Dr. Jim Heird, executive professor and coordinator of the Equine Initiative at Texas A&M University, will deliver the annual San Antonio Livestock Exposition (SALE) Leaders in Agriculture lecture Wednesday, Feb. 19 at Sul Ross State University.

Heird will speak at 7 p.m. in the Espino Conference Center, Morgan University Center. There is no admission charge and the public is invited. This year’s lecture celebrates 25 years of excellence and support between SALE and Sul Ross.

Prior to accepting his present position at Texas A&M in 2009, Heird director of Teaching and Outreach for the Equine Sciences Program at Colorado State University. He graduated with a B.S. in Animal Husbandry and an M.S. in Animal Genetics from the University of Tennessee. His doctorate is in Animal Behavior from Texas Tech University.

Heird has received numerous honors, including the USDA’s Honor Award and The Outstanding Leadership Award from the National Horse Judging Team Coaches Association. In 2009 he was named Horseman of The Year by the Colorado Horse Council. He has trained World Champion youth riders and shown World Champion horses.

He has an international reputation in the field of Equine Sciences and has lectured on numerous topics nationally and internationally. Heird has been an American Quarter Horse Judge since 1976. In that capacity, he has judged 11 World Championship Shows for the AQHA, 15 national shows in many countries and has lectured in numerous national and international judges’ seminars. He is a Past Chairman of AQHA’s Judges Committee and is presently Chairman of the AQHA Show Committee.

The Sul Ross-SALE association dates back to 1987, when Sul Ross was invited to submit a proposal to the San Antonio Livestock Exposition (now the San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo) for funding consideration. In March 1988, members of the SALE executive committee visited Sul Ross, toured the agricultural instruction and laboratory facilities, visited with faculty, students, and area ranchers, and culminated their visit with the presentation of a $75,000 gift to establish two endowments – the SALE Scholarship Endowment and the SALE Excellence Endowment.

During the past 25 years, SALE endowments have exceeded $907,000. With additional scholarship and fellowship commitments, the organization has contributed more than $1.5 million to Sul Ross, making it one of the largest single contributors to the university. The San Antonio Livestock Exposition Equine Center was named in its honor by the Board of Regents of the Texas State University System.

Scholarship awards are made to freshmen in agriculture and directly related areas who qualify for participation in the Sul Ross Freshman Leadership Program. Criteria for selection include strong academic performance, as well as demonstrated leadership potential indicated by involvement in 4-H, FFA, interscholastic competition, and other activities.

For more information, contact Dr. Rob Kinucan, (432) 837-8201 or

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