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© 2011, Betty K. Rodgers

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Events across America celebrate the seventh annual National Day of the Cowboy, July 23, 2011. 

The National Day of the Cowboy is celebrated each year on the 4th Saturday of July.

American Cowboy magazine launched the National Day of the Cowboy in 2004. The magazine continues to celebrate the event, as does the active National Day of the Cowboy organization, headed by Bethany Braley.

See the 2012 National Day of the Cowboy feature here.

Read below about a special Art Spur for the National Day of the Cowboy.


© 2011, Betty K. Rodgers
Special Art Spur for the 2011 National Day of the American Cowboy;
 photograph by Betty K. Rodgers


2010 Art Spur; painting by Joelle Smith

copyright 2009 by Lori Faith Merritt ( www.photographybyfaith.com) "Heading In"
2009 Art Spur; photograph by Lori Faith Merritt

2008 Art Spur; photograph by Chanda Snook

2007 Art Spur; painting by Don Dane

2006 Art Spur; photograph by Jeri Dobrowski

Previous years' National Day of the Cowboy features:


 Visit these sites for more about the annual event:

National Day of the Cowboy

National Day of the Cowboy: My Space

National Day of the Cowboy: Facebook


National Day of the American Cowboy





Art Spur 


© 2011, Betty K. Rodgers; this photograph may not be reposted or reproduced without permission
"After the Gathering"

"After the Gathering" is a photograph taken at the Maggie Creek Ranch outside Elko, Nevada in January, 2010 during a photography workshop at the Western Folklife Center's National Cowboy Poetry Gathering. The cowboys (including the ranch manager) were bringing cattle into the corral. Find more about the Maggie Creek Ranch here on Facebook.

Find additional photographs from the series in our feature about Betty K. Rodgers here.

Art Spur subjects are meant to inspire poetry; we look for poems inspired by the piece, not necessarily for a literal description of the image or its subject. 

Poetry submissions were welcome from all, through Tuesday, July 19, 2011. Submissions are now closed.

Find the selected poems here, posted in celebration of the National Day the Cowboy, which takes place July 23, 2011.

About Betty K. Rodgers

Betty Rodgers was born in Salinas, California, where the Salinas Rodeo was a natural part of her family’s life. She has also lived in other regions of California, Maine, New Mexico, and for the past six years in Boise, Idaho.

 Her father was an Air Force photographer at the end of World War II, and finding the bathroom periodically converted to a darkroom was a normal occurrence in her childhood home. A lifelong photographer herself, Betty has made this art form a priority since moving to Idaho where she explores western landscape and life through the lens of her camera. Her work is frequently shown in a variety of venues and resides in many homes throughout the West.

Also a great advocate for authors and the literary world, she publishes the Idaho Writer’s Update, a free bi-weekly newsletter featuring Idaho’s thriving literary community www.idahowritersupdate.com.

Betty owns BK Publications, a small press devoted to poetry and short prose. Among its publications are poet Janice Gilbertson's collection, Sometimes, in the Lucias and her chapbook, Riding In; and the late Vince Pedroia's collection, A Mano.

Her current passion is a documentary film project she and her husband, author Ken Rodgers, are making about Ken’s company of Marines during the siege of Khe Sanh in the Vietnam War. Learn more about it at www.indiegogo.com/bravo-common-men-uncommon-valor, www.bravotheproject.com, and here on Facebook.


See our feature here for more about Betty K. Rodgers, which includes additional examples of her photography. You can email Betty K. Rodgers.



Reproduction prohibited without express written permission
"'She's a Hand" © 1993 by Joelle Smith, www.joellesmith.com

She's a Hand," a painting by notable Western artist Joelle Smith (1958-2005). The painting was inspired by Oregon cowgirl Mindy Kershner's participation in the Jordan Valley Big Loop RodeoFind the selected poems here.  



Reproduction prohibited without express written permission
"Heading Out"
© 2009, Lori Faith Merritt, www.photographybyfaith.com

The photograph by Lori Faith Merritt, called "Heading Out," pictures cowboy and poet Georgie Sicking and Minnesota cowboy and rancher Sam Scott (fiancé of poet Diane Tribitt). See the resulting poems here.



© 2008, Chanda Snook
Reproduction prohibited without express written permission
Learnin' the Ropes

The 2008 National Day of the Cowboy Art Spur featured  "Learnin' the Ropes," a photograph by Wyoming rancher and photographer Chanda Snook of South Dakota rancher Andy Ridley and Jesse Thybo. Read the selected poems here.




watercolor 12x18
© 2007 Don Dane Studio
Reproduction is strictly prohibited without authorization from Don Dane Studio
"Great Day to be a Cowboy"

The 2007 National Day of the Cowboy Art Spur featured  "Great Day to be a Cowboy," a painting by notable Kansas artist, Don Dane.  Read the resulting poems here.


photo by Jeri L. Dobrowski, obtain permission for reproduction rights
"Leadin' a Spare"

The 2006 National Day of the Cowboy Art Spur featured "Leadin' a Spare," a photograph of South Dakota rancher Robert Dennis by photographer and writer Jeri Dobrowski. Read the resulting poems here.










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