Jim Heird, MS, PhD, executive professor and coordinator of the Equine Initiative at Texas A&M University, is a 2017 inductee into the Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame—the highest honor bestowed on individuals who have shown excellence in competition, business, and support of rodeo and the western lifestyle in Texas.

Heird is the second vice president of the American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA) and a former AQHA director for Texas and Colorado. He has also served as chairman of the judges committee, shows committee, international committee, show council, and the animal welfare commission. Heird is also an honorary vice president of the Uruguayan Quarter Horse Association.

“Dr. Jim Heird is one of the finest men I know,” said Charles W. Graham, DVM, owner of the Southwest Stallion Station in Elgin, Texas. “He deserves to be in the Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame. Texas is a better place because of Dr. Heird, and I am so grateful to know him and see what he has done and continues to do for the Western life style, our great state, and our future through the students he teaches.”

Heird is the former extension horse specialist at North Carolina State University, a former instructor/professor at Texas Tech University, and has held various dean/director positions at Colorado State University in the colleges of agricultural sciences, and business and equine sciences program. Heird holds the Dr. Glenn Blodgett Equine Chair at Texas A&M University.

“Jim is a most deserving recipient of this award,” said Glenn Blodgett, DVM, chief veterinarian at Four Sixes Ranch in Texas. “He spent his entire professional career educating and mentoring students and horsemen. Jim has been and continues to be devoted to the well-being of the horse as well as the Western lifestyle.”

An AQHA judge from 1977 to 2015, Heird has judged AQHA World Championship shows, multiple international championships, and National Reining Horse Association futurities. He was on the executive committee of the National Western Stock Show and is an ex-officio director of the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo.

He graduated from the University of Tennessee with a BS and an MS and has a PhD from Texas Tech University. He and his wife, Eleanor M. Green, DVM, Dipl. ACVIM, Dipl. ABVP, the Carl B. King Dean of Veterinary Medicine at Texas A&M University, live in College Station.

Heird was inducted at a ceremony, which is one of the premier events prior to the Fort Worth Stock Show, held at the Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame Museum, on Jan. 12.