Courtenay DeHoff is a highly versatile television host, reporter and videographer whose work has been featured on local and national television networks across the world. Her stories can be seen on networks such as: Rural-TV, RFD-TV, OETA and 17 PBS affiliates.
As an anchor at the national news network Rural-TV, DeHoff walked the red carpet interviewing music legends like Garth Brooks and Merle Haggard. She sat down with top U.S. officials, such as the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture and world renowned philanthropists like Howard Buffett. She has even had some fun with animal expert Jack Hanna and the Grammy nominated music trio The Band Perry. DeHoff produced Rural-TV & RFD TV’s coverage of the 2012 Calgary Stampede, the 2012 Texas Junior High Finals Rodeo and Rural TV’s 2012 National Finals Rodeo coverage.
She was recently honored by the Robert Bosch Stiftung Foundation of Germany and named one of the top science journalists in North America. She represented the United States at the Euro Science Open Forum held in Dublin, Ireland. DeHoff’s video testimonial on the European Debt Crisis during the conference was featured on the European Commission’s webcast, Horizon 2020.
A member of the Alpha Zeta Honor Society, DeHoff is a graduate of Oklahoma State University. While earning her Bachelor of Science degree in Agricultural Communications she worked at Oklahoma Horizon TV where she developed her video editing and shooting skills as well as on-camera hosting. DeHoff takes pride in shooting and editing all of her own work. Her story on child labor laws was featured across the agriculture industry and helped play an important role in overturning the federal governments proposed legislation.
Born and raised on a ranch in Kansas, DeHoff has a true understanding of “western” upbringing. Rodeo competition is a meaningful part of that western heritage that she continues to participate in today. In 2011, she was featured in Challenger Film’s TV series “The Real Winning Edge” for her rodeo accolades. A vested interest in the western industry coupled with her passion for barrel racing and roping has brought her success in and out of the arena.
Five years anchoring, reporting, shooting and editing across the United States for both local television shows and national news networks, earning recognition both abroad and at home for great storytelling and reporting.
Anchor/Reporter – Rural TV & RFD TV, Nashville, TN (2012-2013)
Anchored the five-hour live newscast and served as sole reporter for the Market Day Report and Rural Evening News on Rural TV a national news program broadcast to sixty million homes nation wide.
Shot and edited packages accounting for 30% to 50% of content each day on the news and often times more. Produced a new segment for the Rural Evening News, engaging a larger and broader audience across America. Produced all live coverage of events, shot the footage and served as the on-air personality on location at all times.
Multi-Platform Journalist – Oklahoma Horizon TV, Stillwater, OK (2009-2012)
Produced stories from concept to completion airing on RFD-TV and 17 PBS affiliates. Used extensive research to create stories based on science and technology, economic trends and global trade, environmental impacts, health advancements and social change, resulting in a promotion to full time anchor and producer.
Produced several full shows from concept to completion, integrating new techniques in camera operation, writing styles and on-camera presence in each and show. Provided corresponding content for multiple platforms including blogs, Facebook, and twitter to expand Oklahoma Horizon’s reach.
Bachelor of Science – Agricultural Communications
Oklahoma State University – December 2011
Available upon request
I once read that all you need to write a successful blog is an opinion.
Well, then chalk this venture up as a success because I’ve got an opinion and I am more than happy to share it. This entry takes a little different route than my previous blogs across the big pond and it all starts on HWY 35, exit 174 for Stillwater, Oklahoma.
It all started with the typical university bologna. They told me I would bleed orange forever. The bookstore raped me every semester and Limeys at the Penny never got any nicer. I was wearing the nation’s brightest orange, literally. My mom’s friends asked if she was directing traffic every time she wore the newest outfit I conveniently charged to my Bursar (ya she paid) then gave to her as a “gift”. I was your typical Oklahoma State freshman…completely unaware that the greatest four years of my entire life were about to unfold.
The saying, “you never know what you have until it’s gone” has never rang more true. Sure, when I was hoisting my girlfriend over the fence at Murphy’s or watching my buddies drag a goat into our favorite bar for a drink, I did indeed love Oklahoma State. That love has changed into a different (slightly more sober) kind of love over the years.
