school and junior high finals. "It is such a great opportunity for any kid at that age to meet other kids from all around the world. Being able to showcase your skills on that level is awesome. I have won many rodeos and bull riding competitions around the state of North Dakota," explained Berg. He has rodeoed across the midwest and as far south as New Mexico

Berg notes that he has always wanted to rodeo. "I have always dreamed of being a cowboy," said Berg. He started riding sheep at three years of age, then gradually worked his way up to riding bulls at age nine. Growing up, Berg watched bull riding videos. "I have always wanted to be one of those guys riding on TV. I watched the movie, "8 Seconds" until I almost wore the tape out," said Berg.

"I have been rodeoing almost religiously my whole life. I grew up rodeoing at a lot of local rodeos around my area then graduated to Junior Rodeo where I qualified for Nationals twice, then to high school rodeo where I qualified two times as well. All while doing many associations around the state like Roughrider Rodeo Association, Western Edge Bull Riders Association, and the NDRA Rodeo Association all around North Dakota," said Berg.

Some of Berg's role models are JB Mauney, PBR World Champion Bull Rider, and his dad. "JB Mauney rides the rankest bulls and doesn't quit until his head hits the ground, the guy is an all-around cowboy. But I think my biggest role model is my dad. He has worked his tail off for everything he has earned in his life and growing up seeing that made me want to work as hard as I can to achieve part of what he has worked for. My mom and him have done everything in their power to make my brother, and my dreams come true."

Berg's parents are not only his biggest role models but also supporters. "I'd have to say my parents are also my biggest supporters. They try to attend as many rodeos as they can no matter how long the distance is, and not many parents do that, so I'm very lucky and grateful. I am grateful to have such a strong support system. From all my family, friends, coaches, and critics they push me to be my best."

Berg's goal is to ultimately become a World Champion Bull Rider. "I enjoy the rush, climbing into the chute hearing the roar of the crowd in the background and strapping onto a bull. Riding an animal that wants to do everything in its power to throw me off while trying to match it move for move. There is no feeling like it in the world when I stay on the bull for eight seconds. Jumping off the bull and hearing the crowd is awesome, I feel like I am on top of the world," said Berg.

Berg's hat line, West River Hat Company.

Aside from riding bulls, Berg started his own hat company in December of 2017 which is called, West River Hat Company. "West River Hat Company started from a couple of other guys here at Dickinson State and myself. My friends came up with the idea, and I have always been interested in doing something like it, so we sketched the design for it, and it turned out perfect. Although my other friends are no longer in the business with me, we stay in touch about ideas and advice. I only started selling my products just around Christmas time in 2017, and it surprised me how fast it took off. I want it to be as big as the Hooey and Cinch brands of the world. It's a long road, but quality products and personal relationships can get me there. I hope to continuously grow my company with more products, not only hats but something for everyone to wear and feel comfortable in. I'm trying to hit all sorts of audiences too. I want to see everyone in my products no matter the lifestyles. I want to offer affordable clothing with a good look and feel to it," explained Berg. He has the hats for sale at Saddle Up in Watford City, ND. He also has his own website, http://www.westriverhatco.com, where he sells hats and t-shirts.

Berg will be graduating in May with a degree in Agricultural Business and after college Berg hopes his hat company and bull riding career will take off. Berg said, "After college, I'm not sure what's in store for me, but I hope to make a career out of bull riding. I've put in a ton of work and effort into practicing and preparing mentally. I hope West River Hat Company will take off as a big part-time job that I can do while rodeoing. I've thought of a few other careers, but for now, I'm going to go with the flow and follow God's plan."

 

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