JoAnn Dawson was raised on a dairy and livestock farm with numerous top honors in FFA and 4-H, followed by a degree in Animal Science and a Masters in Ag Education. JoAnn decided to leave the farm life behind and move to New York City to pursue her dream of acting. She worked as a petite model, appeared in several national magazine ads, and traveled across the country as a Magician’s Assistant before deciding to return home and marry Ted, her college sweetheart.
She continued to work in TV and film, earning her Screen Actors Guild card (SAG name – Jodi) and winning principal roles in commercials and several major motion pictures, including The Sixth Sense and 12 Monkeys. In addition, she and Ted work as animal wranglers for multi-media productions.
JoAnn is the author of the award - winning Lucky Foot Stable series for ages 8-12 and Bed, Breakfast & Beyond, a memoir. She also delivers an inspirational speech, Success In Twenty Words or Less, to high school students.
In 2020, her screenplay Cream of the Crop was produced and directed by DBM Films and is now available on Amazon Prime and other international platforms.
JoAnn teaches Equine Science at Cecil College in North East, Maryland. She is a member of the Maryland Horse Council and the Farm Bureau and a board member of the North East Chamber of Commerce, the Cecil County Economic Development Commission, the Cecil County Tourism Committee, and a fellow in the LEAD Maryland program.
Together now for nearly 40 years with two grown sons, the Dawsons own and operate Fairwinds Farm & Stables, Inc., selected as a Maryland Horse Discovery Center and inducted to the Cecil County Business Hall of Fame, and voted the Tourism Business of the Year and Cecil County Outstanding Farm Operation.
Known for its diversity, Fairwinds Farm is a “destination” farm and B&B, featured on Good Morning America, in The New York Times, The Baltimore Sun and Country Woman, Horse & Rider and Maryland Life Magazines.