Ranch management students find real-life application at the Fort Worth Stock Show

superfrog-at-fwssrAs the 118th Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo begins its three-week stint at Will Rogers Memorial Center, TCU Ranch Management students, professors and alumni are participating in one of the ranching community’s largest exhibitions.

“For many ranchers, the stock show is the primary way to show and determine the value of their livestock,” said Chris Farley, who holds the Southwestern Exposition and Livestock Show endowed professorship at TCU. “For the big ranchers, the show not just about selling cattle. It’s about bragging rights and reputation, too. It’s a big deal to say you won at Fort Worth.”

This year, the Ranch Management class will attend the Commercial Heifer Sale on Friday, Feb. 7 with a specific assignment: Pick the best pen of heifers. “We assign each student a working ranch and task them with selecting the right pen of heifers for their ranch,” Farley explained. “Each ranch is unique. There are a lot of qualities to look for when making that decision, so it gives the students an opportunity to apply what they’ve learned in the classroom in a very real way.”

The Stock Show also incorporates a youth exhibition program that encourages young people to pursue careers in livestock and agri-business. Young people between the ages of 9 and 19 years old and who are enrolled in 4H and FFA programs arrive in Fort Worth to exhibit their livestock and compete for a cash grand prize. “Many of our current students and alumni competed in similar shows growing up. With that kind of background, a lot of them end up working on their own family ranch or in the agriculture business,” Farley said.

Ranch Management faculty also volunteer at the Stock Show. Professors Chris Farley and Jeff Geider presented awards at the Chisholm Challenge, an event for riders with disabilities. Kerry Cornelius will help facilitate the Intercollegiate Livestock Judging Contest. Farley also serves on the greeting committee, which welcomes exhibitors and rodeo riders to Fort Worth.

Thursday, Jan. 30 is TCU Day at the Stock Show. Visitors wearing TCU apparel will receive free general admission to the Stock Show grounds. TCU students are eligible for $10 tickets to the rodeo with a valid student ID (Jan. 30 only; $19 value). More information is available at www.fwssr.com.