Nebraska Sandhills Cowboy Hall of Fame celebrates heritage | TSLN.com

Nebraska Sandhills Cowboy Hall of Fame celebrates heritage

Starla Lyon

Photo by Marilyn K. HolmbergThe 2008 inductees, from left to right: Bob Burgess, Edson Gale, Arch Ferguson and Arthur Lockhart. Not pictured is Herb Mignery. Deceased: Bernard Thomas Applegarth, James Michael Caulfield, Don Mattern, Alfred Meeks and George Younkin, Jr.

Many towns and organizations celebrate their own with awards and festivities throughout the nation. Among those groups is one very proud organization in north central Nebraska that salutes the American Cowboy and all that the title encompasses.

For the third year, the Sandhills Cowboy Hall of Fame and its board of directors have taken nominations for Nebraska cowboys to be inducted into the Hall of Fame. The Sandhills Cowboy Hall of Fame was formed in 2006 as a non-profit organization. For the past three years, the induction ceremony has been held in conjunction with the Nebraska Sandhills National Day of the Cowboy Celebration in Ainsworth.

According to the founders of the organization, the Nebraska Sandhills Cowboy Hall of Fame was formed to “honor those individuals who have made extraordinary contributions to the western lifestyle or horse culture in the areas of competition, business, or the support of rodeo, ranching, rodeo stock contractors, western arts, western entertainment, and special achievement awards in the Sandhills of Nebraska.”

Kristin Simonson is currently the Executive Director of the North Central Development Center (NCDC), a non-profit organization dedicated to community and economic development in Keya Paha, Brown and Rock Counties. A self proclaimed “Sandhills girl” herself, Simonson’s enthusiasm is evident when it comes to the Hall of Fame and all her organization has to offer.

“I grew up on a ranch near Mullen, Nebraska and am proud to call the Sandhills home,” she said. “Although the NCDC is separate from the Chamber of Commerce, I believe the Chamber also greatly appreciates all of the cowboys who have made our region what it is today. We operate in an ag-based economy and the area ranchers and cowboys have greatly contributed to our communities.”

In addition to the awards given to local cowboys, the festivities included a beef cookoff, ranch rodeo and other community activities.

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“The Nebraska Sandhills Cowboy Hall of Fame is a great way for our rural communities to show appreciation for the individuals who have made the Nebraska Sandhills a great place to live and work,” continued Simonson. “The Nebraska Sandhills Cowboy Hall of Fame is long-overdue and it is an honor to serve as the secretary of the organization. The extraordinary contributions made by the inductees will not be forgotten and the Hall of Fame is only a small gesture of our appreciation. May the tradition and spirit of our area cowboys live on long into the future.”

Each county in the Sandhills area is represented on the Hall of Fame Board of directors and each and every one of the members are passionate about keeping this tradition going.

“I’ve lived in the Sandhills all my life,” says original board member, Kirk Swanson of Arthur County. “I was born on a ranch here and it’s quite a way of life. I never get up in the morning hating my job. I want to see the Hall of Fame keep going. Financial backing has been a struggle, but it’s picking up. I’m more for the barbed wire splicers and windmill greasers who hold everything together. Rodeo cowboys have their own hall of fame. I think we deserve one too.”

“This was something I had in mind for several years,” said Rod Palmer, Executive Secretary of the Sandhills Cowboy Hall of Fame. “Nebraska didn’t have a Cowboy Hall of Fame at the time so I called the North Dakota, South Dakota and Texas Halls of Fame to get some ideas. Our area ranchers and cowboys were not receiving the recognition or memorialization they deserved so I took it upon myself to get this started and incorporated as a non-profit organization. At the time I was the chairman of the National Day of the Cowboy which helped me reach other groups and do the leg work to get started. Our goal now is to find a location for a museum and get the financial backing we need to achieve that goal. We’d love for anyone to submit nominations of some of the old time cowboys who deserve the recognition.”

