A Word From AQHA’s New Executive Vice President

AQHA Executive Vice President Craig Huffhines takes the helm at AQHA Headquarters.

Craig Huffhines, the former executive vice president of the American Hereford Association, began his new role as AQHA executive vice president April 1. Huffhines was chosen for the leadership role after a five-month, extensive search involving a six-member search committee and executive search firm Witt/Kieffer.

Huffhines shares some of his thoughts and goals:

“I cannot begin to tell you how excited my wife, Mary Jon, and I are to be in Amarillo to work for AQHA. I am anxious to attend upcoming events where I can get to know more of our AQHA members who love the American Quarter Horse.

AQHA President Dr. Blodgett and I have spent a lot of time outlining his priorities as president. As we talked, it was interesting how much overlap there is between the beef cattle and equine industries. Dr. Blodgett’s priorities – animal welfare, breed integrity, breeding responsibility, member growth and retention, customer service, solid communication and fiscal responsibility – are all very similar to the priorities that the leaders focused on at the American Hereford Association.

“That crossover extends to ranchers – those who produce American Quarter Horses and beef cattle. They are the foundation of many breed associations. I saw this firsthand at AQHA convention as we inducted Director Emeritus from Colorado Tom Bradbury – a breeder of Hereford cattle and Quarter Horses – into the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame.

“Wednesday, April 1, was my first day in the office, and after parking in front of AQHA’s headquarters and making my walk into the building, I felt goosebumps traveling up my spine. The legacies of our great horse and the people associated with it, coupled with the respect and reverence I’ve held for AQHA reminded me of how lucky I am to have been selected to help take this great Association to new heights.

“A special thank you to outgoing Executive Vice President Don Treadway Jr. and the AQHA Executive Committee for making this a smooth transition and clearing the path for me to forge ahead. While I realize my learning curve is a big one, I trust that as I delve into all that has made AQHA great, I can count on AQHA members, directors and board members to help me understand your perspective, so that together we can achieve many more successes.

“I also look forward to all of you getting to know my family – my wife of nearly 25 years, Mary Jon, and our sons: Seth, who is graduating from Texas A&M University on May 15 with a bachelor’s degree in animal science and who will begin medical school in July at Kansas City University; our middle son, Cole, who graduates from high school on May 17 and will attend Texas A&M in the fall; and our youngest son, Miles, who will be an eighth grader and is excited to become a Texan. He will be getting involved in 4-H and athletics.

“I am ready to learn and grow within AQHA while continuing to build a broader base of admirers of America’s horse – the American Quarter Horse. And I am already AQHA Proud.”

Join us on Facebook to send well wishes to AQHA’s new executive vice president and to bid a happy retirement to Don Treadway.