Dr. James Heird Brought on Board to Bridge TAMU Equine Programs

COLLEGE STATION, TX – Internationally renowned equine scholar, Dr. Jim Heird has joined the Texas A&M family.

Heird was hired as a joint appointment between the College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences (CVM) and the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences as Executive Professor and Coordinator of the Equine Sciences Initiative.

“For many years, Texas A&M has been home to some of the finest equine scientists and clinicians in the nation,” said Dr. Eleanor Green, dean of veterinary medicine. “We are so fortunate to be able to bring in another exceptional faculty member that will help to synergize the efforts between the CVM and the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.”

This new Equine Studies position has been established to bring the equine programs in the CVM and in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences together to better leverage the assets and talents in both colleges.

“Each of these colleges has an excellent equine program,” states Heird. “If we can combine the efforts of these two programs we will be able to improve teaching, outreach and research in equine sciences which would benefit both our students and the equine industry.”

The first order of business for Heird will be to do a complete assessment of each program.

“We will look at what assets each program currently has and where we can grow greater collaborations,” says Heird. “These might be anything from teaching integration to advanced facilities. We’ll just have to see what’s available.”

Once Heird has analyzed the assets in both colleges, his challenge will be in helping faculty develop collaborative efforts and finding new ways to reach out to the equine industry.

“The equine industry is such a major contributor to the economy of our state,” said Dr. Mark Hussey, vice chancellor and dean for agriculture and life sciences. “And Texas A&M is better positioned than any other institution to support this industry with research and teaching.”

Heird came to Texas A&M from Colorado State University where he was director of teaching and outreach for the equine sciences program.

“Colorado State has an excellent equine program and I will definitely miss working there, but the number one reason I chose to come to Texas A&M is that it has the resources and faculty necessary to have the best equine program in the world,” says Heird.

Along with the physical assets of Texas A&M, Heird also was attracted to the spirit of the University.

“Aggie spirit and pride and the history of excellence of the College of Veterinary Medicine and the Animal Science program really leads you to believe that there is a desire to be great,” comments Heird. “I think with the resources and desire we have here we can not only be great, we can and will be the best.”

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