June 2015 – Life Out West Contest – My Heroes have Always Been Cowboys



Happy Father's Day from Western Ranch Supply and Northern Ag Network! 

Congratulations to Justin Bailey,  nominated by his daughter Bailey Veteto!

Justin Bailey has won an American Hat Company hat from Western Ranch Supply!

Northern Ag Network would like to thank all of the participants and wish a Happy Father's Day to all the great dads out there.  


26.  My Hero in Tall Grass and Sunshine

This is a picture I took of my Dad, Eric Butler, at Columbus Creek

Submitted by Brook Butler, Parkman WY

25.  Starting Them Young!

Jhet William Ahlgren riding his Great Grandpa Williams's horse! Being a cowboy is a family tradition..starting them young! 

Submitted by Connie Ahlgren

24.  My hero is my kids's Dad and my Husband

My hero is my kids's Dad and my Husband, Lloyd Larson. He is a great Dad, has gone to almost every event the kids have had and just a great Dad showing them right from wrong.

Submitted by Kelly Larson

23.  Cowboy's Fish Too

Three generations of Wyoming fisherman. Big Joey Russell, little Joey Russell and the late Bernard Harnish before he passed away at Lake DeSmit.

Submitted by Hillary Russell

22.  The Dad He Didn't Have To Be

In so many ways I can relate to the lyrics of the Brad Paisley song, He Didn't Have To Be.  On December 6, 2006 my father unexpectedly died, I was only 6. His sudden death was a shock to me and very painful. My Mother filled the void the best she could, but there was always something or someone missing. On October 17, 2008, my mom met the man I now call my dad at the Nile Rodeo in Billings.  His name is Justin Bailey and he was competing in the Bull Riding there that night. Very similar to Brad Paisley's song, I went on dates with the two of them, never did he leave me out. I was thrilled when they got engaged and then married on September 26, 2009. I officially had a dad. I grew to love, respect, and admire him. He loves me unconditionally and has always treated me as his own. Instilled in him is a code of ethics, that few people these days have. He is an all around cowboy as well as an all around dad. He can be tough enough to ride a rank bull, calve out a heifer with gentle hands or nurture a newborn calf until it finds its strength. He is kind and patient when he is teaching me and firm but fair when I need to be reprimanded. He has an extremely strong work ethic, loyal and honest. I rarely see him without a smile on his face. He has taught me to stay true to myself and the values I have been taught.  No matter who or what might come against me. God will provide and bring me out of any diversity stronger and better off. I chose this photo of my Dad, because it truly embraces who he is. A strong but humble man of integrity.  In the background of the picture, you can faintly see an eagle in flight. Much like that eagle, I will be able to successfully soar through life. Because he chose to be a Dad, he didn't have to be. Thank you for all you do, Dad.

Love, Bailey Veteto

This picture was taken at a branding in 2013 by my mother, Jill Bailey.

21.  My hero wore a Stetson, Montana issued

My Father – Warren Meade, served as a Montana State Trooper for 35+ years.    Raised by his grandfather an old cowhand, mule skinner, he was taught that there is no menial work – any honest work was something to be proud – he learned old fashioned values from his grandfather, believed in them and passed them onto us, his children.  The saddle he sat was behind the wheel of a patrol car and he sat tall.  While patrolling the backroads and highways of south central Montana he “professionally” met many and, true to his nature most became lifelong friends.  Names such as Linderman and Greenough, loomed large in my childhood, Bill put me up on my first horse and Turk would ruffle my hair and call me “Mouse” but as great as those cowboys were none stood taller than my Daddy.  A cowboy makes sacrifices for his family and I remember my daddy, using his vacation time to work on the farms and ranches around the Red Lodge, Belfry, Bridger area so I could have my first horse, or to pay the hospital bill when my sister nearly drown in the old Bridger pool.  Our family vacations were brandings and beet harvests but I had more good times with them than any trip to Disneyland.  My hero wore a Stetson, Montana issued, and it covered the brow of my Daddy – Sgt. W.D. Meade M.H.P.

Submitted by Lynn Meade-LarsonHuntley, MT

20.  His legacy will be his family

This is the end of a long day of trailing cattle to our summer pasture in the Pryor Mountains. This is also 3 generations of Loynings. We are a family owned and family run ranch. My husband Paul Loyning is the head of the ranch now. Paul is a great cattleman, a true steward of the land, a great horseman, but over all of these things he is a patient and loving man with his children and a very proud Granddad. Paul has taught his children and is teaching his grandchildren one very important lesson not by saying it to them but by showing it to them, that is”A HAND IS A HAND NO MATTER WHERE YOU PUT EM”. The ranch is something Paul is extremely proud of, but his legacy will be his family. Sincerely Yours, Jean Loyning. From left to right: Wil Loyning (5th generation), Ben Loyning (4th generation), Paul Loyning (3rd generation), and Jake Loyning (4th generation). All of these cowboys live, work, and play on the ranch and they do it together and they do it well. Thank you.

Submitted by Jean Anderson Loyning 

19.  The Cowboy Way

These photos are of my father Dusty Sparrow taken about 1932 near Phillipsburg and the Bob Marshall. 