In light of the recent OSU football scandal, or whatever the hell it is, I wanted to remind folks what OSU is really about…
It is the largest homecoming in the nation. Don’t believe me, go ahead and ask my liver or that guy Steve (probably a K-State grad) who was never heard from again after the weeklong celebration. It is the largest student union in the world. The biggest, most badass football stadium all of T-Boone’s money can buy. It is the little get together called Calf Fry, that students from universities around the world flock to. It is the camaraderie and lifelong friendships that only Oklahoma State students and grads can truly understand.
So…the football team is being accused of keeping some dirty little secrets. If it is true, well shame on the staff and players. If it isn’t true well then chalk it up to Sport’s Illustrated having a “light” news day. As a member of the illustrious broadcast and entertainment industry I fully understand the concept that controversy sells. Just look at Miley Cyrus, she has twerked and licked her way straight to the top. Maybe a little controversy is all we need to finally land the championship game we all still swear we deserved.
The point of my blog is this…people are going talk smack. Lord knows if the University of Oklahoma was in our position we would be raging in Stillwater at this point. OSU can handle this and overcome it. For god sakes we ride a freaking horse, A HORSE, onto the football field at full speed and shoot pistols when we score. We have guns, horses and a shitload of fun…this won’t slow us down very long.
Go ahead and support the Cowboys in anyway way you can. I just felt it needed to be brought to all of our favorite rivals attention that we are supporting way more than just our football team. We are supporting four years of looking like constructions workers. Four glorious years of professors who taught me to go ahead and have an opinion. Four years of taking my life in my hands every damn day when I cut across the bike lane. Seriously, how many people will sacrifice a limb for their college?
This is for you pokes. Our pistols are firing in the air and at our enemies. Thanks for the greatest, wildest most glorious years of my life. I am forever loyal and true, to my alma mater OSU.
“What is the biggest difference you have noticed between the United States and Europe?”
The men. Okay, just kidding…but really, those Italians are magnifico!
In all seriousness it is a loaded question, but a question I have been asked more than any other on my trip. My immediate answer is the pace of life is much slower. Europeans are never in a hurry. Compared to the ulcer burning, heart attack inducing pace the United States considers normal people are moving at a colossal pace over here across the big pond. Their ability to drink coffee at the local coffee shop until 11am and still be at their job by 9am is truly a marvel many Americans will never understand.
Anyone who has spent an extended amount of time in Europe will tell you things move slower, but there are many cultural differences worth noting. Some good, some down right repulsive.
1. They pee in the dark. Okay not really, but it is possible you will find yourself peeing in the dark. A majority of the lights in Europe are on motion censors including those in the restrooms. So don’t be alarmed if you hear screams coming from public restrooms. It is just a tourist who is taking longer than the light source feels necessary…nobody is actually being murdered in there. (actually you never know, see no. 5)
2. At home mom always yells at my sister and I to order water at restaurants because “pop causes cancer and makes your ass fat.” I secretly think she says this because water is free. Not the case in Europe. When you order water it is always bottled and never free. My personal pet peeve is when I forget to ask for still and take a big swig of sparkling, which seems to be the European’s favorite way to drink water…yuck.
3. Italian, Light Italian, Ranch, Light Ranch, Vinaigrette, Honey Mustard, Blue Cheese, Light Blue Cheese, Strawberry Vinaigrette, Cheesecake, Gasoline…you name it American’s can order it to top their salads. Order a salad in Europe and you get oil and vinegar to dress your salad. No questions asked. Even Caesar Salad comes dressed in oil and vinegar. Ask for Caesar dressing and you are instantly labeled “damn American.”
4. You will never ever have your change placed in your hand upon making a purchase. This cultural oddity I find interesting and have not quite figured out the reasoning behind it. When making a purchase at the grocery store or local coffee shop you must place your money in a small tray near the cash register. They won’t take it from your hand. After making a purchase they will literally bump your open hand out of the way with their wrist and place your change back in the tray…at first I acted like a real American and got pissed, but I have since accepted the fact. Maybe they don’t want germs.
5. In reference to number four I am actually pretty confident no germ can kill these people. I have stuck my arm up a cow’s ass, slung afterbirth over my shoulder and pulled flesh eating maggots out of an open wound on a horse’s leg and never have I seen anything quite like a public restroom in Europe.
