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posted on July 20, 2009 10:23


Project Filter Sponsors CNFR National Champion
Idaho cowboy Wyatt Smith, sponsored by Project Filter, took home two national championships from the College National Finals Rodeo (CNFR) while helping spread the message about the dangers of tobacco. Smith, a resident of Rexburg who attends University of Montana-Western, won the Steer Wrestling and tied for the All-Around Cowboy titles at last month’s CNFR held in Casper, Wyoming.
This is Smith’s second year sponsored by Project Filter, Idaho’s Tobacco Prevention and Control Program. “Wyatt is an amazing athlete and Idaho youth look up to him and listen to what he has to say about the dangers of tobacco,” said Jack Miller, Project Filter’s Program Manager. “The rodeo industry is dominated by U.S. Smokeless Tobacco, the leading producer and marketer of moist smokeless tobacco. It’s inspiring when cowboys follow their ideals and say no to big money tobacco sponsorships.”
One of the best ways Project Filter can spread its messages and counteract the persistent marketing of the tobacco industry is to be at events attended by people who use tobacco. National data has shown that individuals who attend these events are some of the most heavily marketed to by big tobacco. Project Filter also realizes that some of its best spokespersons are athletes like Wyatt Smith.
“To be a good cowboy you need to compete as often as you can. But you can only do this if you’re healthy, physically fit, and tobacco free,” Smith says. “Being sponsored by Project Filter is important to me because they understand that you can’t be a good athlete if you use tobacco.”
Smith, the 2006 National High SchoolSteer Wrestling Champion and All-Around Champion, led the all-around point standings by more than 400 points by the end of the college rodeo season. “I had a good season going into the finals and I was pretty confident that I could come away with at least one national championship. My number one goal was the All-Around Championship,” Smith said. Smith tied Jake Wright from WestTexasCollege with 300 points for the CNFR All-Around title. Each cowboy starts with zero points at the finals. 
“I was a little disappointed with the Saddle Bronc, but Jake had a couple of great rides and tying for the All-Around is still a huge honor and I am very grateful,” Smith added. Smith finished eighth in the Saddle Bronc and won the Steer Wrestling title with a total time of 19.1 seconds after four “Go rounds,” two and half seconds faster than second place.
Smith will be competing in the Intermountain Pro Rodeo Association and Pro Rodeo Cowboy Association events throughout the state.
Project Filter also sponsors Wiley Petersen from Fort Hall, Idaho. Petersen is a bull rider and is currently in the top 10 in the Professional Bull Riders’ 2009 Built Ford Tough Series.
To find out more about Project Filter and Idaho cowboys Wyatt Smith or Wiley Petersen, please visit
Project Filter works to educate the public about the resources available to help individuals quit using tobacco. If you are ready to quit, call the Idaho QuitLine at 1-800-Quit-Now (784-8669) or visit 
(Editors: For more information please contact Emily Simnitt, DHW Public Information Officer, at 208-334-0693.)