Submitted by Casey Sparrow, who grew up on the family ranch near Wisdom

18.  Even Cowboys like to Hunt

These photos are of my father Dusty Sparrow taken about 1932 near Phillipsburg and the Bob Marshall. 

Submitted by Casey Sparrow, who grew up on the family ranch near Wisdom

17.  Well Done Daddy

Howard Homme of Jefferson City, Montana.  He was my hero, my mentor, my teacher and my compass.  Well done Daddy, you were sure loved by everyone you had ever met.

Submitted by Tracie Cameron Shaniko, Oregon

16.  Cowboy Heroes of Prairie County

Taken at the Eayrs Ranch Branding in Prairie county:  Monte Eayrs on the gray horse, Shawn Acord roping and Terry Nielsen standing by the paint horse.  (Pictures 14-16) All  great fathers.

Submitted by Stephanie Eayrs

15.  Cowboy Heroes of Prairie County

Taken at the Eayrs Ranch Branding in Prairie county.  Shawn Acord  roping.

Submitted by Stephanie Eayrs

14.  Cowboy Heroes of Prairie County

Taken at the Eayrs Ranch Branding in Prairie county  Terry Nielsen standing by the paint horse. 

Submitted by Stephanie Eayrs

13.  Hero, Friend, Cheerleader, Dad

This is a photo of my dad, Duane Werk.  He was a true cowboy.  The kind that we, out west, know about but others only get to read about.  My dad was my hero, friend, cheerleader (he would hate to be called.that), and I loved him with every ounce of my being.  He was tough, honery, funny and I  knew exactly where the chink  in his armor was.  My sister's and my tears melted him like butter. I miss him every day and look forward to when he visits in my dreams.

Submitted by Sandy Burdette

12.  A True Blue Cowboy

This picture of my dad, Ronald Hauso, was taken Labor Day Weekend, 2013 on the Culbertson Saddle Club Wagon Train.  My dad is true blue cowboy!  He takes pride in his work, takes pride in his horses and pride in his cattle.  I can remember riding with him from a young age, falling asleep on my horse, or sleeping on the ground while there were cows being sorted.  Dad taught the importance of working hard to get the job done so when it was time, we could play hard and have some fun.  He now has 3 grand girls who call him papa, and follow him around on foot and horseback.  Ronald Hauso currently ranches in southwest North Dakota.

 Submitted by Tana Berwick

11.  My Favorite Cowman

When I think of my favorite cowboy, I think of my father Don Shaffner, although he would have preferred the term “cowman”.   Beginning his agricultural career as a son of homesteaders, he came through the ranks of as member of 4-H and FFA.   Serving in World War II in the South Pacific, he qualified for the GI Bill and went to Veterinary School at Washington State University.  Doc, as he was known to many, graduated in 1949 and receiving his license (No. 177) to practice veterinary medicine in Montana was a significant event in his life.  Ranching was in his blood and another dream of his was realized when he bought a ranch.  He served a mentor to many in the ranching business and veterinary medicine, encouraging many to become a veterinarian.  His lessons in work ethic and life were taught to many.   But having a good cowherd, a good horse & a good dog was always the goal.  

Submitted by Sydney Gabel, Huntley

10.  The Stories These Four Could Tell

These are favorite cowboys (cowmen) of many.  And they have lots of cowboying years and miles between them.  And oh the stories….. Left to right:  Bob McDowell, Ann Hirschy, Don Shaffner, and Jack Hirschy.

Submitted by Sydney Gabel, Huntley

9.  Wagon train ride in Wolf Point 2015

The life between the ears of your best friend.  Grandpa Lyle showing the grandkids what life really is about.  Love you dad!  Happy Father Day. 

Submitted by mlahansen

8.  Definition of a True Cowboy

This is my father Richard c Bilharz. He's 75 and still helping on the ranch! He's got a pacemaker and last year had both knees replaced an he's helping horse back all the time! This photo is taken at the jr lee ranch in colstrip mt!  We were moving cow calf pairs! He's the definition of a true cowboy !

Submitted by Jeff Bilharz

7.  Branding on the Lazy YE

My father Jess Robinson branding a calf on the Lazy YE cattle company in Zortman, Montana. The ranch is successfully operated today following the values and knowledge Jess passed down to his 4 children. Heaven gained this great cowboy on December 29th, 2014. I am proud to call this cowboy my hero and sure miss him but I know he is riding, roping and enjoying the green pastures in heaven.

Submitted by Julie Dandrea

6.  Cow Days

This picture was taken during one of our big A.I. days in 2014. My dad, Kim Peterson, with my mom, Nola, has somehow managed to build a successful registered Angus and farming operation, get a daughter through vet school, help a daughter set up her own registered herd and help his son build a farming enterprise of his own. Dad, thank you for making us love agriculture with all of our hearts and for always being there to help us along! We love you, Happy Fathers Day!!!

Submitted by Casey Peterson Solomon, Andee Peterson, and Ben Peterson


5.  First Combine Ride with Grampa

My dad (Fred Fenger) holding his grandson (Hunter Fenger) and my brother (Brad Fenger) taking Hunter for his first ride on the combine on the farm in Galata Montana.

Submitted by Erin Fenger


4.  My Cowboy Hero

This is a photo of my grandpa and I more than a few years ago.

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