July 02, 2003 11:00 pm

PRINEVILLE — Melissa Forester of La Grande has been crowned 2004 Miss Rodeo Oregon.

Forester received the title during the Saturday night performance of the Crooked River Roundup in Prineville.

Forester, 20, competed with three other young women for the 2004 title. The other contestants were Miska Asman, 20, of Vida; Camie Johnston, 21, of Dayton; and Katie Lewis, 20, of The Dalles.

Forester will be the spokeswoman for the sport of rodeo throughout Oregon and the Columbia River PRCA Circuit.

During the pageant, Forester participated in a series of interviews as well as other functions while being critiqued by a panel of judges. She also won awards for horsemanship, knowledge, appearance, speech and personality.

Forester was a member of 4-H for nine years and qualified for the State Horse Fair six times. In high school, she was a member of the Future Business Leaders of America and played basketball and volleyball.

She has held the titles of Catherine Creek Rodeo Princess, Catherine Creek Rodeo Queen and Eastern Oregon Livestock Show Queen. She is a junior at Eastern Oregon University, studying media/broadcasting.

Forester will have the chance to compete for the Miss Rodeo America title during the 2004 National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas, Nev.