Don’t get me wrong you have your token Starbuck’s bathroom that smells of fresh lavender and angels sing when you sit down, but 90% of the public restrooms in Europe look like a few hundred people have been murdered in them. Many of them are unisex (which scares the shit out of you the first time) and you always have to pay to use them. Eventually you learn it is better to have your bladder explode and your eyeballs shoot out of your head than step foot in a public restroom…you will never burn the image of what you see out of your brain. Ever. (Don’t even get me started on train restrooms…I am immediately starting therapy when I get home.)
6. They take road rage to a whole new level. In the states the occasional middle finger and curse word will suffice when another driver cuts you off. Not over here. My mother trucker could actually learn some new moves from the Europeans.
I was enjoying a coffee outside the “No Stress Café” (stress free) when it happened. A guy on a bike zipped in front of a car in the roundabout and the driver gave a little beep of his horn. The biker suddenly came to a screeching halt and jumped off his bike. At first I thought the driver had hit him, but then I realized the biker was pissed. I sat there coffee in mid air and listened as the biker pounded his fist on the windshield and screamed (in perfect English) at the driver. He used the “F” word more times in a thirty second span than my father and uncle Jeff have in their whole life (that is a feat in itself).
7. They do not use dryers. My family has been hanging our underwear outside on the clothesline my entire life, but this is because we are too cheap to use the dryer. In Europe they do not have dryers. From now on when our city friends come out to the house and stare wide eyed at my KU thong blowing in the breeze I am just going to tell them we are European.
8. Cher and Cyndi Lauper’s careers have never looked better. Old school American pop is hotter than ever in Europe.
9. In the US graffiti covering the walls of buildings usually means you are entering gang banger territory…that or you are at DeHoff Tool in Armourdale where I quote “They just stab you, they won’t actually shoot you.” In Europe there is graffiti everywhere on absolutely everything. Do not be alarmed you are not about to get jacked.
10. They aren’t near as modest over here. A see-through shirt is definitely appropriate in the summer…get a tan and still where a shirt. Genius. PDA is A-OK. They like to show affection…with their tongues, in the middle of the street.
I use the term Europe loosely in this blog. I have only visited four countries and seven major cities in what I would consider central/southern Europe, but these are the cultural differences and oddities I have noticed throughout my short European tour. They will all leave a lasting impression on me.
Men in tights riding juiced up racehorses, bareback through town, at high rates of speed? Oh please, sign me up.
Twice a year in the small town of Siena, Italy the men put on their tights (literally) and strap on their boots for the annual Palio di Siena, a famed 400-year-old bareback horse race comparable to no other race in the world. I was blessed with dear friends who gave me the opportunity to attend the Palio di Siena this year.
Referred to simply as the “Palio” this historic event is a once in a lifetime opportunity. If you ever get the chance to go, do it. Mortgage the house, sell some colts and buy a plane ticket. You only live once.
The history of the race is long and complicated. If you are interested in the Sienese leaders the Palio honors and the in depth myths and legends of how it started you should Google it. I’m going to give you my breakdown of the race and it’s not quite so technical.
We arrived in Siena around 3pm. The race was scheduled to begin at 7:30pm. Our late arrival was due to the fact that we had seats, but the sunburns and dehydrated faces of the thousands who packed into the open seating area in the center of the track proved they had been there a day or two fighting for a spot. I guessed at least one hundred thousand packed into the center, my counterparts guessed slightly less. You be the judge.
Each contrada (basically each neighborhood) within the city is represented by their horse. Before the race the seventeen contradas march through the streets in their medieval garb waving the silks (flags) of their contrada singing loud battle songs. I cannot be sure because they were singing in Italian, but from what I gathered these folks meant business. Today was definitely not about loving thy neighbor as yourself.
The Palio officially kicks off when mounted knights race around the track wielding swords as the crowd roars to life. (I swear, I kept waiting for Mel Gibson to scream “Freeeedddooommm”.) A two-hour parade follows the knights entry, featuring each contrada (seventeen in total, although only nine compete in July’s race) waving flags in perfect unison with drum solos that would put the best rock bands of our time to shame. Each horse competing in the race is led alongside the flag wielders, which makes for good watching. They are typical racehorses…running sideways dragging the little squirt in tights trying to lead them in the parade that moves at a colossal pace.
