This year’s inductees into the BC Cowboy Hall of Fame at the Museum of the Cariboo-Chilcotin in Williams Lake include a well-known farm and ranch safety advocate.
Reg Steward was one of four inductees at this year’s ceremony on April 16, which also celebrated the contributions of working cowboy John Young, Okanagan horseman Allan Macdonnell and rancher Bill Pulver (1914-1990).
Born in Prince George to working cowboy Charles Steward and his wife Rita, Reg Steward absorbed the cowboy life from an early age and — in the words of induction – “relentlessly and logically lobbied for, contested for, and successfully enabled the cowboy way of life.”
In 2002, he became the BC ranch safety consultant for FARSHA (Farm and Ranch Safety and Health Association), now known as AgSafe, logging millions of kilometres over time to maintain the cowboy way amidst an ever increasingly regulated ranching world. He now serves as superintendent of field operations for AgSafe.
His early experience at the O’Keefe Ranch in Vernon and as operations manager of the Crystal Lake Ranch in Malakwa as well as his ongoing work as a contracted day cowboy and range rider have given him the knowledge and understanding needed to enable the cowboy way of life in the face of increasing regulations.
“His knowledge, insight and ‘boots on the ground’ approach has been invaluable to AgSafe, specifically his ability to see solutions and act quickly,” AgSafe executive director Wendy Bennett says. “During devastating wildfires and floods that left ranchers and dairy farmers struggling to manage and recover, Reg was able to quickly organize people and develop safety resources and protocols that helped producers manage the crises in a proactive way.”