The 2008 inductees are as follows:

Many towns and organizations celebrate their own with awards and festivities throughout the nation. Among those groups is one very proud organization in north central Nebraska that salutes the American Cowboy and all that the title encompasses.

For the third year, the Sandhills Cowboy Hall of Fame and its board of directors have taken nominations for Nebraska cowboys to be inducted into the Hall of Fame. The Sandhills Cowboy Hall of Fame was formed in 2006 as a non-profit organization. For the past three years, the induction ceremony has been held in conjunction with the Nebraska Sandhills National Day of the Cowboy Celebration in Ainsworth.

According to the founders of the organization, the Nebraska Sandhills Cowboy Hall of Fame was formed to “honor those individuals who have made extraordinary contributions to the western lifestyle or horse culture in the areas of competition, business, or the support of rodeo, ranching, rodeo stock contractors, western arts, western entertainment, and special achievement awards in the Sandhills of Nebraska.”

Kristin Simonson is currently the Executive Director of the North Central Development Center (NCDC), a non-profit organization dedicated to community and economic development in Keya Paha, Brown and Rock Counties. A self proclaimed “Sandhills girl” herself, Simonson’s enthusiasm is evident when it comes to the Hall of Fame and all her organization has to offer.

“I grew up on a ranch near Mullen, Nebraska and am proud to call the Sandhills home,” she said. “Although the NCDC is separate from the Chamber of Commerce, I believe the Chamber also greatly appreciates all of the cowboys who have made our region what it is today. We operate in an ag-based economy and the area ranchers and cowboys have greatly contributed to our communities.”

In addition to the awards given to local cowboys, the festivities included a beef cookoff, ranch rodeo and other community activities.

“The Nebraska Sandhills Cowboy Hall of Fame is a great way for our rural communities to show appreciation for the individuals who have made the Nebraska Sandhills a great place to live and work,” continued Simonson. “The Nebraska Sandhills Cowboy Hall of Fame is long-overdue and it is an honor to serve as the secretary of the organization. The extraordinary contributions made by the inductees will not be forgotten and the Hall of Fame is only a small gesture of our appreciation. May the tradition and spirit of our area cowboys live on long into the future.”

Each county in the Sandhills area is represented on the Hall of Fame Board of directors and each and every one of the members are passionate about keeping this tradition going.

“I’ve lived in the Sandhills all my life,” says original board member, Kirk Swanson of Arthur County. “I was born on a ranch here and it’s quite a way of life. I never get up in the morning hating my job. I want to see the Hall of Fame keep going. Financial backing has been a struggle, but it’s picking up. I’m more for the barbed wire splicers and windmill greasers who hold everything together. Rodeo cowboys have their own hall of fame. I think we deserve one too.”

“This was something I had in mind for several years,” said Rod Palmer, Executive Secretary of the Sandhills Cowboy Hall of Fame. “Nebraska didn’t have a Cowboy Hall of Fame at the time so I called the North Dakota, South Dakota and Texas Halls of Fame to get some ideas. Our area ranchers and cowboys were not receiving the recognition or memorialization they deserved so I took it upon myself to get this started and incorporated as a non-profit organization. At the time I was the chairman of the National Day of the Cowboy which helped me reach other groups and do the leg work to get started. Our goal now is to find a location for a museum and get the financial backing we need to achieve that goal. We’d love for anyone to submit nominations of some of the old time cowboys who deserve the recognition.”

The 2008 inductees are as follows:

Many towns and organizations celebrate their own with awards and festivities throughout the nation. Among those groups is one very proud organization in north central Nebraska that salutes the American Cowboy and all that the title encompasses.

For the third year, the Sandhills Cowboy Hall of Fame and its board of directors have taken nominations for Nebraska cowboys to be inducted into the Hall of Fame. The Sandhills Cowboy Hall of Fame was formed in 2006 as a non-profit organization. For the past three years, the induction ceremony has been held in conjunction with the Nebraska Sandhills National Day of the Cowboy Celebration in Ainsworth.

