Reta Burnett Birkhead was born in Fisher County, Texas on March 10, 1940. She grew up on the family Polled Hereford stock farm and graduated from Hobbs High School in Hobbs, TX in 1958.
Reta attended and graduated from Sul Ross State University in Alpine Texas in 1962 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Elementary Education. She met and married E.P. Birkhead Jr. a calf roper, at Sul Ross. Rodeo became a big part of her life. Reta and E.P. have one son, James and one grandson, Weston. They live In Midland, Texas and own Birkhead Feed Store.
Reta was a school teacher for 33 years. She taught in Odessa, Texas for 31 years and San Antonio Texas for two years. She taught first, second, and third grades, gifted and talented classed third through sixth grades, and was a supervisor for the student teachers of University of Texas Permian Basin.