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Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo lassos up record-breaking $500 million commitment to Texans

Rodeo lassos up record-breaking $500 million commitment to Texans

Rodeo Houston outdoor crowd
The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo has reached a major financial milestone. Courtesy photo

The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo is famous for breaking records — notably, for single-day rodeo or concert attendance (a prime example is this year’s Go Tejano Day, which saw 75,586 for one night).

Now, the venerable Houston institution is celebrating a new record, as it has exceeded $500 million in total commitment to support Texas youth and educational programs since 1932. The news comes as the rodeo announces an educational commitment of nearly $27 million for 2020.

This year, the rodeo will award more than $14.2 million in scholarships, more than $8.3 million to junior show exhibitors, more than $3.7 million in educational program grants, and more than $650,000 toward graduate assistantship programs, according to a release.

The rodeo released a breakdown of its financial commitment to education in 2020:

Scholarships
More than 800 scholarships will be awarded through the Rodeo’s nine scholarship programs in 2020, with each recipient receiving a $20,000 scholarship to apply toward a four-year undergraduate degree. Recipients may pursue a major in any field of study at an accredited, not-for-profit Texas college or university.

Junior show exhibitors
Each year, the rodeo draws thousands of Texas 4-H and FFA exhibitors to compete for the title of Houston Champion. Substantial prizes and premiums will be awarded to junior show exhibitors.

Educational program grants
Grants will be awarded to 501(c)(3) charities and accredited institutions of higher education that align with the rodeo’s mission. The Rodeo’s 2020 grant recipients include Brookwood Community, the Houston Grand Opera, NASA – Texas Aerospace Scholars, and The Center for Hearing and Speech, among others.

Graduate assistantships
Funds will also be awarded to graduate assistantship programs at 11 Texas universities, with each university program given the opportunity to administer the application and selection process.

“The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo is extremely proud to reach this extraordinary milestone,” said rodeo president and CEO Joel Cowley, in a statement. “Such a remarkable achievement would not have been possible without the longstanding support of our volunteers, attendees, donors, auction buyers, sponsors and staff.”