The History of the Boys Ranch Rodeo
Fulfilling a Need in a Young Life
Cal Farley saw a need for a place for at-risk youth and with the help of like-minded benefactors and corporations, Cal Farley’s Boys Ranch began to meet that need in 1939. Over the decades since, we’ve learned as much from the boys and girls we’ve helped raise as they have from us. Those early partnerships did more than just give those first boys a place to live and a wholesome environment in which to grow up. They created a foundation for many of the things our family counselors, development professionals and teachers use each day. Today, that infrastructure has been codified into our Model of Leadership and Service® – six areas of need that we have learned must be advanced and nurtured to positively impact human beings of all ages, be they our youth, our leaders or our team members.
Model of Leadership and Service®
One of the first things Cal Farley instinctively knew was that young minds and bodies crave adventure. And like Safety, Belonging, Purpose, Achievement and Power; Adventure became one of the six key areas of emphasis when our child development professionals began to analyze why and how our model works to help stabilize at-risk children and allow them to grow in a positive direction.
Sharing the Rodeo Excitement
In 1944, when the Cal Farley’s Boys Ranch Rodeo began, it was a means to supply that adventure and share the excitement to entice visitors to come to Cal Farley’s Boys Ranch to see the spectacle.
Cal Farley also wanted the boys of the Ranch to not feel so socially removed from the town of Amarillo. He decided to allow the children to host visitors for a meal and a show. The boys hosted 100 visitors at that first rodeo, and since, the rodeo and number of guests have increased each decade.
Today it’s much, much more – sure, there are boys on broncs, but there’s mutton bustin’ for the youngest kids, too. There’s also barrel racing and pole bending for our girls, and stick horse barrel racing for our youngest residents who reside at Girlstown. Even kids who don’t compete in the Rodeo still have an important job to do! They sell programs, work in concessions, help with traffic control and help with the dozens of other jobs required to put on an event of this magnitude.
Click HERE to learn more about today's Boys Ranch Rodeo +adventureFEST