NEW MEXICO DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

MSC 3189, P.O. Box 30005
Las Cruces, New Mexico 88003-8005
(505) 646-3007

http://nmdaweb.nmsu.edu

NEWS RELEASE

November 12, 2000 Contact: Olivia Carrasco, Public Relations Specialist
For Immediate Release Ricardo Rel, Special Assistant to the Director
Office: (505) 646-2804

SECRETARY DUBOIS ESTABLISHES SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM
FOR NMSU RODEO ATHLETES

Las Cruces, NM - Secretary of Agriculture, Frank A. DuBois, is introducing his rodeo scholarship program designed to provide financial support for rodeo athletes. "I think rodeo athletes should be eligible for scholarships just like any other athlete, so I did something about it," says DuBois. The "DuBois Rodeo Scholarship" is available to rodeo athletes who attend New Mexico State University. The program is managed and facilitated through New Mexico Department of Agriculture and the NMSU Foundation.

Secretary DuBois is a strong supporter of rodeo and has participated in competitions for years. In 1990 he was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS), yet nothing stopped him from riding and competing for several years thereafter. DuBois proudly boasts that he won more prizes from rodeo competitions after he was diagnosed. However, he was forced to retire from the sport in 1998.

While it was the end of one chapter for DuBois, it was also the beginning of a new one. He diverted his energy to establishing the first permanent scholarship program for rodeo athletes at NMSU. The "DuBois Rodeo Scholarship" program is intended to keep rodeo an integral part of New Mexico. The scholarship’s primary role is to make sure NMSU attracts quality rodeo talent.

Historically, the first rodeo in New Mexico was held in Santa Fe in 1848. In 1949 the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association was created making New Mexico one of the thirteen states represented in the charter year. For the first time in 112 years, since NMSU opened its doors, a scholarship program specifically for NMSU rodeo athletes is being created. "This is something that’s been needed since the beginning of rodeo. We need to have scholarships available for rodeo athletes if New Mexico is going to compete at the national level," says Betty Sims-Solt, NIRA Rodeo Champion of 1956 and 1957.

Three time "World Timed Event Champion," Jimmy Cooper, says, " I think getting more scholarship funds for rodeo athletes is important. There are many young people involved in rodeo that are interested in furthering their education." Cooper adds, "Realistically, a rodeo athlete cannot make a living in the rodeo arena and so a good education is needed to fall back on when their days of competition are over."

DuBois is asking for help in making this scholarship program successful in providing financial assistance and support for rodeo athletes. For more information on the "DuBois Rodeo Scholarship" program, you may contact Frank DuBois at (505) 646-5063 or e-mail inquiries to Rodeo@nmda-bubba.nmsu.edu.

-30-