© National Cowboy Poetry Rodeo 2015
Excellence through Competition Eric Borden has been a diesel mechanic, truck driver, and for the last 10years a heavy equipment operator. He and his family live on 43 acres, just outside Drexel, Mo.  He has competed in the Kansas Cowboy Poetry Contest, and performs for the local FFA at their yearly banquet. Eric is more a "Pasture Poet" than a cowboy poet. Cowboys' have his respect and he does not want to say he is something he is not. Eric has this to describe his poetry: "If I can make folks feel good about their life, smile about a situation, or cry tears of joy over a memory...well...I do not care what kind of poet they call me. I am just sharing a gift I was given. All that being said, the Cowboy poets I have met make me feel like this is where I fit."   Eric Borden, Drexel, Missouri Marci Broyhill, Prairie Poet and Storyteller, was raised in the hills along Nebraska's rugged Outlaw Trail, Highway 12.  Marci focuses her stories of rhythm and rhyme on the people of Nebraska. She visits small town museums where stories are waiting, eager to be dusted off, tuned up and shared.  Marci has recorded two CDs of original poetry, Window of Memories and Mending Fences. Marci is excited to be here at the 2015 National Cowboy Poetry Rodeo.    Marci Broyhill, Dakota City, Nebraska Betty Burlingham grew up as a townie with dreams of becoming a scientist.  While making that dream come true, she accidentally fell in love with her major professor who was an avid cattle rancher.  Betty went to "graduate school" with him again--this time on the ranch.  She's been ranching full time for 35 years and couldn't have dreamed of a better life. Betty and Byron own and maintain ranches in KS and NC.  She's been writing and sharing poetry about her amazing and everyday experiences for four years.  Her other hobbies are diverse and include caramel making, square dancing, and stacked dry stone wall construction.     Betty Burlingame, Manhattan, Kansas Writing and reciting cowboy poetry evolved from my childhood days listening to my Grandfather, Papa Hop. He would entertain us with stories and poems of his own early life.  I used my Papa Hop’s stories and my own life experiences as background material. Growing up on a small Central Texas ranch, I was involved in a variety of ranch experiences. I have two degrees from Texas A&M University, both in agriculture. I retired in 2007 from a teaching career and began performing for various groups and attending cowboy poetry gatherings with my young bride Stella. 2012 in Kanab, Utah I won 3 of the four Rising Star events at the National Cowboy Poetry Rodeo to earn the Silver Buckle and the All-Around Championship award. Most of my work is in rhyme with a Texas western flair and a love and appreciation for God’s bounty.        Ol’ Jim Cathey Marlin, Texas Slim Farnsworth is rapidly becoming a household name in the world of cowboy poetry.  Slim paints a vivid picture of the west and the ornery characters who live there.  His stories range from rural directions to CPR on mangy old heifers.  If you want to laugh 'till yer innards hurt, you've found the right place.  Slim was born and raised in the mountains of Western Colorado.  He spent his childhood working the family ranch with his granddad, and building roads with his dad. Slim understands the cowboy in all their gritty glory--from the lowliest saddle tramp, to the ranch owner.  His vivid descriptions and colorful antics bring the west to life.  Slim currently resides in Cedaredge, Colorado, with his wife Virginia, daughter Valerie, 6 dogs, 2 horses and a partridge in a pear tree.  Slim works full time as a Paramedic and dedicates the rest of his time to entertaining the hard working folks of the West.      Slim Farnsworth Cedaridge, Colorado Dan Fields was born and raised in Rawlins County, Kansas.  He has been living the cowboy dream all of his life.  From an early age he had a love of cattle, horses and the great outdoors.  In recent years, he incorporated that love and the experiences of the cowboy/rancher lifestyle into his poetry.  All of his stories and poems are original and are about his life, including many about his walk with the Lord.  Dan has 2 CD’s available with summaries on the back that pretty much sum up who he is.  “Dan Fields is a self-made, true life, Kansas cowboy.  He dedicates his Saturday Night rendition to his life-friends and family.  The cowboy-up lifestyle, youth and sometimes firewater has created many unusual cowboy wrecks.  He has survived the school of hard knocks and thanks God for living through them. From the Sunday Morning rendition:  Deeper thoughts from a real cowboy, Dan dedicates these deeper thoughts to his Savior, Jesus Christ.  Dan is living proof that the Lord accepts all.  Dan says “If He will take me, He’ll take anybody!”     Dan Fields Atwood, Kansas Dennis, sometimes called Duke,  was raised in the heart of the San Juan Mountains of Colorado where his family still used horses and pack mules for prospecting the high alpine basins.  After several successful careers, he is returning to his roots, and enjoys working with horses.  He can sometimes be found on a remote trail or helping move cattle as he celebrates the heritage of the American West.  He also embraces his Scottish ancestry, travels and is an accomplished author.   www.cowboypoetryandbagpipes.com       Dr. Dennis L. Hunter Grand Junction, Colorado Tim Keane is Professor of Landscape Architecture and Director of Research, Scholarly and Creative Activities in the College of Architecture, Planning, and Design at Kansas State University where he has served since 1984.  His research involves the study of rivers, creeks, gullies and erosional/depositional processes in addition to the sustainable management of urban storm water.  While this all sounds quite pretentious, he attempts to remain pragmatic, half-handy, and on occasion, entertaining.  Tim has been attempting to write “cowboy poetry” for twenty years or more and in April of 2014 was named “Champion” in the Kansas Cowboy Poetry Contest, Humorous Division.  