Christmas gift-giving ideas #1

Jeri L. Dobrowski
For the Nov. 28, 2009 edition of Tri-State Livestock News.

Regular readers of this column know that come November and December, they’ll find holiday gift-giving suggestions with a rural, Western flavor. There’s a little bit of something for everyone: young and old; those who enjoy books; those who like music.

My pick for the little cowpoke in your life is Cora’s Cowgirl Yodel by 8-year-old Cora Rose Wood. I had the pleasure of meeting Cora at the Western Music Association Convention. She was there with her parents, Duane and Laurie, and little brother, Bonner. The family made the trip from near Encampment, WY where Duane is the cow/calf manager on Colorado State University’s Beef Improvement Center.

I was delighted to learn that Cora had recorded an album, and even happier once I listened to it. The album contains three poems penned by Cora and seven songs, the title cut co-written by Cora and Paul Harris. (See a complete track listing at Cora does a fine job all the way around. I was especially taken with her vocals on “Cora’s Cowgirl Yodel,” “Cowboy’s Sweetheart,” and “Daddy Was a Yodeling Cowboy.”

Earlier this year, Cora was interviewed for a New York Post travel article. It’s safe to say the writer got more than he bargained for out of the deal. Besides discussing her upcoming appearance at the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering in Elko, NV, Cora gave detailed instructions on how to pull a calf. This pint-sized entertainer writes and sings from experience. (Watch Cora at

Cora’s Cowgirl Yodel sells for $13 postpaid from Wood Western Music, c/o Laurie Wood, HC 63 Box 18C, Saratoga, WY 82331;

Here’s a sure-to-please item for the cowboy poetry fan, a four-CD bundle of the highly acclaimed Bar-D Roundup. Edited and produced by the folks at and the Center for Western and Cowboy Poetry, The Bar-D Roundup is distributed annually to libraries through the Rural Library Project and offered to Center supporters as a premium. Through Dec. 11, 2009, you can order the full set – all four volumes – for $65 postpaid. That’s a savings of $15 (each is available separately for $20).

Each CD offers recordings of yesterday’s and today’s best cowboy poetry, both classic and contemporary. Among the 25+ tracks on each album are vintage recordings of Badger Clark reciting “Ridin,” Robert Service’s rendition of “The Cremation of Sam McGee,” and Gail Gardner reciting his famous work, “The Sierry Petes (Tying Knots in the Devil’s Tail).” The CDs have consistently received wide airplay and excellent reviews. Find links to all four volumes and complete track listings at

Send $65 to, PO Box 330444, San Francisco, CA 94133. (U.S. and Canadian orders are postpaid. Add $5 U.S. funds for other countries.) Order online by a secure credit card (PayPal account not required) at

If you prefer your poetry in print, consider My Father’s Horses by Bainville, MT day hand, DW Groethe. The 44-page chapbook contains 30 poems. Among them are two excellent examples of how a hard-working poet can effectively convey imagery in verse: “My Father’s Horses” and “This Old Post.” (Read the former at

Like Cora, DW has been invited to appear at the 26th annual National Cowboy Poetry Gathering in Elko. The 2010 gathering, which runs Jan. 23-30, will be the sixth appearance for the Montana singer/songwriter/poet.

To order My Father’s Horses, send $15 postpaid to DW Groethe, PO Box 144, Bainville, MT 59212. Groethe also has a hardback book, West River Waltz, and several recordings. For more on these items, go to or contact him at (406) 769-2312.

For a gift that will be enjoyed all year long, give the farmgirl in your life a subscription to MaryJanesFarm magazine. Developed by MaryJane Butters ( – who has 20 years of organic farming and ranching experience – the publication is devoted to healthy, eating, homecooking, and getting back to the farm. Besides having a charming outward appearance, the magazine is full of helpful and enjoyable features.

To get a feel for the magazine, take a peek at recipes and project instructions at In the event you’re skeptical about just how down-to-earth it is, check out the slide show from the June-July 2009 issue: “Watch my milk cow, Chocolate, Giving Birth to Molasses.”

One year gift subscriptions (6 issues) of MaryJanesFarm are $19.95 U.S. for the first subscription; $14.95 for the second. You may pay by credit card or have them bill you: MaryJanesFarm Magazine Customer Service, P.O. Box 420235 Palm Coast, FL 33142-0235;; 1-800-476-4611.)

Back issues are available in bundles of 4-6 magazines. Prices vary. Back issues ship from MaryJaneFarm headquarters, PO Box 8691, Moscow, ID 83843; (888) 750-6004;