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Cowboy Ethics

Stuck in a rut?  It can happen to even the most active of County Farm Bureaus.  You’ve done the same things for a number of years, because the events basically run themselves at this point.  This year, we’re encouraging you to take a hard look at your county Program of Work and make an intention effort to consider what you we can do differently in 2018.  There are amazing things happening in Farm Bureau all around the country and we want to help bring you a few fresh ideas this year.  
We interviewed staff and volunteers from county Farm Bureaus that won the County Activities of Excellence Award from the American Farm Bureau.  These awards acknowledge successful county Farm Bureau programs and activities.
Three and a half years ago, Dwight Moudy of Elkhart County Farm Bureau in Indiana began sharing the Cowboy Ethics Curriculum with schools in his area.  Today, he teaches the curriculum in 24 classes each week and interest in this program continues to blossom in schools throughout Indiana and other states. 
Cowboy Ethics, a curriculum designed for grades K-12 focuses on the 10 principles of the Code of the West: 
  • Live each day with courage.
  • Take pride in your work.
  • Always finish what you start.
  • Do what has to be done.
  • Be tough, but fair.
  • When you make a promise, keep it.
  • Ride for the brand.
  • Talk less and say more.
  • Remember that some things aren't for sale.
  • Know where to draw the line.
Dwight, a 20 year veteran on the Elkhart County Board of Directors shared more information about the program:
What is the name of your program and how long has your county Farm Bureau been sponsoring it? 
Elkhart County Farm Bureau is the sponsor of Cowboy Ethics Indiana. They have been sponsoring the program for 3 1/2 years.
 
Why did your County Farm Bureau begin this program?
I discovered Cowboy Ethics and brought it to the county board as a way we can impact our communities. We discovered that people all over the country are searching for a positive direction.
 
What was easy about planning this project?
I wish I could say this was easy, but it takes a lot of dedication, desire to make a difference, and willingness to invest time and energy.
 
What was difficult about planning this project?
The most difficult part of the program is getting the program to schools and other organizations.
What positive results have you seen from hosting this event?
We are seeing student after student put principles and values in to their lives on a daily basis.
 
Have there been any outcomes or results that you didn’t expect?
The program has grown explosively in the last three years; faster than we ever imagined.
 
How have you changed or adapted the program over the years you’ve been hosting it?
As the program has grown we have had to adapt the curriculum to be more teacher friendly.  At first I taught the majority of the classes, but now it has become impossible for me to get to all of the classes.
 
What have you and members of your Farm Bureau learned from hosting this program?
All of us at Elkhart County Farm Bureau have learned that we can make a difference in our communities.
 
What advice would you give to a County Farm Bureau who was considering hosting a similar program?
To get Cowboy Ethics going in your areas, you must find a person who has a passion TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE.
 
Cowboy Ethics is a 10 week curriculum that focuses on 45-minute weekly lessons in Math, Writing, Reading and more.  One of the goals of the program is to instill teamwork, leadership and empathy in students.  Moudy comments, “Kids need hope for the future, if we don’t give it to them who will?”  Because of the interest in the program, they are rewriting the curriculum in order to make it more user friendly for teachers to incorporate into class work themselves. 
Watch this video or visit Cowboy Ethics Indiana on Facebook to learn more about the program.  If you’re interested in learning how to bring Cowboy Ethics to your community, contact Dwight Moudy at cowboyethicsdwm@gmail.com


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