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It’s Stock Show time in Fort Worth. Matthew Garcia, director and Southwestern Exposition and Livestock Show Professor in Ranch Management, explained to TCU News why this legendary event has such staying power and why it is essential to the field of agriculture.

mattgarciaThe Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo has been around since 1896. In an ever-changing society, what keeps this event so alive and well?  

The Fort Worth Stock Show is well respected and steeped in tradition. It has always been and continues to be an event that has things for the agricultural community, but also does an excellent job of educating the non-ag community and providing educational and entertaining events for everyone regardless of background.  

Can you speak to the economic impact of this major event and the economic impact of this industry on Fort Worth as a whole?  

In terms of economic impact, this just further solidifies Fort Worth as “Cowtown.” People will always come to Fort Worth for the Stockyards, but the Stock Show brings people from all over the country to participate or just be part of the event. This infusion of people into Fort Worth using hotels, restaurants and other retail entities has such a significantly beneficial impact from an economic standpoint.  

What is the importance of events like rodeos and stock shows in fostering interest in young people for things like ranch management?  

Rodeos and stock shows have become so mainstream that they not only draw in people from ag backgrounds, but they also draw in people that may not have an ag background but want to become part of our industry. These programs that involve youth are essential to creating interest in the TCU Ranch Management program. Once these kids get involved in agriculture, many of them realize its importance and fall in love with it. TCU Ranch Management’s job is to ensure that we let these kids know that there are opportunities to extend your knowledge in the agriculture industry and let them know there are programs like ours that will help you make it a career.  

FacultyQ&AThe stock show and rodeo are unique in that it’s family entertainment, yet it’s very much a source of industry business. What are your thoughts on how those things merge together?  

I think they have to merge together. We as an industry need to do a better job of educating our consumers – the general public – about agriculture, and the stock show and rodeo introduces us in an entertaining and educational fashion. I believe it is a good introduction to the people of this industry and how hard they work making sure their animals are well cared for and ensuring they are producing the best agricultural products for our consumers.  

Your position is actually the endowed position of the Southwestern Exposition and Livestock Show. What significance does that hold to you?  

When I found out that I was going to receive the Southwestern Exposition & Livestock Show endowed professorship, I was extremely honored. To be associated with the Stock Show on that level and to know that they value me in this program has had a profound effect on me, and I feel so privileged to receive this honor.  

What if any is TCU Ranch Management’s involvement with the FWSSR? 

We have always had some relationship with FWSSR, however, we would like to expand that relationship. We are right down the street and we have history together, so it only makes sense that we expand that relationship and that TCU does whatever we can to help FWSSR remain elite and continue to new heights of greatness.   

What is your personal favorite rodeo event? Stock show
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Every athlete at the rodeo is inspiring to me. However, I am very partial to the steer wrestling event. As far as attractions go, I love going to the tradeshow and seeing all the new technology and innovative agricultural products. 

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