According to the founders of the organization, the Nebraska Sandhills Cowboy Hall of Fame was formed to “honor those individuals who have made extraordinary contributions to the western lifestyle or horse culture in the areas of competition, business, or the support of rodeo, ranching, rodeo stock contractors, western arts, western entertainment, and special achievement awards in the Sandhills of Nebraska.”

Kristin Simonson is currently the Executive Director of the North Central Development Center (NCDC), a non-profit organization dedicated to community and economic development in Keya Paha, Brown and Rock Counties. A self proclaimed “Sandhills girl” herself, Simonson’s enthusiasm is evident when it comes to the Hall of Fame and all her organization has to offer.

“I grew up on a ranch near Mullen, Nebraska and am proud to call the Sandhills home,” she said. “Although the NCDC is separate from the Chamber of Commerce, I believe the Chamber also greatly appreciates all of the cowboys who have made our region what it is today. We operate in an ag-based economy and the area ranchers and cowboys have greatly contributed to our communities.”

In addition to the awards given to local cowboys, the festivities included a beef cookoff, ranch rodeo and other community activities.

“The Nebraska Sandhills Cowboy Hall of Fame is a great way for our rural communities to show appreciation for the individuals who have made the Nebraska Sandhills a great place to live and work,” continued Simonson. “The Nebraska Sandhills Cowboy Hall of Fame is long-overdue and it is an honor to serve as the secretary of the organization. The extraordinary contributions made by the inductees will not be forgotten and the Hall of Fame is only a small gesture of our appreciation. May the tradition and spirit of our area cowboys live on long into the future.”

Each county in the Sandhills area is represented on the Hall of Fame Board of directors and each and every one of the members are passionate about keeping this tradition going.

“I’ve lived in the Sandhills all my life,” says original board member, Kirk Swanson of Arthur County. “I was born on a ranch here and it’s quite a way of life. I never get up in the morning hating my job. I want to see the Hall of Fame keep going. Financial backing has been a struggle, but it’s picking up. I’m more for the barbed wire splicers and windmill greasers who hold everything together. Rodeo cowboys have their own hall of fame. I think we deserve one too.”

“This was something I had in mind for several years,” said Rod Palmer, Executive Secretary of the Sandhills Cowboy Hall of Fame. “Nebraska didn’t have a Cowboy Hall of Fame at the time so I called the North Dakota, South Dakota and Texas Halls of Fame to get some ideas. Our area ranchers and cowboys were not receiving the recognition or memorialization they deserved so I took it upon myself to get this started and incorporated as a non-profit organization. At the time I was the chairman of the National Day of the Cowboy which helped me reach other groups and do the leg work to get started. Our goal now is to find a location for a museum and get the financial backing we need to achieve that goal. We’d love for anyone to submit nominations of some of the old time cowboys who deserve the recognition.”

The 2008 inductees are as follows:

Many towns and organizations celebrate their own with awards and festivities throughout the nation. Among those groups is one very proud organization in north central Nebraska that salutes the American Cowboy and all that the title encompasses.

For the third year, the Sandhills Cowboy Hall of Fame and its board of directors have taken nominations for Nebraska cowboys to be inducted into the Hall of Fame. The Sandhills Cowboy Hall of Fame was formed in 2006 as a non-profit organization. For the past three years, the induction ceremony has been held in conjunction with the Nebraska Sandhills National Day of the Cowboy Celebration in Ainsworth.

According to the founders of the organization, the Nebraska Sandhills Cowboy Hall of Fame was formed to “honor those individuals who have made extraordinary contributions to the western lifestyle or horse culture in the areas of competition, business, or the support of rodeo, ranching, rodeo stock contractors, western arts, western entertainment, and special achievement awards in the Sandhills of Nebraska.”

Kristin Simonson is currently the Executive Director of the North Central Development Center (NCDC), a non-profit organization dedicated to community and economic development in Keya Paha, Brown and Rock Counties. A self proclaimed “Sandhills girl” herself, Simonson’s enthusiasm is evident when it comes to the Hall of Fame and all her organization has to offer.

