Craig Huffhines ’90 has been selected as director of the recently established Texas A&M Institute for Equine Sciences.
Huffhines returns to his alma mater in Bryan-College Station with a skillset spanning more than 30 years in equine-related academics and executive leadership. In joining the institute, Huffhines departs from his role as director of Equine Sciences and Wagonhound Land and Livestock Chair at Colorado State University.
“We are thrilled to have a leader of Craig’s extensive and significant expertise join us in leading what aims to be the premier global resource for equine advancement,” said Dr. John R. August, BVetMed, member of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons and the Carl B. King Dean of Veterinary Medicine at Texas A&M.
“The right leadership is critically important to the overarching mission of the new institute,” said G. Cliff Lamb, Ph.D., director of Texas A&M AgriLife Research. “Craig’s experience is exceptionally aligned with all the markers that our national search committee hoped to find in a candidate for this position.”
The new institute brings together world-class science, academic expertise and facilities to advance its mission — strengthening equine collaborations among public and private sectors and academia, enhancing the care and welfare of horses, improving research infrastructure, and providing top-tier education for students and professionals.
“The Institute for Equine Sciences can be the center of a united movement for collaborative research and education,” Huffhines said. “Opportunities abound for building, supporting and leading discovery in equine health and welfare, human-animal bond, breeding and management, and translating science into the best practices for horse owners.”
A career in equine science and leadership
Huffhines’ current role at Colorado State University involves coordinating undergraduate and post-graduate degree plans, research initiatives and services, equine sports teams, extension engagement, and livestock genetics advising and acquisition.
The Texas native served as chief executive officer of the American Quarter Horse Association in Amarillo from 2015-2021 and the American Hereford Association in Kansas City, Missouri, from 1997-2015. He was director of Certified Hereford Beef within the American Hereford Association from 1994-1997 and director of the association’s feedlot and carcass program from 1992-1994.
“Throughout my professional career, I have forged relationships with equine enthusiasts, industry leaders, scientists, agriculture producers, corporate executives and policymakers,” Huffhines said. “I have collaborated with hundreds of board members to steward industry direction, assembled committee teams to generate ideas, attracted industry investment for altruistic causes, and worked with educators to develop educational outreach programs.”
His roles have spanned the gamut of leadership responsibility, including business strategy, entrepreneurship and global collaborations across Asia, Australia, Europe and Pan-American countries. He brings extensive experience in donor development, research support, undergraduate experiential learning, internships and extension collaboration. Huffhines has also served as an advocate and mentor of youth breed association members, 4-H and FFA stakeholders, and undergraduate and graduate student programming.
He holds a bachelor’s degree in animal science from Texas A&M University and a master’s degree in meat sciences from Colorado State University.
Gabe Saldana is a Texas A&M AgriLife Marketing and Communications strategist focusing on initiatives of Texas A&M AgriLife Research, which includes 13 research and extension centers across Texas. Saldana was a news reporter and editor of the Mid-Valley Town Crier in Weslaco, TX, covering the Rio Grande Valley of Deep South Texas before joining Texas A&M AgriLife in 2014.