POETRY IN SCHOOLS PROGRAM
FUTURE FARMERS OF AMERICA
FFA is an active youth organization that changes lives and prepares members for leadership, personal growth and career success through agricultural education. Each year, local FFA student leaders make a formal request to the Durango Cowboy Poetry Gathering Board of Directors asking for funding for their chapters to help with expenses for various programs
This year the Bayfield FFA Judging Team and their sponsor asked the board for financial support to help cover the cost of a very special event. The team had been invited to represent the State of Colorado at the Royal Highland Livestock Show in Glasgow, Scotland. Livestock judging is described as “Selected contestants compete, as a team and individually, to judge groups of livestock classes. Each contestant meets one-on-one with an official to give their reasons for their placement. Scores are based on presentation as well as accuracy of placement. Contestants gain skills in decision-making, critical thinking, oral communication, and self-confidence in addition to advancing their knowledge of the livestock industry.” Bayfield’s 4 person team performed exceptionally well and finished as the second high team overall, as well as numerous individual awards. This amazing accomplishment qualified them to go to Scotland and Ireland in June. We were very pleased to be able to help them with their many expenses to make this once in a lifetime experience possible.
The Ignacio FFA Chapter continues to grow after a recent reorganization and they have added more events and learning opportunities for students in the program to participate in and learn more about agriculture. This year, they requested a grant from the Cowboy Gathering Board in order to send incoming freshman to the annual Hesperus Leadership Conference. These students participate in various leadership workshops which are led by past and present State FFA officers. They learn how to set goals, improve communication skills and work with others. It is a very important learning opportunity for all involved and we were happy to help out with the conference expenses.
2022 BASIN RODEO TEAM
The Basin Rodeo Team is part of a larger organization -- Colorado State High School Rodeo Association. Their mission is to promote the highest type of conduct and sportsmanship as they work to preserve our Western heritage and promote family values, while maintaining the highest regard for the livestock and the humane treatment of all animals.
Junior and Senior High School Rodeo teams compete in 4 rodeos in the fall, and five to six in the spring during school year. This June, three Jr. High school students represented the Basin Rodeo Team in Perry, Georgia: Tucker Jacobson in Bareback and Bulls, Shylene Drumm in Goat Tying and Breakaway Roping and Teagan McInnes in Pole Bending This year was the 74th annual High School Rodeo Finals. It was held in Gillette, WY with over 43 states represented, as well as competitors from Canada, Mexico, and Australia. This is the largest youth rodeo in the world, with a typical 1,200 qualifiers each year. The Basin Rodeo team sent 6 team members including Rhiley Montoya in Goat Tying, Quincy Montoya in Goat Tying, Bodine Hine in Team Roping, Caleb Lake in Steer Wrestling, Michell Story in Saddle Bronc and Teryn McWhirter in Breakaway Roping. These young cowboys and cowgirls exemplify the Western lifestyle and the high quality of sportsmanship and leadership promoted by the National High School Rodeo Association.
The parent sponsor for the Basin High School and Jr. High Rodeo team is Kerri Morgan Montoya. She works hard to make sure the kids attend these sanctioned rodeos and live up to the code of the high school rodeo standards. The Durango Cowboy Poetry Gathering is proud to help these upstanding young people by providing them with a grant that assisted them with their expenses as they represent our area in the various rodeos around the country.