“I grew up on a ranch near Mullen, Nebraska and am proud to call the Sandhills home,” she said. “Although the NCDC is separate from the Chamber of Commerce, I believe the Chamber also greatly appreciates all of the cowboys who have made our region what it is today. We operate in an ag-based economy and the area ranchers and cowboys have greatly contributed to our communities.”

In addition to the awards given to local cowboys, the festivities included a beef cookoff, ranch rodeo and other community activities.

“The Nebraska Sandhills Cowboy Hall of Fame is a great way for our rural communities to show appreciation for the individuals who have made the Nebraska Sandhills a great place to live and work,” continued Simonson. “The Nebraska Sandhills Cowboy Hall of Fame is long-overdue and it is an honor to serve as the secretary of the organization. The extraordinary contributions made by the inductees will not be forgotten and the Hall of Fame is only a small gesture of our appreciation. May the tradition and spirit of our area cowboys live on long into the future.”

Each county in the Sandhills area is represented on the Hall of Fame Board of directors and each and every one of the members are passionate about keeping this tradition going.

“I’ve lived in the Sandhills all my life,” says original board member, Kirk Swanson of Arthur County. “I was born on a ranch here and it’s quite a way of life. I never get up in the morning hating my job. I want to see the Hall of Fame keep going. Financial backing has been a struggle, but it’s picking up. I’m more for the barbed wire splicers and windmill greasers who hold everything together. Rodeo cowboys have their own hall of fame. I think we deserve one too.”

“This was something I had in mind for several years,” said Rod Palmer, Executive Secretary of the Sandhills Cowboy Hall of Fame. “Nebraska didn’t have a Cowboy Hall of Fame at the time so I called the North Dakota, South Dakota and Texas Halls of Fame to get some ideas. Our area ranchers and cowboys were not receiving the recognition or memorialization they deserved so I took it upon myself to get this started and incorporated as a non-profit organization. At the time I was the chairman of the National Day of the Cowboy which helped me reach other groups and do the leg work to get started. Our goal now is to find a location for a museum and get the financial backing we need to achieve that goal. We’d love for anyone to submit nominations of some of the old time cowboys who deserve the recognition.”

The 2008 inductees are as follows:

Many towns and organizations celebrate their own with awards and festivities throughout the nation. Among those groups is one very proud organization in north central Nebraska that salutes the American Cowboy and all that the title encompasses.

For the third year, the Sandhills Cowboy Hall of Fame and its board of directors have taken nominations for Nebraska cowboys to be inducted into the Hall of Fame. The Sandhills Cowboy Hall of Fame was formed in 2006 as a non-profit organization. For the past three years, the induction ceremony has been held in conjunction with the Nebraska Sandhills National Day of the Cowboy Celebration in Ainsworth.

According to the founders of the organization, the Nebraska Sandhills Cowboy Hall of Fame was formed to “honor those individuals who have made extraordinary contributions to the western lifestyle or horse culture in the areas of competition, business, or the support of rodeo, ranching, rodeo stock contractors, western arts, western entertainment, and special achievement awards in the Sandhills of Nebraska.”

Kristin Simonson is currently the Executive Director of the North Central Development Center (NCDC), a non-profit organization dedicated to community and economic development in Keya Paha, Brown and Rock Counties. A self proclaimed “Sandhills girl” herself, Simonson’s enthusiasm is evident when it comes to the Hall of Fame and all her organization has to offer.

“I grew up on a ranch near Mullen, Nebraska and am proud to call the Sandhills home,” she said. “Although the NCDC is separate from the Chamber of Commerce, I believe the Chamber also greatly appreciates all of the cowboys who have made our region what it is today. We operate in an ag-based economy and the area ranchers and cowboys have greatly contributed to our communities.”

In addition to the awards given to local cowboys, the festivities included a beef cookoff, ranch rodeo and other community activities.