When the extravagant parade finally wraps up it is game time. We were situated clear across from the starting line so I didn’t have a perfect view, but let me break this down for you. You have nine race horses (no purebreds allowed) who they openly admit are prone to (as we barrel races would say) “being hopped up until they don’t know whether to scratch their ass or wind their watch” lined up side by side between two ropes.
The best way I can describe it is picture my family’s fabulous little bay mare, Fancy, who loves to stand on her back legs, run over spectators and blow large snot balls out of her incredibly large nostrils. Now imagine trying to line up nine Fancy’s side by side, all facing forward, perfectly aligned between two piddly cotton ropes before the judge will fire the gun signaling the start.
Herein lies the problem. Lining up nine racehorses side by side is a rather difficult task. When the horses are called into the “roped area” the jockeys whip each other in the head and the horses jump on each other for a period of time until the judge announces they all have to ride out and try again. This goes on for hours. I was so nervous and antsy each time I finally understood why rodeo moms are so crazy. It is stressful.
The crowd eventually grows restless and the longer the false starts go on the ruder the Italian’s shouting becomes (I don’t speak Italian but there was a lot of fist thrusting and middle fingers.)
When the gun finally fires and the race begins the atmosphere is so charged I am sure all of Europe could feel the energy and the roar is loud enough I am confident all of Italy new the race was on. Around the first corner (where we were sitting) I witnessed a jockey beat another jockey over the head with his bat about thirty times in a four second stretch. Greatest. Thing. Ever.
Lap number two, one jockey is down and nobody knows where the hell he flew to, but it doesn’t matter it is all about the horse and the riderless chestnut is holding his own.
Lap number three (the final lap) three jockeys have disappeared and the definition of “it’s a horse race” takes a whole new meaning. A stunning grey horse whose silk features a large goose has taken the lead. The chestnut with no rider is giving “the goose” and his rider a run for their money, but the grey horse holds on for the win. As it turns out, this particular contrada is the winningest of all time and this race would prove no different.
The race is over, but little did I know shit was about to get even wilder. Every Joe Smchoe who has witnessed a horse race knows these high powered running machines do not just stop the minute they cross the finish line, but leave it to the Italians to not give a shit.
What happened next made tearing goal posts down and storming the field look like child’s play. The barriers in the center were crushed to the ground as thousands stormed the track still full of runaway racehorses. Jockey’s were jerked from their running horses in celebration. Horses without jockeys ran into the crowd. This was worth the price of admission in itself.
I am forever grateful I got to witness this historic event. You cannot possibly understand the full capacity of the event just from reading a blog, but hopefully the photos give you some idea of it’s magnitude. I have a whole new level of appreciation for men in tights.
A few cool tidbits I left out of the blog -
*Completely bareback means no saddle. No pad. Nothing. American jockeys do not look so impressive anymore.
*The very intricate symbol of each contrada is shaved into the hair on their respective horse’s rump.
*Horses are marched into the church and blessed before the race. Perhaps the only place in the world a horse is allowed in a church.
*The night before the race each contrada celebrates by hosting a large dinner in their neighborhood. The table stretches the length of the street and can seat hundreds. The head of the table is reserved for the horse of course.
*Each person belongs to the contrada in which they were born.
This blog features all the things I saw and heard regarding the Palio di Siena. Some of it may not be entirely correct, but what I do know for sure it the Palio is one of the most spectacular things I have ever witnessed and it is a memory I will cherish forever.
I remember entering for the Fourth of July rodeo run (okay I remember my hauling partners entering me, but I suffered with them). You know what I am talking about…the nightmarish stretch of days you spend on the phone entering so many rodeos you will surely blow the tires of your trailer and kill your horse if you get into them all. Hauling partners start baking cakes for the secretaries of the rodeos you really need in. PROCOM is so jammed up by the time you get through your iPhone has stopped counting the number of calls (it stops at 100) and when your dad gets your phone bill he asks if you have taken up selling drugs over the phone.
It is worth every agonizing moment you spend strategizing on just how you are going to do the impossible. Make fifteen rodeos in ten days…no problem. Over the past month I have had an experience I am comparing to the fiasco of entering the Fourth of July run.
