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Each year, at their Youth Cowboy Poetry Gathering, Cal Farley's Boys Ranch awards a Cowboy Poet Award.

The award was established in 2005 by poet Marion "Monty" Teel, in memory of his father, Marion Ray Teel (1937-1980).

Below is the description of the award and the winners, and information about Marion Ray Teel.


About the Award

Cowboy Poet Award Winners

About Marion Ray Teel


See our feature about the Cal Farley's Boys Ranch Youth Cowboy Poetry Gathering and read some gathering reports here.

For more information about the annual Youth Gathering, visit 
the Cal Farley's Boys Ranch Youth Cowboy Poetry Gathering web site.



Learn more about Cal Farley's Boys Ranch at
 the Cal Farley Boy's Ranch web site.


About the Award

The following information was provided by Monty Teel:


Cowboy Poet Award

Given by Monty Teel
In Memory of my Dad, Marion Ray Teel - My Cowboy Hero

Cowboy Poet Award

Cowboy Poetry captures the Western heritage and lore surrounding the cowboy way of life.  Recognizing young men and women who write and recite cowboy poetry will assist in preserving this art.  A $500 award will be given to the outstanding cowboy poet at Cal Farley's Boys Ranch each year. This award will be given to the junior or senior attending High School at Cal Farley's Boys Ranch and affiliates who demonstrates his or her talents in writing and reciting cowboy poetry.


Criteria for Applicants

1)     Applicants must be juniors or seniors in High School at Cal Farley's
        Boys Ranch and affiliates locations.

2)    Applicants must have at least a B average during the application year.

3)    Applicants must show proof of writing at least one cowboy poem.

4)    Applicants must keep a record of writing and reciting cowboy poetry.


Other Qualifications

Qualified applicants will meet the criteria above and have a record of
cowboy poetry activities attended.  Activity dates will be listed on the

The Cowboy Poet Award

A Cowboy Poet Award will be given annually.


Cowboy Poet Award Winners

Riley Tillman

Information provided by Monty Moncrief Teel:

Saturday night, June 16, 2007 I presented the Third Annual Cowboy Poet Award in the name of my father, Marion Ray Teel, my cowboy hero.  The award goes to the outstanding cowboy poet at Cal Farley's Boys Ranch. 

It was my honor to present the cash award to Riley Tillman.  Riley is 14 years old and tends to cattle and horses on Cal Farley's Boys Ranch.  Riley likes to team rope and he looks up to Chris Isaacs.  Riley was thrilled to get to team rope with Chris.  He also performed a couple of Chris' poems during the weekend. 

Riley is on the cowboy poetry team at Cal Farley's, which performs around the nation.  Tim Jobe does a great job as the cowboy poetry team coach.  Cal Farley's is a special place with special kids.

2007 Cowboy Poetry Award winner Riley Tillman with Monty Teel



Russell Dougless

Information provided by Cal Farley's Boys Ranch:

Russell Dougless, 17, has lived at Cal Farley’s Boys Ranch, near Amarillo , Texas , for almost five years, and has been a member of the Boys Ranch Cowboy Poetry Team for one. He has performed at Cowboy Gatherings and community functions including the Working Ranch Cowboy World Championship Rodeo in Amarillo and the Saddle Up Event in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee . Russell won the youth open-mike poetry session at the 2005 Youth Cowboy Poetry Gathering, and performed on stage with Don Edwards and the Gillette Brothers during the Saturday evening concert. Russell won his weight class this year in district wrestling and advanced to the regional competition. He also rides bulls and is a member of the Cal Farley's Boys Ranch High School Rodeo team.

Russell first got involved in cowboy poetry after his older brother Robert came home from performing in the Saddle Up event in Pigeon Forge Tennessee in February of 2005.  At that event Robert talked Waddie Mitchell into autographing  a copy of his book, Waddie's Whole Load, to present as a gift to Russell.  He brought the book home and gave it to Russell who began reading and memorizing the poems in the book.  He would come into the office of Tim Jobe occasionally and perform new poems he had learned.  He was encouraged to perform in the kids' open mike sessions at the Cal Farley's Youth Gathering that summer where he earned the privilege of performing at Pigeon Forge.

2006 Cowboy Poetry Award winner Russell Dougless with Monty Teel


Robert Dougless

Robert Dougless was the 2005 Cowboy Poetry Award winner. Robert was invited to perform at the Western Folklife Center's National Cowboy Poetry Gathering, in January, 2006. 

An article in the March/April, 2006 issue of Cal Farley's newsletter, The Roundup, comments on the Dougless brothers, "Robert and Russell believe that building self-confidence and public speaking skills are only a few of the lessons learned. The brothers also enjoy the competitive camaraderie with each other and the little taste of stardom their new talents have brought them.


About Marion Ray Teel



Monty Teel writes, "My name MARION can be traced back five generations to my father--MARION RAY TEEL, named for his uncle MARION EARL TEEL (killed when bucked off a horse January 12, 1927, age 25, born November 12, 1901 and RAYE MILLER (his mother's brother). Marion Ray (my father) was killed when putting out a big round bale of coastal hay for his dairy cows and the front end loader on the tractor raised too high and the bale fell on him and broke his neck December 11, 1980, when he was 43 years old."



Read Monty Teel's poem dedicated to his father, "Things My Father Taught Me," at his web site: www.montyteel.com








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