GRESHAM, Ore. and PUEBLO, Colo. - As Montana has voted to support the “Day of the Cowboy,” the National Day of the Cowboy organization today announced significant new resources to help bring this important recognition to the remaining 35 states that currently do not officially celebrate cowboys.
A new advisory board, National Cowboy Council, has been formed to support the non-profit organization founded in 2005 to preserve pioneer heritage and cowboy culture. The National Cowboy Council will galvanize additional national support for Day of the Cowboy on the fourth Saturday in July each year; throughout the year promote and celebrate the cowboy as an inclusive icon representing essential values; debunk harmful stereotypes about cowboys; and encourage and assist local communities in their programs to celebrate National Day of the Cowboy.
Sean Gleason, CEO, PBR (Professional Bull Riders), a staunch advocate of the western lifestyle, will serve as Chairman of the National Cowboy Council. Gleason was instrumental in helping overturn Montana’s initial rejection of the Day of the Cowboy, using PBR’s digital and social media channels to rally fans and hosting Rep. Theresa Manzella (R-Hamilton) at the PBR Unleash The Beast event in Billings, Montana last weekend where he joined her on the dirt to advocate the values of an inclusive and welcoming symbol.
“Cowboys, the original melting pot, represent people of all races, genders, and backgrounds,” Gleason said. “I’m thrilled to lend my personal energy and the resources of the PBR to recognize cowboys on an educational day celebrating their valued place in American history and to promote the important values they stand for every day. We can learn a lot from the heart of a cowboy, and learn to unleash the cowboy in all of us, making the world a better place.”
On Wednesday, Montana's state legislature approved (74-26) the second reading of the bill to observe the Day of the Cowboy. This followed a 79-18 House vote on Tuesday to approve a motion by Rep. Theresa Manzella, R-Hamilton, to bring the proposal back to the House floor vote after bill SJ0010, sponsored by Sen. Kenneth Boger (R-Miles City) had initially been defeated April 4.
“I’m more than elated with the turn of events in Montana and the support Sean Gleason and the PBR have offered to bring to our organization,” said Bethany Braley, Executive Director of the National Day of the Cowboy organization. “We've been fighting this fight by sheer force of will for the past 15 years, and as we saw this week, the megaphone and fan support PBR has changed that in a dramatic way. This has created a real tipping point in our effort to secure permanent status for the National Day of the Cowboy in all fifty states.”