2013 National Day of the Cowboy gaining solid ground


Sedona, AZ, National Day of the Cowboy.

Sedona, AZ, National Day of the Cowboy.

After more than eight years of working to secure permanent passage of a National Day for the Cowboy, six states have now passed the National Day of the Cowboy bill in perpetuity; Wyoming, California, New Mexico, Arizona, Oklahoma and Oregon. We’ve also secured a 2013 proclamation or resolution from Kentucky, Indiana, Texas, Tennessee and Washington. Hey – with six states solidly on board, we’ve passed the ten per cent marker for our fifty-state goal!

Several other states are still in the process of officially recognizing the 2013 National Day of the Cowboy. Those states that we’re aware of include Kansas, Missouri, Florida, Colorado, South Dakota, Mississippi, Idaho, North   Dakota and Nevada. These are territories where we have volunteer campaign wranglers working to enlist a sponsor in their legislature or secure a proclamation from their governor. This of course also means it is not too late to see more states pass the National Day of the Cowboy in perpetuity this year.

NDOC volunteers everywhere are performing a great service in helping to make the Day of the Cowboy a permanent fixture on our educational and cultural landscape, but it’s also important to recognize that a day such as this is an economic proposition as well. Cattle ranching alone contributes over five billion dollars to America’s economy each year, and, events such as rodeos, western festivals, and cowboy gatherings, not only serve to build community and stimulate local economies, but organizers behind these events very often donate thousands of dollars from the proceeds to local and national charities.

The 9th Annual National Day of the Cowboy is Saturday, July 27, 2013. And, while it is of major historical significance that it is now a permanent day of celebration in six states, the most important thing is that we do indeed celebrate it! If you’re not sure how to get started, consider some of these creative ideas others have already implemented; host a “Read Em Cowboy” event for young people, participate in Cowboypoetry.com’s Art Spur contest (the painting or photo “spurs” the writing), host a branding demonstration, offer a store discount, host a celebration at your ranch, honor a local Cowboy or Cowgirl, honor a local rancher or local cowboy poet, hire a band for western dance, have a cowboy poetry reading or contest, hold a country western music concert, visit a ranching heritage museum, visit a western art or western photography museum or exhibit, host a horse clinic, purchase a CD of western music and encourage some friends to listen to it with you, purchase a book about cowboy culture, purchase a book about pioneer heritage, teach a pioneer or cowboy history lesson, fly your National Day of the Cowboy flag, initiate rope making activities, organize a team roping, organize or attend a ranch rodeo, teach others about cowboys’ clothes and gear, offer land stewardship workshops, teaching about brands and how to read them, host a chuck wagon or Dutch oven meal, have a saddle maker’s demonstration. Invite everyone to wear their hat and boots that day. The possibilities are endless, fun and exciting!