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When many of us were growing up our heroes were cowboys and cowgirls—men like the Lone Ranger, Roy Rogers and Gene Autry and women like Dale Evans and Annie Oakley. Today, kids are still fascinated with cowboys. We also hope kids learn to appreciate the values cowboys had, values we call “the cowboy way.”   Cowboy Singer


Cowboy Poetry Lesson storyteller

Cowboy poetry is a “folk art” that dates back to the early cattle drives.  It is classic story-telling in rhyme and meter created by those first “cowboys” while on those drives.  Their music was ballads from their native countries with the lyrics changed to reflect their new vocation.  The interest in cowboy poetry and music for the past ten years has been growing in the Monterey region due mainly to the annual Monterey Cowboy Poetry and Music Festival. 

Monterey and the surrounding communities have a unique and rich cowboy heritage, from the original California cowboys, the Vaqueros, to the local ranching cowboys today.  Preserving this unique heritage is part of the vision of the Monterey Cowboy Poetry and Music Festival.  The venue to keep this vision alive is our educational program.

Monterey Cowboy Festival Education Program Because we want to keep this heritage alive we have developed our educational programs to reflect the culture of this area.  Since the vaquero and ranching have played a big role in Monterey’s history we are promoting a major cultural event that teaches the young about our western heritage as well as the life of the modern day rancher through poetry, music, horsemanship and crafts.


Beginning in September we contact the local schools letting them know about the workshops we will hold to introduce the “Cowboy Way of Life.”  We take fourth grade students for a ranch like experience where they learn about horseshoeing, saddle making, horse grooming and tack, cattle sorting, carriage driving, roping, chuck wagon cooking, poetry and music.  The program has been met with overwhelming enthusiasm.  skinner

The children love it because it provides them with educational material pertinent to ranching cowboys and history and provides the context for them when we bring the Cowboy Poets and Musicians to their schools during the festival.

Students are encouraged to write their own cowboy poetry, Mexican corridos and rancheras and cowboy music that they can present at our students open mike program on the Saturday of our Festival.  Students, parents and teachers alike love our program because it opens up a whole new way of teaching students to read, write and recite as well as introducing them to public speaking.

Young people interested in participating in the “Open Mic” in poetry or music on Saturday, November 19, 2016 can contact Craig Collord at cpbuckaroo@aol.com or Ellen Collord at cekr@aol.com






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