Utah rancher Heidi Redd to be inducted into the National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame

The National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame will welcome four 2022 Inductees and two award winners at the 46th Annual Induction Luncheon and Ceremony. The luncheon will be held on Tuesday, Nov. 15, 2022 at the Dickies Arena. 

These incoming Hall of Fame members represent a wide range of cowgirls including a philanthropist, a writer, a rancher, and a stock contractor. The induction 2022 class includes Sherry Cagan, Gretel Ehrlich, Heidi Redd, and Kirsten Vold.  

“We are honored to welcome this outstanding class of inductees and add their remarkable stories and accomplishments to the amazing group of honorees they are joining in the Museum’s Hall of Fame,” said the Museum’s Executive Director Patricia Riley. “Congratulations to all.” 

Sherry Wolfenbarger Cagan is a horsewoman, philanthropist, and an artist.  She began the Stanford Lyme Working Group, an interdisciplinary collaborative research program consisting of 30 scientists, physicians, and department chairs. Additionally, Cagan initiated the first CME Lyme disease conference at Stanford.  As a sculptor, she has received critical acclaim for her life-size monuments, and her work has been featured in several art magazines.  

Gretel Ehrlich is a nature writer, novelist, essayist, and poet raised on a California horse ranch.  After working in film for 10 years, she began writing full-time while living on a Wyoming ranch in 1978.  Ehrlich’s work has been widely published, including in Harper’sThe Atlantic, Life, Time, and The New York Times Magazine.  Her latest work, Unsolaced, examines her travels in nature around the world and provides meaningful insight on a changing climate. 

Heidi Redd is an accomplished adventurer and rancher, running one of Utah’s largest ranches.  She is credited with co-creating an innovative partnership between working ranches and land conservation organizations.  Redd partnered with The Nature Conservancy Utah Chapter in 1997 to preserve her 5,200 acres of land, 300,000 acres of grazing allotments, biodiversity and unspoiled red rock scenery.  In 2009, the Canyonlands Research Center was established as a year-around outdoor laboratory for scientists, universities, and federal agencies. 

Kirsten Vold began day-to-day management of Vold Rodeo Management Company at the age of 25 and has continued to build on the legacy that her father began nearly six decades ago.  Kirsten now spends more than 200 days each year on the rodeo trail and oversees one of the most decorated and respected rodeo stock companies in the industry. A genuine love of animals is the driving force for Vold, who runs approximately 200 head of bucking horses for her rodeo company on a ranch south of Pueblo, Colorado.  

These Inductees will join over 240 cowgirls in the Hall of Fame. The Museum proudly celebrates living and deceased Honorees who represent diverse backgrounds, ethnicities and cultures. Many of the Honorees are nationally and internationally recognized artists or writers, champions and competitive performers, entertainers, ranchers or trailblazers and pioneers. 

Additionally, the Museum is presenting two special awards this year. The Patsy Montana Award recipient is multi-faceted entertainer Faith Hill and the Fern Sawyer Award recipient is entrepreneur and cowgirl and Nadine Lipson.

Heidi Redd Bio

Heidi Redd has yet to turn down a new adventure. Her life in the saddle, facing the rugged extremes of  Utah’s canyon country, running her own cattle operation and forging new alliances between ranchers  and conservationists, has made her an inspiration to many in the West. Her grit, humor and deep love of the land—whether working with cowboys, finding common ground with potential adversaries or enchanting a room full of dignitaries—have made her a legend. 

Born in 1942 in Ogden, Utah, Heidi spent her formative years idolizing Roy Rogers and running wild along the Snake River in Blackfoot, Idaho. With two elder brothers, and one much younger sister, Heidi loved keeping up with the boys in both toughness and escapades. Her father, who served in the Navy in WWII, and ran a truck body manufacturing business, encouraged his daughter’s bravery and zest for life—from scuba diving to skiing to becoming the town’s head lifeguard and swim teacher at the age of 12. He even let Heidi keep her first horse, Brownie, when she surprised her parents by bringing the colt home from the fair. She had collected bottles and used her babysitting money to buy Brownie for $5.  

Heidi’s adventuresome streak continued at Utah State University, where she dabbled in rock climbing  fencing and sky diving, and also earned her degree in education in 1965. Teaching in a classroom, however, was not in Heidi’s future. 

Instead, fate and love led the new college graduate to her biggest adventure yet and her life’s calling — running cattle at the historic Dugout Ranch, which lies just outside of Canyonlands National Park in southeast Utah. The ranch spans 5,200 private acres, with more than 330,000 acres of adjacent public grazing allotments. Married to Robert Redd in 1967, Heidi first got to know the Dugout Ranch as a young bride. But from her very first day in the saddle, riding through redrock country under the crackling blue  sky, Heidi knew she was home. 

When her marriage ended 20 years later, Heidi stayed on at the Dugout and ran the operation on her own. From 1989 to her retirement in 2015, Heidi was the sole owner of the Indian Creek Cattle  Company. From paying the bills to hiring hands to long weeks spent moving cattle between pastures and living in line camps in the ranch’s remote backcountry, Heidi committed herself to a proud way of life  that dates back to the Dugout’s establishment in the late 1800s. 

Yet Heidi’s role as a lone woman running one of Utah’s largest ranches is only half of her story. Her passion for this special place and her commitment to stewardship have made her a formidable force in a region whose land and waters are increasingly under siege. The largest private inholding in Bears Ears National Monument, the Dugout Ranch lies in the heart of Utah’s redrock country, one of America’s most iconic landscapes, which has become a hotbed of controversy. Competing demands for use, development and protection are exacerbated by a climate crisis that is delivering record-breaking heat and drought.

In 1997, faced with the imminent threat of having to sell the Dugout to developers, Heidi, Robert and their two adult sons formed a partnership with The Nature Conservancy, one of the world’s leading  conservation organizations. This innovative transaction allowed The Nature Conservancy to purchase  and protect the Dugout property while Heidi retained a lifetime lease. The Dugout Ranch is now home  to the Canyonlands Research Center—a collaborative among The Nature Conservancy, universities and  government agencies which attracts some of the world’s leading scientists in climate change and rangeland management. 

Over the years, at the Dugout and the Canyonlands Research Center, Heidi has played an increasingly important role as an ambassador for collaboration among the region’s many stakeholders. Whether she’s working with scientists, tribal leaders, public land managers, regional and national government leaders, ranchers, grad students, or even elementary school kids, Heidi shares her unique knowledge of  the landscape and inspires people to care for its future. 

Heidi is an active member of the Utah’s Cattleman’s Association and the State’s Bureau of Land Management Resource Advisory Committee. For her advocation of conservation in ranching, she has received much recognition, including Conservation Farmer of the Year from the Natural Resources and Conservation Service, the 2004 Visionaries Award from Celebrating Utah Business, the Wallace Stegner Conservation Award from The Nature Conservancy and the Women’s Leadership Award at the Sundance Film Festival.