Cowboy Ethics Part 2

Cowboy Ethics Part 2

Cowboy Ethics Part 2. I’m Greg Martin with today’s Line On Agriculture.

Real working cowboys of the past lived by an unwritten code all about working hard and doing a job right. James P. Owen spent his working career in the investment business but realized something was missing. He wrote the book, “Cowboy Ethics - What Wall Street Can Learn from the Code of the West.” Owen spent a great deal of time researching to find out what this unwritten code was.

OWEN: I don’t look at these 10 principals as the end all, be all. I would say in my opinion these principals are timeless and universal and they apply to each of us no matter who we are, what our backgrounds are but they’re not the end all. My hope is that if you are going to look at these, read the book and read the principals and inspire some to think for themselves, what do I stand for.

Owen says he has taken this message to kids.

OWEN: We need to really take this message to the young people and I’m really proud, we work with a number of youth groups like Boys and Girls Clubs, FFA and we work with 4H. We work with a number of schools actually around the country and I’m always surprised how receptive these kids are to the American cowboy. What is it? Is it cowboys, cowgirls, horses, sunsets? What is it about this cowboy

He has since written a follow up book called “Cowboy Values - Recapturing What America Once Stood For,” and his most recent book called “The Try - Reclaiming the American Dream.” In Cowboy Ethics Owen talks about the 10 principals but he says there is an 11th.

OWEN: That’s for you to tell me what do you stand for? My hope is that this will inspire people to take a minute from their busy lives and stop and think about “what do I believe in?” What is your principal that defines me? We call that the 11th principal. And the kids love this.

Owen has formed a foundation that is reaching out to students and adults alike with the message surrounding the ten principals to live by and he continues to speak to organizations around the U.S. They have also produced a couple of award winning videos. His latest book, “The Try” is dedicated to rodeo star Ty Murray and is about how people gain success.

OWEN: They all have that what Ty calls “The Try.” It’s hard to pinpoint in one word. It’s perseverance, it’s drive, it’s that attitude I’m going to give 110%. As Ty said, a man can do that - look in the mirror and say I gave it 110% whatever the goal is, if that man falls short Ty says he’s a winner in my book.

Be sure and visit Owens web site at

That’s today’s Line On Agriculture. I’m Greg Martin on the Ag Information Network.

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