Indiana loves the NDOC

Jerry Betley and Indiana State Senator, Dennis Kruse.

I am elated to tell you that on February 14, 2017 (Valentine’s Day), Indiana became the 12th state to award permanent status to the National Day of the Cowboy. Our number one volunteer there (and NDOC board member), the ever-tenacious Jerry Betley, worked on securing Indiana for over five years. In that time, he went through six senators and four representatives, and a bill that never got out of committee, before finally achieving success in 2017.  In each of those previous years, Jerry would end up requesting a Governor’s Proclamation, which was easy because it was simply a matter of going to the Governor’s website and filling out an online form. Then, as luck would have it, Rusty Lloyd III stopped by Jerry’s National Day of the Cowboy exhibit at an event one day and asked what it was all about. Once Rusty learned what we were working on, he offered to speak to Indiana Senator, Dennis Kruse, about our national effort. Senator Kruse immediately got on board. Then, with the added help of IN Legislative Aide, Zachary Eckert, the NDOC bill, SR 22, came up quickly, and passed unanimously in the IN Senate.

There was not enough advance notice for anyone to get to the Capitol in time for the floor vote, but Jerry said it was broadcast on the internet, so you may be able to watch it here, or it may have been archived as a video of SR22. Jerry was later able to meet with Senator Kruse for a joint photo opportunity in Fort Wayne, Indiana.

There are many other dedicated cowboys and cowgirls in Indiana who have been working to celebrate the NDOC and to help Jerry build support there, including Scott Beam, David Lane, Duane Jackson, Bonnie and Larry Hilsmier, the owners and staff at Moose Lake Village, and Jerry’s wonderful extended family of kids and grandkids.

The NDOC Board of Directors (Jerry Betley, Darrell Wyatt, Barb Richhart), our spokespersons and I, are grateful to the many people who stand beside us and continue to support us financially, as volunteers, and in solidarity with this effort. The NDOC was founded in June 2005, so you can see it is no small order working to get this bill passed in all fifty states. We continue to hope securing permanent passage for the 4th Saturday in July as a day to celebrate pioneer heritage and cowboy culture will go more quickly as more states join the celebration.

Thank you for standing with us as we all make history together. Hats off to the cowboys and cowgirls!