Dear Friends,

As some of you may know, Fort Worth’s enduring nickname—Cowtown—emerged in the days of the Old West, when trail-weary stockmen herded longhorn cattle through the dusty streets.  Now, for three weeks each year, Fort Worth transforms back into the city of cowboys as thundering bulls and bucking broncs thrill spectators at the annual Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo.

For many decades, I’ve loved attending the rodeo with friends and family, and this year was no exception. As one of America’s longest continuously operating rodeos, the Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo celebrates our district’s rich cowboy heritage and inspires and empowers the next generation of Texas leaders in agriculture and livestock.

This year was a very special year for our Fort Worth tradition, marking the rodeo’s debut at its new home in the Dickies Arena. On the inaugural weekend of this year’s rodeo, I was excited to attend again and bring my kids, J.D., Chelsea, and Brandon, just as I have since they were young.

The new Dickies Arena—all 560,000 square feet of it—will continue to transform into a palace for the rodeo every winter, with its 156,000 square foot livestock building, a new pro-rodeo tournament with a record $1,000,000 purse, and chances for local high school students to compete in 13 rodeo events for almost $30,000 in college scholarships. As a former high school teacher and now grandparent to high schoolers, I know firsthand the importance of inspiring our youth in becoming productive and active participants in our community. To date, the Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo has provided millions of dollars in grants and scholarships to unlock the potential of future leaders in Texas agriculture and livestock management.

As I shared with you in my last newsletter, I hosted a NASA astronaut at Weatherford High School two weeks ago. Now, I’m thrilled to share that just last week, one of those talented North Texas teens who won big at one of the Stock Show and Rodeo’s FFA competitions was one of Weatherford High’s own students! The Fort Worth Rodeo itself is a testament to the Texas community spirit, as almost 2,000 volunteers keep the show moving smoothly before, during, and after its three-week run.

A beloved tradition of Fort Worth and the American West, this year’s rodeo extravaganza runs until February 8, in a grand new setting that gives life to the rodeo’s slogan “This thing is legendary!”


Kay Granger