By Jeff Rebitski, Staff Writer

In the heat of the afternoon sun on Wednesday, The Wyoming Cowboy Hall of Fame celebrated three new inductees from Fremont County at the fairgrounds with music, cake and cold drinks, allowing members both past and present to mingle and swap stories of their exploits and friends long gone. 

The Wyoming Cowboy Hall of Fame’s chief goal is “to preserve, promote, perpetuate, publish and document Wyoming’s working cowboy and ranching history through researching, profiling and honoring individuals who broke the first trails and introduced that culture to Wyoming.

The latest in a long line of distinguished members are: 

Robert William, Hamilton, Lander

Bob Bessey, Riverton

Clyde Woolery, Kinnear

These men, ranchers, community members and cowboys in the most fundamental form of the word, were present for the festivities along with family, friends and those who look up to the cowboy as the men who tamed the west. From days of old, when the west was young and wild, the cowboy has been the legendary hero of the ranching way of life. Today, with the constant encroaching on the land that once fed the cattle that fed the country. Open range has been replaced by land leases and fences that constrict the free flow of feed and water to the ever important beef industry. 

Through all the changes in the way cowboys now operate, these men of historical vision keep the heritage alive with hard work and the passing down of knowledge to the next generation. It is a belief system that remains the center of all they do. With humility and a hard work, these legendary men along with the strength of their wives, pass along the history of the old west while looking to the future for the sake of cattle, horses, and a way of life that creates strong men and women who will, in spite of modified beef food products made from soy,create a strong future for agriculture in our state and all others. 

Congratulations to the men and women who stand brave and strong, working through unimaginable hardships to put food on our tables. May you see your efforts celebrated for years to come as families follow in your footsteps, saddling up, picking up the reins and riding into the sunset, chasing the traditions that you have held to for your entire lives. And when you take your last ride into history, may God himself greet you with an open hand and a well earned “Well done cowboy, you rode well, now come and rest at my fire.”