“The Nebraska Sandhills Cowboy Hall of Fame is a great way for our rural communities to show appreciation for the individuals who have made the Nebraska Sandhills a great place to live and work,” continued Simonson. “The Nebraska Sandhills Cowboy Hall of Fame is long-overdue and it is an honor to serve as the secretary of the organization. The extraordinary contributions made by the inductees will not be forgotten and the Hall of Fame is only a small gesture of our appreciation. May the tradition and spirit of our area cowboys live on long into the future.”

Each county in the Sandhills area is represented on the Hall of Fame Board of directors and each and every one of the members are passionate about keeping this tradition going.

“I’ve lived in the Sandhills all my life,” says original board member, Kirk Swanson of Arthur County. “I was born on a ranch here and it’s quite a way of life. I never get up in the morning hating my job. I want to see the Hall of Fame keep going. Financial backing has been a struggle, but it’s picking up. I’m more for the barbed wire splicers and windmill greasers who hold everything together. Rodeo cowboys have their own hall of fame. I think we deserve one too.”

“This was something I had in mind for several years,” said Rod Palmer, Executive Secretary of the Sandhills Cowboy Hall of Fame. “Nebraska didn’t have a Cowboy Hall of Fame at the time so I called the North Dakota, South Dakota and Texas Halls of Fame to get some ideas. Our area ranchers and cowboys were not receiving the recognition or memorialization they deserved so I took it upon myself to get this started and incorporated as a non-profit organization. At the time I was the chairman of the National Day of the Cowboy which helped me reach other groups and do the leg work to get started. Our goal now is to find a location for a museum and get the financial backing we need to achieve that goal. We’d love for anyone to submit nominations of some of the old time cowboys who deserve the recognition.”

The 2008 inductees are as follows:

Many towns and organizations celebrate their own with awards and festivities throughout the nation. Among those groups is one very proud organization in north central Nebraska that salutes the American Cowboy and all that the title encompasses.

For the third year, the Sandhills Cowboy Hall of Fame and its board of directors have taken nominations for Nebraska cowboys to be inducted into the Hall of Fame. The Sandhills Cowboy Hall of Fame was formed in 2006 as a non-profit organization. For the past three years, the induction ceremony has been held in conjunction with the Nebraska Sandhills National Day of the Cowboy Celebration in Ainsworth.

According to the founders of the organization, the Nebraska Sandhills Cowboy Hall of Fame was formed to “honor those individuals who have made extraordinary contributions to the western lifestyle or horse culture in the areas of competition, business, or the support of rodeo, ranching, rodeo stock contractors, western arts, western entertainment, and special achievement awards in the Sandhills of Nebraska.”

Kristin Simonson is currently the Executive Director of the North Central Development Center (NCDC), a non-profit organization dedicated to community and economic development in Keya Paha, Brown and Rock Counties. A self proclaimed “Sandhills girl” herself, Simonson’s enthusiasm is evident when it comes to the Hall of Fame and all her organization has to offer.

“I grew up on a ranch near Mullen, Nebraska and am proud to call the Sandhills home,” she said. “Although the NCDC is separate from the Chamber of Commerce, I believe the Chamber also greatly appreciates all of the cowboys who have made our region what it is today. We operate in an ag-based economy and the area ranchers and cowboys have greatly contributed to our communities.”

In addition to the awards given to local cowboys, the festivities included a beef cookoff, ranch rodeo and other community activities.

“The Nebraska Sandhills Cowboy Hall of Fame is a great way for our rural communities to show appreciation for the individuals who have made the Nebraska Sandhills a great place to live and work,” continued Simonson. “The Nebraska Sandhills Cowboy Hall of Fame is long-overdue and it is an honor to serve as the secretary of the organization. The extraordinary contributions made by the inductees will not be forgotten and the Hall of Fame is only a small gesture of our appreciation. May the tradition and spirit of our area cowboys live on long into the future.”

Each county in the Sandhills area is represented on the Hall of Fame Board of directors and each and every one of the members are passionate about keeping this tradition going.

