PURPOSE & HISTORY
The Ranching Heritage Association, originally known as the Ranch Headquarters Association, was conceived by ranchers and historians who recognized the need to preserve ranching history and tradition.
Founders of the organization sought to address the loss of historically significant ranch structures to time and the elements. Chartered as a Texas non-profit corporation in 1969, the Association’s stated purpose was to preserve the physical, social and cultural aspects of ranching and to perpetuate the traditions intrinsic values and history of one of our nation’s most important industries.
As a major supporter of the National Ranching Heritage Center, the Ranching Heritage Association funds the ongoing preservation of historic ranch architecture and acquisition of outstanding art and artifacts, the documentation of ranch history and culture, and the presentation of exhibits and education-based programs. Among the RHA’s annual events are the Boss of the Plains Award recognizing outstanding support of the RHA and the National Golden Spur Award presented to one who has contributed significantly to the advancement of the ranching industry nationally. Public programming includes professional panel discussions on contemporary issues such as wind turbines and wildfire research, and Ranch Day and Candlelight at the Ranch, both of these ongoing for more than a quarter-century.
The Ranching Heritage Association has offices in the Christine DeVitt Wing at the National Ranching Heritage Center. This historical park and museum, dedicated in 1976 in Lubbock, Texas, was established to preserve the history of ranching and pioneer life in North America. Forty-eight authentic, furnished or outfitted ranch structures have been relocated to the NRHC from some of the West’s well-known ranches and show the evolution of ranch life from 1780 through 1950. The outdoor art collection includes 38 pieces of life-size bronzes. Seven museum galleries feature permanent as well as temporary exhibitions of art, photography and artifacts that help to capture the interest of visitors and supporters who enjoy Western history.
To send an email directly to a staff member, click on their name below.
Executive Director – Jim Bret Campbell
RHA Unit Manager – Vicki Quinn-Williams
Helen DeVitt Jones Director of Education – Julie Hodges, M.S.
Education Coordinator –Shelby Schwartz
Outreach Coordinator – Sue Jones
Security Supervisor – John Gonzales
Special Projects Manager and Curator of Art – Scott White, Ph.D.
Curator of Historic Collections – Robert Tidwell, Ph.D.