The organization also shows its dedication to people through its scholarships. In 2022 alone, the rodeo awarded over 800 scholarships totaling more than $14.1 million. The organization provides scholarships for Texas students from Houston and surrounding areas and those participating in programs like 4-H and FFA. More than 6,000 Aggies have attended Texas A&M thanks to the support of a rodeo scholarship. "Providing that avenue for a young person to have an opportunity they otherwise wouldn't—that makes the experience truly meaningful to me," Boleman shared.
Riding Into the Future
The rodeo has become a part of Houston's culture, and during COVID, the surrounding community felt its loss. With no rodeo to host, Boleman and his team began planning bigger and better things for its return, such as featuring women’s breakaway roping all 20 nights. Most importantly, it gave them time to consider the rodeo's future and values.
"You can never settle," Boleman said. "You have to keep pushing and seeing what people are interested in and how they want to be part of the show. A diverse urban community like Houston allows us many opportunities for partnerships and growth."
The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo will endure within the minds of Texans and people across the globe as an event that provides community. Boleman will continue to innovate and improve the rodeo, but his primary focus will always be the people.
"When you establish those types of relationships and work together to accomplish a goal, there is nothing else like it," Boleman said. "We get caught up sometimes in all the noise and opinions, but seeing these folks giving up their time, talent and treasures as they work towards a common goal is astonishing."
Interested in supporting students who will bring their Aggie values to the agriculture industry? Contact Jennifer Ann Scasta ’11 below to learn more.