“I’ve lived in the Sandhills all my life,” says original board member, Kirk Swanson of Arthur County. “I was born on a ranch here and it’s quite a way of life. I never get up in the morning hating my job. I want to see the Hall of Fame keep going. Financial backing has been a struggle, but it’s picking up. I’m more for the barbed wire splicers and windmill greasers who hold everything together. Rodeo cowboys have their own hall of fame. I think we deserve one too.”

“This was something I had in mind for several years,” said Rod Palmer, Executive Secretary of the Sandhills Cowboy Hall of Fame. “Nebraska didn’t have a Cowboy Hall of Fame at the time so I called the North Dakota, South Dakota and Texas Halls of Fame to get some ideas. Our area ranchers and cowboys were not receiving the recognition or memorialization they deserved so I took it upon myself to get this started and incorporated as a non-profit organization. At the time I was the chairman of the National Day of the Cowboy which helped me reach other groups and do the leg work to get started. Our goal now is to find a location for a museum and get the financial backing we need to achieve that goal. We’d love for anyone to submit nominations of some of the old time cowboys who deserve the recognition.”

The 2008 inductees are as follows:

Many towns and organizations celebrate their own with awards and festivities throughout the nation. Among those groups is one very proud organization in north central Nebraska that salutes the American Cowboy and all that the title encompasses.

For the third year, the Sandhills Cowboy Hall of Fame and its board of directors have taken nominations for Nebraska cowboys to be inducted into the Hall of Fame. The Sandhills Cowboy Hall of Fame was formed in 2006 as a non-profit organization. For the past three years, the induction ceremony has been held in conjunction with the Nebraska Sandhills National Day of the Cowboy Celebration in Ainsworth.

According to the founders of the organization, the Nebraska Sandhills Cowboy Hall of Fame was formed to “honor those individuals who have made extraordinary contributions to the western lifestyle or horse culture in the areas of competition, business, or the support of rodeo, ranching, rodeo stock contractors, western arts, western entertainment, and special achievement awards in the Sandhills of Nebraska.”

Kristin Simonson is currently the Executive Director of the North Central Development Center (NCDC), a non-profit organization dedicated to community and economic development in Keya Paha, Brown and Rock Counties. A self proclaimed “Sandhills girl” herself, Simonson’s enthusiasm is evident when it comes to the Hall of Fame and all her organization has to offer.

“I grew up on a ranch near Mullen, Nebraska and am proud to call the Sandhills home,” she said. “Although the NCDC is separate from the Chamber of Commerce, I believe the Chamber also greatly appreciates all of the cowboys who have made our region what it is today. We operate in an ag-based economy and the area ranchers and cowboys have greatly contributed to our communities.”

In addition to the awards given to local cowboys, the festivities included a beef cookoff, ranch rodeo and other community activities.

“The Nebraska Sandhills Cowboy Hall of Fame is a great way for our rural communities to show appreciation for the individuals who have made the Nebraska Sandhills a great place to live and work,” continued Simonson. “The Nebraska Sandhills Cowboy Hall of Fame is long-overdue and it is an honor to serve as the secretary of the organization. The extraordinary contributions made by the inductees will not be forgotten and the Hall of Fame is only a small gesture of our appreciation. May the tradition and spirit of our area cowboys live on long into the future.”

Each county in the Sandhills area is represented on the Hall of Fame Board of directors and each and every one of the members are passionate about keeping this tradition going.

“I’ve lived in the Sandhills all my life,” says original board member, Kirk Swanson of Arthur County. “I was born on a ranch here and it’s quite a way of life. I never get up in the morning hating my job. I want to see the Hall of Fame keep going. Financial backing has been a struggle, but it’s picking up. I’m more for the barbed wire splicers and windmill greasers who hold everything together. Rodeo cowboys have their own hall of fame. I think we deserve one too.”

“This was something I had in mind for several years,” said Rod Palmer, Executive Secretary of the Sandhills Cowboy Hall of Fame. “Nebraska didn’t have a Cowboy Hall of Fame at the time so I called the North Dakota, South Dakota and Texas Halls of Fame to get some ideas. Our area ranchers and cowboys were not receiving the recognition or memorialization they deserved so I took it upon myself to get this started and incorporated as a non-profit organization. At the time I was the chairman of the National Day of the Cowboy which helped me reach other groups and do the leg work to get started. Our goal now is to find a location for a museum and get the financial backing we need to achieve that goal. We’d love for anyone to submit nominations of some of the old time cowboys who deserve the recognition.”

