Charles W. “Doc” Graham ’53, DVM, and Terry Hlavinka ‘85, were honored on Jan. 18 at The Austin Club in Austin with the Texas Agricultural Lifetime Achievement, TALL, and Distinguished TALL Alumni agricultural leadership awards, respectively presented by the Governor Dolph Briscoe Jr. Texas Agricultural Lifetime Leadership program of the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service.
Hlavinka received the TALL Distinguished Alumnus Award, presented by Eric Turpen, TALL alumni president and mayor of Littlefield.
Graham received the TALL Achievement Award presented by Marcus Hill, chairman of the TALL advisory board and chairman and president of Ag Workers Insurance.
“Both Terry Hlavinka and Charles Graham have distinguished careers in agriculture and have made key contributions to Texas,” Jim Mazurkiewicz, Ph.D., professor and TALL program director. “Their leadership serves as a model for the TALL program. We are honored to recognize these distinguished Aggies for their contributions in Texas and across the nation.”
John Sharp, Chancellor of The Texas A&M University System, introduced Texas House Speaker Dade Phelan, who gave the evening keynote.
Charles W. “Doc” Graham ’53
Graham is one of the world’s top equine veterinarians. The Texas A&M Veterinary Medical Diagnostics Laboratory and veterinary school facilities in the Texas Panhandle bear his name.
In addition to his renowned reputation in equine medicine, Graham is a leader in Texas’ horse and cattle industries and a tireless volunteer, advocate and youth mentor. He is the only individual to serve as president for both the Texas Quarter Horse Association and the Texas Thoroughbred Association. He is also the only person to be selected as Horseman of the Year by both associations. He is a member of the American Quarter Horse Association Hall of Fame, the Texas Rodeo Cowboy Hall of Fame, the Texas Horse Racing Hall of Fame and the Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame.
Graham earned his bachelor’s degrees in animal husbandry in 1953 and animal science in 1954 and his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine in 1961, all from Texas A&M.
Terry Hlavinka ’85
Hlavinka, a TALL alumnus, is president and general manager at Hlavinka Equipment Co. He is a former yell leader at Texas A&M and is part of a family line of former students. His brother, Kenneth ’90, is a former Aggie Bonfire Redpot, and their father, Joe ’56, is a former commanding officer in the Corps of Cadets.
Joe is also a current member of the College of Agriculture Development Council. Terry and Kenneth’s grandfather founded Hlavinka Equipment Co. in 1939. Today, several third- and fourth-generation family members operate that business, led by Terry Hlavinka.
Hlavinka earned his bachelor’s degree in agricultural economics from Texas A&M in 1985.
Preparing future agriculture leaders
TALL, a two-year program led by AgriLife Extension, provides intensive study of agriculture worldwide, enhancing industry professionals with leadership skills in their respective fields. Participants represent a cross-section of professional interests, including traditional crop producers, ranchers, agriculture bankers and attorneys, as well as those who work in lumber, food processing, agricultural corporations and horticultural industries from all geographic regions of Texas.
“TALL is a competitive leadership development program that includes seminars with experts, on-site visits, meetings with business and government leaders, international study and personal skills improvement,” Mazurkiewicz said.
Prior TALL award recipients
TALL Achievement Award recipients:
Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo – 1999
Governor Dolph Briscoe Jr. – 2001
Hal Hillman – 2003
James Powell – 2005
Charlie Stenholm – 2007
Kika de la Garza – 2009
Larry Combest – 2011
Jim Prewitt – 2013
Marcus Hill – 2015
Bob Stallman – 2017
Dan Taylor – 2019
Mike Conaway – 2021
Charles “Doc” Graham – 2023
Distinguished TALL Alumni Award recipients:
Mike Petter – 1999
Jimmie Wedel – 2001
Albert Purnell – 2003
Barry Evans – 2005
Ben Weinheimer – 2007
Charles Ring – 2009
Clint Robinson – 2011
Glenn Schur – 2013
Garry Merritt – 2015
Jennifer Yezak – 2017
Tanya Foerster – 2019
Jim McAdams – 2021
Terry Hlavinka – 2023