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Award-winning cowboy poet has Hotchkiss roots

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Photo submitted Drawing from his own experiences and observations of the western way of life, Floyd delights his audience with humor and by bringing alive original, classics and contemporary cowboy poetry.

Floyd Beard was named the Western Music Association (WMA) 2017 Male Poet of the Year at an awards show held Nov. 11 in Albuquerque, N.M. He was also the winner of the 2017 poetry contest.

Beard was a resident of Delta County for many years, and a 1973 graduate of Hotchkiss High School. He and his wife Valerie ranched and worked for ranches in the North Fork Valley after he graduated from Colorado State University with a bachelor's degree in agriculture (1977) and a master's in agriculture communications and public relations (1987). He taught school and was an administrator for Delta County Schools in the 1980s and '90s, which he claims helped pay for his cow habit. Currently Floyd and Valerie live and ranch in the canyons of southeastern Colorado near Kim.

Beard presents poems, songs, stories and poems born in the craft of everyday ranching. Beard also honors the history of the cowboy and rancher by reciting the classics handed down by the masters over the years.

Beard's poetry is about his own experiences and his observations of the western way of life. His stories are interwoven with his western code of high ethics and 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."

The Western Music Association, with membership worldwide, is an organization that encourages and supports the preservation, performance and composition of historic, traditional and contemporary music and poetry of The American West through excellence, creativity and professionalism.

Beard was the WMA Colorado Chapter president for three years. He also spent those three years winning many cowboy poetry awards in the U.S.A. including the National Cowboy Poetry Rodeo Silver Buckle winner in 2016, the 2016 Shoot Out Champion in Abilene, Kan., and the Western Music Association 2016 Male Poet of the Year. His poem, "Ain't a Hermit" was selected as Best Western Poem for 2016 by the Western Writers Association and was awarded the Spur Award.

He has three CDs. His most recent, "Short Grass Country," was released in August 2016.

Floyd can be contacted at Short Grass Studios, PO Box 124, Kim, CO 81049; febeard@yahoo.com; www.floydbeardcowboy.com; or 719-740-1000.

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Hotchkiss, People in the News, poet
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