GREAT FALLS — There are 24 new inductees in the Montana Cowboy Hall of Fame. During a ceremony in Great Falls on February 8, 2020, the inductees were honored.
Each of those hall-of-famers play an important role in carrying on the cowboy way of life. But there’s more than one way to go down in Montana Cowboy Hall of Fame (MCHF) history.
MCHF president Bill Galt said western values are what define an inductee. “The Hall of Fame values are pretty much the cowboy values...they’re pretty simple. If it isn't true don't say it. if it's wrong, don't do it. And stay with it ‘till you get it done,” Galt said.
He added that being a cowboy isn’t one of the criteria. "It doesn’t necessarily have to be someone that sits on a horse we've inducted just generally outstanding people that represent the western way of life and the western values."
One example is cowboy poet Wylie Gustafson, a renowned country singer who lives out his passion for both country and country music.
“I get to go sing music a few days a week and then come home to my horses and cattle and ranch life and it’s kind of a symbiotic relationship. They both inspire each other,” Gustafson said.
Gustafson's role is to memorialize the cowboy tradition through song: “I think for me it’s important to put the cowboy perspective down into music and words.”
The same way Gustafson makes history with music, other inductees do with their commitment to the cowboy lifestyle.
“That's our whole mission: to memorialize the cowboy way of life. And our inductees do that,” Gustafson said.
Later this year, the Board of Trustees will select new inductees into the Montana Cowboy Hall of Fame. Click here to learn more.