It all started when I arrived in Prague with no luggage. Keep in mind I cannot conveniently pick up my phone and start threatening people without accumulating yet another $20,000 dollar phone bill that is sure to kill my father once and for all (I had a little phone bill incident in Canada).
Day one: The Prague airport has no idea where my bag is. Did I even have a bag? 45-minutes on the phone
Day two: My bag was lost by an American carrier and unfortunately I am seven hours ahead and the Americans are sleeping. So instead I call the Prague airport. They think the bag is in London. Why London? Nobody knows, but I need to call London at 13:00. 13:00…what the hell time is that? So (at 1:00 pm) I give them a ring only to learn that 13:00 is actually 2:00 pm thanks to daylight savings time. You can’t even make this shit up. Doesn’t matter, turns out nobody went to work in London that day. 5 hrs and 31 minutes on the phone
Day three: I am starting to get a little (for lack of a better term) pissed off. After waiting on hold for fifteen minutes American Airlines finally confirms my bag was scanned in Dublin and a leprechaun is wearing my new European boots under a rainbow. They will try to capture him in the next few days and return most of the stuff. 2 hrs and 12 minutes on the phone
Day four: I am starting to stink. Nobody can understand my (perfect) English and I think the Prague airport is threatening to press harassment charges. 4 hrs on the phone
Day five: All hell breaks loose and the details are too R rated for this blog. After nearly seven accumulative hours on the phone (yes I said seven) a bag shows up at my apartment.
I am thankful for the emotional support of friends and family that helped me through that difficult time and it has been smooth sailing since…until yesterday that is.
I booked a cheap ticket ($150 bucks or so) to Italy on the Internet. I’ve always wanted to go and I am stoked. My credit card company calls shortly after to tell me my credit card has been suspended for suspected fraud. No problem, they are probably just concerned because I am booking from a foreign country. I give them a ring to confirm the charge and they are pleased to approve to the $841 dollar ticket.
Hold the phone. Did they just say $841 US American Dollars?
Yes, yes they did. Turns out I was charged for four plane tickets to Piso, Italy. Like I said, you cannot make this shit up.
Maybe American Airlines got so fed up they put me on a no fly list? I think they are sabotaging me. I blame them. I’m off for yet another “Fourth of July rodeo run” like phone marathon.
“Beware of pickpockets. Better safe than sorry.”
I am glad they cleared that up for me. I’m armed with military grade pepper spray and a brass American attitude, I think I will be just fine.
Introducing public transportation. Growing up in the middle of Kansas our subway system or lack thereof denied us Midwesterners the true cultural experience of the every day woes of public transportation.
Picture this. It is ninety degrees and you have squished yourself into an impossibly small spot on Tram 22 headed for the city center. You learned the hard way it is not about looking cool, you have to hold on tight to avoid landing in the lap of the suave Italian sitting beneath you. The only available handhold is the bar over head. You have to stand on your tiptoes to reach the damn thing and for ten minutes you dangle like a monkey praying to god your armpits don’t smell as bad as the dude’s next to you.
I will admit the trams and metro in Prague are great for scooting from place to place. On less crowded trams I like to take a seat and look at people’s feet. Weird I know, but hear me out. To convince myself that I am not a stereotypical, out of shape American, I like to compare the number of band-aids on my feet, to the number of band-aids on the local’s feet. Turns out walking fifteen miles a day on cobblestones takes a toll on everybody’s feet.
The trams and metro in Prague are pretty quick and the trams are a great way to see the city. The locals keep a close eye on those getting on and will knock each other over jumping out of their seat to make space for the elderly or a woman with a child. I read in my Lonely Planet Travel Guide that this was the appropriate thing to do so I was not surprised when I saw people leaping from seats at the first site of someone “elderly”. Elderly being the key word because I also read if you offer your seat to someone who feels they do not meet this criterion it is highly offensive. To avoid confrontation, in a language I haven’t got the slightest grasp on, I just stand most of the time.
Keep your eyes open to get the full effect. The guy next to you might lick you or smell you…or both. In a few days I will take my first train ride in Italy. If my directionally challenged self manages to make it to Italy it will be a miracle. Check back soon. I am sure there will be a story.
Dobrý den from Prague! First, to make you jealous let me set the scene. It is a drizzly sixty-five degrees in the city today and I am enjoying the largest cup of frothing mocha you have ever seen in a quaint Czech coffee shop outside of St. Ludmila Church (see previous post). Okay, now on to the good stuff.
