July 14, 2014

Honoring The American Cowboy And Cowgirl

The cowboy way of life runs deep in Idaho, where enterprising men and women broke towns out of brush and helped build the Idaho we know today.  They are examples of strength, hard work and integrity.  That is why they have been honored for the past nine years through a Senate Resolution that dedicates a day in July as the National Day of the American Cowboy to recognize the legacy of cowboys and cowgirls and their part in American history. 

I joined 11 of my Senate colleagues, including fellow Idaho Senator Jim Risch, in once again co-sponsoring the bipartisan resolution that was introduced by Senator Mike Enzi (R-Wyoming).  The resolution would designate July 26, 2014, as "National Day of the American Cowboy."  The resolution recognizes many of the attributes of cowboys and their contribution to our nation:

  • Pioneering men and women, recognized as 'cowboys', helped establish the American West;
  • The cowboy embodies honesty, integrity, courage, compassion, respect, a strong work ethic and patriotism;
  • The cowboy spirit exemplifies strength of character, sound family values and good common sense;
  • The cowboy archetype transcends ethnicity, gender, geographic boundaries and political affiliations;
  • The cowboy, who lives off the land and works to protect and enhance the environment, is an excellent steward of the land and its creatures;
  • Cowboy traditions have been a part of American culture for generations;
  • The cowboy continues to be an important part of the economy through the work of many thousands of ranchers across the United States who contribute to the economic well-being of every state.

The resolution also recognizes the widespread interest in rodeo events that showcase the livelihood of cowboys and the cowboy's role in literature, film, music and as an American icon.  Further, the resolution acknowledges the contributions made by cowboys and cowgirls to their communities and encourages Americans to observe the day with appropriate ceremonies and activities.  To observe this day, some communities have celebrations, gatherings, rodeos, community activities and honor individuals who exemplify the western lifestyle and are good stewards of the land.

Cowboys and cowgirls are skilled and tough.  They endure harsh weather to protect the cattle, horses and sheep for which they are responsible.  They pitch in, no matter the task, to get the job done.  They are innovative problem solvers.  They advance a time-honored tradition of living off the land and sustaining it for future generations.  We have much to continue to learn from the cowboys and cowgirls who thankfully call Idaho home and the many Idahoans who embody the grit and determination of the cowboy way of life.

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