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K-State Today

January 8, 2015



Faculty member to perform cowboy poetry at Gov. Brownback's inauguration

By Communications and Marketing

Ron Wilson, a rural development specialist at Kansas State University and a Kansas cowboy poet, will perform at Gov. Sam Brownback's inauguration ceremony on Monday, Jan. 12. The ceremony will be on the south steps of the State Capitol Building in Topeka.

Wilson will conclude the ceremony by performing an original cowboy poem about the history of Kansas and its pioneers. Wilson wrote the poem for the inauguration, which will be his first performance of the piece.

"I am very honored to take part in this ceremony," Wilson said. "Kansas has a great Western history and this is an opportunity to honor the legacy of the Kansas pioneers."

Wilson is director of the Huck Boyd National Institute for Rural Development at Kansas State University. He also studies Western history and has performed original cowboy poetry at national and international events.

Cowboy poetry involves rhyming verse that focuses on the lifestyle of the cowboy, Wilson said. It celebrates the independence, bravery and positive values of cowboys.

"Gov. Brownback has been very supportive of our efforts to promote and preserve Western culture in Kansas," Wilson said. "Kansas has played a fundamental part in the history of the West and I am excited about this opportunity to share our rich heritage."