Fourteen days ago I embarked on a journey. I hopped on a plane in Kansas City and twelve hours later I was standing in Prague. American Airlines (or Un-American Airlines as we are now referring to them) lost my luggage for five days. Thanks to years of rodeo, cattle shows and a few “big brother types” who taught me their ways, I am a pro at turning my underwear inside out and managed to survive. The bag did eventually show and it was game on.
Prague is never ending in its beauty. You can wander around this place for fifteen days and see something new everyday. Not only will you be enthralled by the architecture and ambiance that is Prague, you will be amazed by humanity as well.
It seems bras are optional in the heat of summer and sunbathing half naked in the park is completely acceptable. It is safe to say the Czechs are more laid back than Americans. For example, when you are so damned hot you stand over a road grate in your skirt just to get some air (in Marilyn Monroe like fashion) nobody stares and nobody cares. In fact they marvel at your ingenious way of drying the sweat that has made you so slippery molasses wouldn’t stick to you (we had a few hot ones, but it has cooled back down).
Drinking coffee for hours and sitting in the park staring blankly ahead might be a national past time and I have taken to it quite nicely. The only part of me that had a hard time adjusting was my feet. You would think as small as they are that they couldn’t possibly blister and hurt as badly as they did. Finally, after days of crippled searching (and Google Maps sending me to Jimmy Choo) I found the perfect pair of tennis shoes. I was standing in line at the two-story, impressively massive grocery store when I saw them; metallic silver, size 5 ½ kicks for nine dollars. Watch out world. Here I come.
If nine-dollar shoes and sunbathing in the park weren’t enough to convince me, I officially decided that maybe I was European in another life the day I saw a little girl run blindly toward a busy street in the middle of town. My first thought, this kid is going to die. My second thought, as I saw her mother run up behind her and jerk her pants down, this kid is going to get a colossal whipping for running towards traffic. But what I witnessed brought pride to this farm girl’s heart. Holding the kid out into traffic (cars swerving in fast out of control European fashion around her) the little girl got a huge look of relief on her face as she took her time peeing over the road drain her mother had perfectly positioned her over. Genius! This would not be the last time I saw this move and after years of peeing on the side of the road or in the back of a trailer I 100% approve.
My coffee has run through me. I am going to pop out and look for a road drain, but check back soon. This is just the beginning of my story.
As many of you know I am calling Praha home for the next few months. My adventure is just beginning, but here are the top eleven things I have learned so far.
1. When you buy groceries like an American (everything you need for the next ten years) remember you have to carry that crap home.
2. After checking out at the grocery store you will stare blankly at the forty things you just bought and wonder how in the world you are going to get it home since they didn’t give you a bag… until the obvious solution hits you. Wait until the non-English speaking cashier isn’t looking and snag one from the other counter. “Mid snag” it will hit you that maybe you have to pay for bags so you grab all your stuff (bag included) and run like hell.
3. When your luggage is lost by the airline for five days it will make you re-think your carry-on. Rather than overflow for the four pairs of pants, one shirt and one sock that wouldn’t fit in your luggage, next time you will pack enough clothes for at least three weeks.
4. Those boots you spent a fortune on at Nordstrom that were just “sooo European” nobody in Europe actually wears.
5. In the time it takes you to look up the word bathroom in your Lonely Planet Phrasebook, you might pee your pants in the middle of Old Town Square.
6. The creepy guy who sits in the women’s bathroom isn’t just being a creeper…you have to pay him to use the toilet.
7. When you carefully set one water bottle on the counter at the coffee shop and tell them you want a coffee too, you will end up with TWO extremely intense coffees that no human being could possibly drink.
8. Nobody told these people smoking kills.
9. It is completely acceptable to park your Audi on the sidewalk.
10. Construction in a foreign country is ten times worse than construction at home, but don’t worry when you realize you have ridden the tram in circles for thirty minutes and break out sweating…everybody else stinks too.
11. American musicians have produced some really horrific music videos and written rather horrific songs. (It is the only English speaking channel I get)
Check back soon to hear from Courtenay as she travels to the Czech Republic!
Download Courtenay’s Electronic Press Kit including headshots, reel, biography and resume here: