Assessment of the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo Scramble Heifer Program
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By tradition, the scramble heifer program has been portrayed as a strong animal project for which youth participate. These projects are yearlong; require a time commitment, monetary support, and dedication from the students. Animal science projects are well known for teaching life skills such as leadership, communication, working with groups, making decisions, and work ethic. Therefore, this study was developed to determine the life skills gained and the educational influence youth acquire as a result of raising a breeding heifer from the scramble program and the associated economic costs. The development of a participant questionnaire was used to address the above aforementioned purpose. The questionnaire was developed by Dr. Chris Boleman and the researcher, in conjunction with the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo. The questionnaire was administered via (web) mailing techniques through the assistance of the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo. The census included 400 calf scramble participants for the years 2005, 2006, and 2007. The survey consisted of 60 items and included scales on demographics, life skills obtained, management of project, and educational and/or career goals questions. Conclusions showed that the calf scramble program enhanced the youth?s life skills in many areas. Focusing on the development of accepting responsibility was the life skill that was most influenced. In addition to the life skills gained, the calf scramble had an impact on the educational goals of youth. 84% of respondents said that participating in the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo Calf Scramble Program contributed to their educational goals. Contributions included increased motivation, focused goals; livestock knowledge gained, allowed them to start a college fund, and influenced their career choice. The associated economic cost concluded for maintaince of a project was an average of $5,443. Therefore the cost for the youth is known to be spread out across multiple areas. As a result of this study, the researcher recommends that youth should be encouraged to take part in the calf scramble program at the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo. In addition, it should be promoted to youth to involve themselves in other leadership-developmental activities through other programs to further enhance their life skill development.
Kuhl, Merrideth M. (2009). Assessment of the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo Scramble Heifer Program. Master's thesis, Texas A&M University. Available electronically from