The 2008 inductees are as follows:

Many towns and organizations celebrate their own with awards and festivities throughout the nation. Among those groups is one very proud organization in north central Nebraska that salutes the American Cowboy and all that the title encompasses.

For the third year, the Sandhills Cowboy Hall of Fame and its board of directors have taken nominations for Nebraska cowboys to be inducted into the Hall of Fame. The Sandhills Cowboy Hall of Fame was formed in 2006 as a non-profit organization. For the past three years, the induction ceremony has been held in conjunction with the Nebraska Sandhills National Day of the Cowboy Celebration in Ainsworth.

According to the founders of the organization, the Nebraska Sandhills Cowboy Hall of Fame was formed to “honor those individuals who have made extraordinary contributions to the western lifestyle or horse culture in the areas of competition, business, or the support of rodeo, ranching, rodeo stock contractors, western arts, western entertainment, and special achievement awards in the Sandhills of Nebraska.”

Kristin Simonson is currently the Executive Director of the North Central Development Center (NCDC), a non-profit organization dedicated to community and economic development in Keya Paha, Brown and Rock Counties. A self proclaimed “Sandhills girl” herself, Simonson’s enthusiasm is evident when it comes to the Hall of Fame and all her organization has to offer.

“I grew up on a ranch near Mullen, Nebraska and am proud to call the Sandhills home,” she said. “Although the NCDC is separate from the Chamber of Commerce, I believe the Chamber also greatly appreciates all of the cowboys who have made our region what it is today. We operate in an ag-based economy and the area ranchers and cowboys have greatly contributed to our communities.”

In addition to the awards given to local cowboys, the festivities included a beef cookoff, ranch rodeo and other community activities.

“The Nebraska Sandhills Cowboy Hall of Fame is a great way for our rural communities to show appreciation for the individuals who have made the Nebraska Sandhills a great place to live and work,” continued Simonson. “The Nebraska Sandhills Cowboy Hall of Fame is long-overdue and it is an honor to serve as the secretary of the organization. The extraordinary contributions made by the inductees will not be forgotten and the Hall of Fame is only a small gesture of our appreciation. May the tradition and spirit of our area cowboys live on long into the future.”

Each county in the Sandhills area is represented on the Hall of Fame Board of directors and each and every one of the members are passionate about keeping this tradition going.

“I’ve lived in the Sandhills all my life,” says original board member, Kirk Swanson of Arthur County. “I was born on a ranch here and it’s quite a way of life. I never get up in the morning hating my job. I want to see the Hall of Fame keep going. Financial backing has been a struggle, but it’s picking up. I’m more for the barbed wire splicers and windmill greasers who hold everything together. Rodeo cowboys have their own hall of fame. I think we deserve one too.”

“This was something I had in mind for several years,” said Rod Palmer, Executive Secretary of the Sandhills Cowboy Hall of Fame. “Nebraska didn’t have a Cowboy Hall of Fame at the time so I called the North Dakota, South Dakota and Texas Halls of Fame to get some ideas. Our area ranchers and cowboys were not receiving the recognition or memorialization they deserved so I took it upon myself to get this started and incorporated as a non-profit organization. At the time I was the chairman of the National Day of the Cowboy which helped me reach other groups and do the leg work to get started. Our goal now is to find a location for a museum and get the financial backing we need to achieve that goal. We’d love for anyone to submit nominations of some of the old time cowboys who deserve the recognition.”

The 2008 inductees are as follows:

the sandhills cowboy hall of fame board accepts nominations on an ongoing basis and nomination forms can be received by calling the ainsworth chamber of commerce at 402-387-2740. for many more photos from this and last year’s event, visit http://pbase.com/day_of_the_cowboy

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