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Oregon Legislators, Rep Mike McLane and Senator Doug Whitsett, create National Day of the Cowboy

  by DEVAN SCHWARTZ, Herald and News 5/11/13

Submitted photo - Henley High School junior Colton Campbell has gone to the national high school rodeo every year since sixth grade.

     Klamath County legislators have ensured cowboys won’t ride into Oregon sunsets by creating the National Day of the Cowboy.

   To be celebrated the fourth Saturday in July, the new holiday’s adoption was passed unanimously by the state Senate on the heels of a unanimous House vote.

   Legislation creating the cowboy holiday was carried by House Republican leader Mike McLane, R-Powell Butte, who represents northern Klamath County, and Sen. Doug Whitsett, R-Klamath Falls.

   The concurrent resolution encourages Oregon to celebrate National Day of the Cowboy with appropriate ceremonies and activities.  

   Henley High School junior Colton Campbell, 17, is one local cowboy who’s more than earned his chaps.

   Besides playing basketball and participating in FFA, he’s gone to the national high school rodeo every year since sixth grade.

   Campbell just won the all-around for his district in California high school rodeo. Next month, he heads to the state championships in Bishop, Calif. Though he attends school in Oregon, he says the Northern California rodeos are much closer than Pendleton.

   “I like working with the cows and taking care of them — doctoring the sick ones whenever they get pneumonia or foot rot or pink eye,” Campbell said of the estimated 500 cattle his family owns.

   Asked about the importance of cowboy culture, Campbell said it’s the way the country used to be, America’s oldest tradition.

   Down the road, Campbell hopes to attend college in Texas, where some of the best rodeo programs exist.  

   With summer coming up, Henley High School’s own cowboy is looking forward to rodeos and roping and taking care of family cattle.

   Here are a few reasons offered in the legislation for celebrating the National Day of the Cowboy:

   Cowboy traditions have been part of the American landscape and culture since 1523.

   Cowboys ideally embody honesty, integrity, courage, compassion and determination.

   Cowboys are excellent stewards of the land and its creatures.

   Cowboys helped push the   boundaries of America’s frontiers.

   Cowboys continue to be an important part of the United States economy through the work of approximately 656,500 ranches in all 50 states.

   The cowboy archetype transcends gender, generations, ethnicity, geographic boundaries and political affiliation.

   The cowboy spirit exemplifies patriotism and strength of character.

   Annual attendance at rodeos exceeds 30 million fans worldwide.



  Submitted photo

   Henley High School junior Colton Campbell has gone to the national high school rodeo every year since sixth grade.











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