FORT WORTH, Texas (Feb. 12, 2020) – The Fort Worth Stock Show Syndicate (FWSSS) celebrated its 40th year in style as the organization shattered its fundraising record by nearly $800,000, as $4.749 million was awarded to Texas 4-H and FFA youth exhibitors at Saturday’s Junior Sale of Champions.
It was the eighth consecutive year that the FWSSS raised more than $3 million, and the first time to top $4 million. The previous record of $3.96 million was set in 2019.
Included in the 2020 total was a record-setting purchase of the Grand Champion Steer of the Show for $300,000. That mark smashed the old record by $40,000. In addition, the Reserve Grand Champion sold for $200,000 making the first two lots sold inside West Arena worth half a million dollars. The Grand Champion has sold for at least $195,000 each of the past nine years, and has averaged a price tag of nearly $225,000 over that timeframe.
In all, nearly 300 steers, lambs, barrows and wether goats were auctioned on Saturday. The FWSSS also set a record by obtaining 435 steer commitments from sponsors and donors, nearly 50 more than in 2019.
Since its inception in 1980, the Fort Worth Stock Show Syndicate has now purchased more than 9,000 animals at a total price in excess of $64.2 million. After this year’s record-breaking sale, the organization has distributed more than $24 million to exhibitors since 2014. Every dollar goes to the youth who raised the award-winning animals.
“The Sale of Champions was absolutely incredible,” Fort Worth Stock Show Syndicate chairman Trey Gordon said. “It was an unbelievable way to honor these talented, hard working young people and to celebrate 40 years of the Syndicate.”
Additionally, the Syndicate helps children pursue their educational and agricultural goals. This year, the organization again awarded a total of 24 $10,000 scholarships (12 for FFA, 12 for 4-H) to students as part of the James M. “Jim Bob” Norman Scholarship Fund. Over its history, the scholarship fund has distributed more than $2 million to area students.
For its efforts over four decades, the FWSSS was the 2020 recipient of the coveted W.A. “Bill” King Award, which recognizes a business, individual or family that has significantly contributed to agriculture or to the agribusiness industry.