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Montana Ag Network: Cowboy Hall of Fame seeking nominations

Posted at 2:20 PM, Apr 25, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-25 18:07:02-04

The Montana Cowboy Hall of Fame & Western Heritage Center (MCHF & WHC) is seeking nominations for the 2019 Montana Cowboy Hall of Fame induction round.

Every year, the MCHF & WHC honors living and historical figures that have made notable contributions to Montana’s western heritage.

Board member Mike Gurnett explained how the organization got its start.

“We were seeing the history disappear,” said Gurnett. “We were are seeing generations go by and stories being left behind, just kind of fading away.”

To preserve Montana’s rich history, MCHF & WHC was created to honor people of diverse backgrounds that have made notable contributions to Montana’s western heritage.

“The idea behind the Cowboy Hall of Fame is it’s different than the Hollywood Cowboy,” Gurnett explained. “It’s kind of a way of life. It’s a western ethic — traditional values. And it crosses race, gender and background of any kind.”

“It’s people who have contributed to the life-scape of this landscape. It’s basically what we’re interested in and perpetuating that, preserving that and honoring it for future generations,” he added.

Gurnett shared the qualities that make a hall of fame member.

“It has a lot to do with cowboy ethics which is a kind of a broad term,” Gurnett explained. “But people who finish the job, ride for the brand, did what was fair, knew that some things weren’t for sale. Some of the things that make for a good cowboy or a good stockbroker.”

“Those same things are what make good candidates for the Cowboy Hall of Fame. They can be a physician. It can be a rancher. It can be a business owner,” he continued. “There are horses that are in the Hall of Fame. It’s just trying to capture Montana’s rich history before it fades away.”

If you would like to make a nomination, you must contact the MCHF & WHC at or by calling (406) 653-3800 prior to the submission deadline to express your intent to nominate.

Nominations must include a cover page, a two-page biography, and a high-quality photograph. All nomination documents must be in electronic format and emailed by May 31.

The 2019 Class of the Montana Cowboy Hall of Fame will be announced by press release by Sept. 15.

The winning inductees will be honored at the Montana Cowboy Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony & Western Heritage Gathering Feb. 8, 2020, at the Heritage Inn in Great Falls.

-Lane Nordlund reporting for MTN News