Keane lives with his wife Sharon and a couple of bird dogs in northwest Wabaunsee County.       Tim Keane, Manhattan, Kansas Floyd Beard and his wife Valerie run a cow calf operation on the High Plains of Colorado near Punkin Center, Colorado.  Floyd began writing presenting poetry in the late 1970’s.  Jotting down his experiences and observations while in the saddle, he “smithed” these thoughts into his stories and songs. Floyd was named the 2015 Kansas State Cowboy Poetry Champion in the humorous and serious categories, as well as the 2015 "Cowboy Poetry Idol" at the Columbia River Cowboy Gathering and Music Festival.  He also won the Colorado State Fair Cowboy Poetry Shoot-Out in 2006.  He has presented as far away as Stony Plains, Alberta, Canada, and is the current President of the WMA Colorado Chapter.  Floyd’s stories are inter-woven with his western code of high ethics, integrity and sprinkled richly with humor. His philosophy is simple: “Life is a journey not a destination, and is best viewed from atop a good horse.”  www.floydbeardcowboy.com        Floyd Beard Punkin Center, Colorado Danny is a day working cowboy.  Along with 3 to 6 other cowboys they work, gather, and catch cattle for area ranchers.  He and his wife Teresa also run a herd of mixed cows that carry their Wagon Rut “M” brand.  Danny wrote his first poem in 1986 after building his first saddle after watching the cowboy poets on the Tonight Show.  Danny, and good friend and cowboy Greg Burke, have been performing cowboy music and poems under the name Cowboy Tradition for the past few years.  Most notably they have performed several times for Lucas Oil and Cattle Co.        Danny McCurry, Ash Grove, Missouri Ron McDaniel has been in dabbling with poetry for the last 9 years. He has been fortunate to tell humorous stories and recite poetry all over the United States.   Ron and his wife Nancy live in NW Arkansas, where they have 3 kids, 3 grandkids, and occasionally some foster children. They have dogs, horses, a donkey, and enough cattle to be in constant debt to the bank. Ron works in the Equine division for an animal health company, and occasionally day works for area ranchers. As a testament to his cowboying skills, the Cowboss’ at Adams Cattle Company said “Hiring Ron was like losing 2 good men”.  Ron and Nancy actively support their church, Horses for Healing, and the CALL which is an organization in Arkansas dedicated to not only raising awareness about the need for families to take in foster children, but is run by members who are foster parents themselves.  Ron is truly grateful to have made his living working in the cattle and horse industry. He enjoys anything that keeps him horseback, reciting poetry, and writing about himself in the third person.     Ron McDaniel Sulphur Springs, Arkansas Francine Roark Robison of Tecumseh, OK is Oklahoma's Cowboy Poet Laureate. She has performed at Echoes of the Trail in Ft. Scott, KS, the National Cowboy Symposium in Lubbock, TX, and many more. She grew up on a farm in Oklahoma where she had a horse and dog and the requisite number of barn cats.  Currently she has a two-year-old Black Lab mix named Shadow and will be happy to bore you with detailed stories of this spoiled-rotten dog!  Francine is a member of WMA, WMA-WW, WMA-OK chapter, and MCPA (Missouri), and Western Writers of America.         Francine Roark Robison, Tecumseh, Oklahoma Don Wagner is a fourth generation member of a family ranching and farming operation in the Smoky Hills region of Ottawa County, Kansas. He operates an organic grain and hay farm and raises Longhorn cattle on land his family homesteaded in 1862.   In addition, Wagner is an English instructor at Bennington High, a rural school in central Kansas, and an adjunct instructor for KSU-Salina.    He has published four books of poetry: Bringin’ Home the Bull, Land of Three Rivers,  The Apple Tree:  Voices from School, and Waiting for Rain: Poems from the Prairies.    Besides farming, ranching, and teaching, Wagner plays fiddle and guitar and has produced a CD of original songs titled Ride The Wind Away. He and his wife Debbie, a pastel and fiber artist, operate the 3Rivers Gallery in the old Santa Fe train depot and repurposed lumber yard in Bennington.  You can check them out at www.3riversgallery.com.       Don Wagner, Bennington, Kansas Rocky was born and raised in eastern Kansas.   As a kid he drove his mother crazy riding his horse in places they shouldn’t, across the front porch, for example.  In his heart, he has always been a cowboy.  Rocky has worked as a cowboy managing guest ranches in Colorado and New Mexico.  He is a cowboy historian, poet, and storyteller.  He says “If anyone is willing to sit a spell and listen, I am an Irish cowboy with the initials B.S. if that tells you anything.”  These days Rocky hangs his hat in the Red Rock country of Sedona, Arizona.  He and his wife, Karen, are involved with an award winning old-west reenactment group known as Doves and Slugs. They perform across Arizona and California bringing to life the history of the old west.  The pair are also "chuck wagon" dutch oven cooks and are always looking for more ways to bring the old west ideals and history to the public in the most entertaining ways.      Brian “Rocky” Sullivan Sedona, Arizona Ron Wilson grew up near Manhattan Kansas on the Lazy T Ranch where his family resides today.  Ron was named Horizon Award winner by the Heartland Chapter of the Academy of Western Artists and was proclaimed by the Governor of Kansas as A Poet Lariat.”  His cowboy poetry is featured regularly in the Grass & Grain newspaper, the Country Parson radio program on WIBW FM, and the Ag AM in Kansas television show.  Ron chairs the annual Kansas Cowboy Poetry Contest.  He was named an Ambassador for the National Multicultural Western Heritage Museum in Fort Worth, Texas.  His poetry is fun, family-friendly, patriotic, and most of the time, it even rhymes.      Ron Wilson, Manhattan, Kansas C. R. Wood is an Auctioneer, a Horseshow and Rodeo Announcer, AND a "wannabe bad, Cowboy Poet, who lives in Elsinore, Utah.     C.R. Wood, Elsinore, Utah