The History of the Longhorn Legacy Grant

Back in February of 2014, Bear Davidson and the late Ben Gravett were discussing the scholarship options for breeders in the industry. The frustration was that all the current scholarships were designed to help kids going into college and the industry wasn’t seeing the retention after college. Helping kids achieve their academic dreams is one thing. Flying under the flag that the helping the Longhorn youth’s college tuition is the future of the breed is something entirely different. So Bear and Ben talked about developing a grant for young breeders who were involved in the Longhorn world who also had post secondary education debt. This demographic of people were already invested in the Longhorn industry and almost a lost segment in our community.

However shortly there after this idea faded with the passing of Ben Gravett in April of 2014. Bear had sat on that idea for years trying to figure out how to incorporate that into the new and developing Longhorn industry. It wasn’t until 2017 and a conversation Bear had with a breeder who has been in the industry since the early 2010s that the flame was lit. This conversation was around the prefix “Lamb” on the bull Lambs Powerplay. This breeder of 7 years wanted to know what “Lamb” meant? Betty Lamb was a Longhorn breeder back in the 1980s and 90s who, with her fun and energetic style, brought flair to the Longhorn world. Everything she worked for and everything that “Lamb” meant had now been forgotten except for the few who were there during Betty’s time. It occurred to Bear that these people who've never experienced these prolific and out of this world are missing a huge part of what this Longhorn industry is.   

Currently at that time, and since then, it seemed like some great and powerful personalities within the Longhorn world had all seemed to pass away during this time period. Folks like Joe Valentine, Mike Bowman, Joe Graddy, Bill Le’An, John Allen, and Bill Davidson. The idea of tying this history into the grant became a huge motivating factor to get it to happen. How can we tie the past, present, and future together? We incorporate the giants of the past whose shoulders we sit on and allow us to see as far as we can.

In the summer of 2019 with the development of the Longhorn Legacy Group, Bear presented them with an idea to develop this grant, The Longhorn Legacy Grant. The new LLG wanted to not only provide a wonderful event for folks with the Legacy Sale and the Cherry Blossom Sale, but also give back. Being the first of it’s kind to also offer a philanthropic side of the company in the form of a grant. So thus it was established. An idea to give back to breeders who are here, working hard to make this industry better.

The application process

Texas Longhorn breeders are family. They have roots and youth, and, like any family, they have needs. The LLG is committed, on the one hand, to preserving and honoring roots of both the breed and of important breeders, and on the other hand to helping fellow breeders in need. Toward that end, “The Longhorn Legacy Grant is designed to help Longhorn families address the epidemic of education debit while, at the same time, making sure that the future of the breed doesn’t forget the past while immersed in the present. Whether that debt arises from loans for college, a technical school, or some other recognized educational institute for which student loans are available, the goal is to help pay down, or off entirely, educational debt for Longhorn breeders.

We understand the significant sacrifices that every breeder incurs when they become involved in this industry we love so much. The goal is to make a direct impact on those with heavy debit while, in return, asking them to help us all remember some of the Giants in this breed who are no longer here.

Those who apply for the grant will be asked to research and write an in-depth two-part essay about past breeders who made a memorable impact on the breed while alive. The first part will consist of interviews with friends and family of the person being remembered followed by a footnoted biographical sketch explaining the applicant’s involvement in the breed, including but not limited to a description of their program, why and how they become interested and involved in the breed, their goals, and how debt is affecting their progress and their life in general. Each report submitted, whether a winner or not, will become the property of the Longhorn Legacy Group, will be available with proper attribution, to breeders and the public, and may be published in trade magazines or other media. The Longhorn Legacy Group will be the sole judge of whether to make any award in a given year, and each award, if any, will be based on merit and not on any other criteria. Each year a panel of Longhorn breeders will be selected to review applications and to determine whether an award is justified and, if so, to whom it shall be given. Any winner will be honored and his or her check will be presented at the next Legacy Sale.

To Download your Application for the Longhorn Legacy Grant, CLICK HERE. Remember that applications are due March 1, 2022