Texas Tech University

Cowboy Roundup USA Endowed Scholarship

The Cowboy Roundup USA Endowed Scholarship was established in 2006 with a donation from Cowboy Roundup USA, Inc. Mr. Quien "Cutter" Stapleton of Amarillo, Texas is President of Cowboy Roundup USA, Inc. and is the donor representative.

Cowboy Roundup USA, Inc. hosts an annual chuck wagon roundup and cooking competition in Amarillo, Texas in June. Cooks and cowboys from all over converge on Amarillo to compete on a grand stage. The event features some 40 chuck wagons from ranches across the country. Judges examine each wagon and camp for authenticity and assign scores in several categories. Cowboy singers and pickers entertain on stage at the new open air pavilion on the Amarillo fairgrounds.

Cowboy Roundup USA is one of the largest western events in the nation, with activities that include more than just the Chuck Wagon Roundup. Some of them are: Texas' Premier Western Vendor Show and Sale, a Junior cook cobbler competition, a horsemanship competition, a variety of cowboy entertainers, a chuck wagon breakfast and Cowboy Church, and all kinds of other "happenings".

The chuck wagon was invented in the 1870's by Col. Charles Goodnight, an Amarillo area rancher and former Texas Ranger. Goodnight is a western legend who established the JA Ranch in Palo Duro Canyon, first cattle ranch in the Texas Panhandle, and helped blaze one of the major cattle trails, the Goodnight-Loving Trail, from Texas into eastern New Mexico and Colorado. Goodnight saw a need for a rolling kitchen on the long cattle drives that were the norm in the 1870's and 1880's. He converted an old army wagon into a chuck wagon and the idea quickly caught on throughout the cattle industry. Every major cattle ranch used a chuck wagon on its spread and cattle drives. Soon, a good chuck wagon cook became a valuable part of the ranch operation as ranchers used good food as a way to recruit and retain the best cowboys.

The scholarship is awarded annual to students of any classification majoring in Range Management or Range Science. The students should have an interest in ranching and ranch management. Preference is given to students who may have future plans to work in ranching after graduation. The number and amount awarded annually varies.

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