The Syndicate raises millions of dollars each year to make the dreams of young livestock exhibitors come true.
An organization that makes a tremendous impact on Texas 4-H and FFA youth is being honored, as the Fort Worth Stock Show Syndicate receives the coveted Bill King Award for Excellence in Agriculture during the Fort Worth Stock Show’s Livestock Appreciation Day Luncheon Jan. 23.
The Fort Worth Stock Show Syndicate was founded in 1980 by a small group of Fort Worth businessmen led by Don Weeks. The original Syndicate members went to their first sale planning on spending $13,000. However, the allure of the kids got the best of them and the group spent $20,000. The next year, they established a charitable organization, began to solicit friends and business partners for contributes, and in 1981, they bought 59 seers and paid $130,000.
The contributions grew at an astounding rate each year. In 1983, James M. “Jim Bob” Norman took on leadership of the Syndicate and advocated scholarship funding for young agricultural leaders in 4-H and FFA organizations. Norman’s term was cut short when he died from Rocky Mountain spotted fever. However, his vision lived on with the creation of the James M. Norman Scholarship Fund.
Since 1980, the Syndicate has raised nearly $60 million for youth exhibitors, provided more than $1.8 million in scholarships for 4-H and FFA members and helped more than 8,800 youths pursue their agricultural goals. At the 2019 Junior Sale of Champions, the Grand Champion Steer sold for $195,000. In all, the sale raised a record $3.96 million.