“No matter what brand you ride for, give ’em 110 percent.”
Geffrey Bert “Geff” Dawson was born Feb. 8, 1961 in Abilene, Kansas to Glen and Joan Dawson. He was raised on the rural outskirts of that famous cattle town of Abilene. In 1979, he graduated from Abilene High School. His high school activities included playing in a stage band and drumming in the school chorus. He also competed in wrestling and in the Kansas High School Rodeo Association. He continued rodeo competition at the college level while attending Kansas State University where he studied Animal Science and Agricultural Education.
Shortly after college, he married Dawn Heideman at Abilene in 1985. They have two children, Justin Lee Dawson and Carmen Nicole Matzke; and a granddaughter, Haddie Elizabeth Matzke. Geff holds memberships in the Western Music Association, the Kansas Chapter of the Western Music Association and Academy of Western Artists Association, and is a founding member of Cowboypoetry.com. In 2005, he was chosen as the performer from Kansas to appear on “Best of America by Horseback.” In 2006, he won both the People’s Choice Award and the Champion Cowboy Poet at the Colorado State Fair, and was the National Champion Poet in Utah.
He was the featured performer for the “Salute to the Great American Cowboy” at Branson, MO in 2008, 2009 and 2012. He has performed for the returning troops at Fort Riley, was the featured cowboy on the belt buckle at the Wild Bill Hickok Rodeo, Abilene, and won the Best of the West National Champion Cowboy Poet. In 2010, Geff’s CD, A Tougher Horse, hit #1 on the playlist for cowboy poetry CD’s. In 2010, 2011 and 2012, Geff performed at the Symphony in Flint Hills. In 2012, for the fifth year in a row, he was chosen by both Purina Mills and Olathe Boot Co. to represent their cowboy image. Geff currently owns and manages the historic 2 bar D ranch near Alma, Kansas and manages the historic Illinois Creek Ranch in Wabaunsee County.
Year inducted: 2012