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Houston to serve as parade grand marshal; Monday’s event to feature longtime educator, dairy man


Copyright © 2021 Roswell Daily Record

Selected as this year’s Eastern New Mexico State Fair parade grand marshal, John Bradley “Brad” Houston has played a crucial role in agriculture in New Mexico.

Houston’s dedication as a local educator ensures that his knowledge of agriculture leaves a mark on future generations.

Houston graduated from Fort Sumner High School in 1946. In January 1951, Houston graduated from the New Mexico College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts with a Bachelor of Science degree in agriculture. In June 1957, he completed his Master of Arts from the same school.

After college, Houston served in the U.S. Army from April 1951 until April 1953. He spent six months in Korea during this time, then returned home to marry Elaine Black in the summer of 1953.

Continuing to follow his agricultural background, Houston began working as a teacher at Roswell High School in 1953. During his time as a teacher, he started the Vocational Agricultural Program in 1954, remaining in this program until 1967.

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During his 14 years at Roswell High, Houston served as an FFA adviser. He also served as vice president for the New Mexico Vocational Association for one year, then became president the following year.

Houston also served as vice president, then president, of the New Mexico Agriculture Teacher’s Association. In addition, his students were awarded the National Gold Emblem Chapter for 10 years, the State Gold Emblem Chapter for 10 years, and the State Sweepstakes winner for four years.

Houston served as the superintendent of the Farm Products and Farm Mechanics Division at the Eastern New Mexico State Fair for 10 years, and eventually moved to Las Cruces in 1967 to teach agriculture engineering classes at New Mexico State University for three years.

From 1970 until 1982, Houston managed Price-Black Farms in Arrey, just south of Truth or Consequences. This was known as the dairy show place of the Southwest, hosting many tours, as well as many 4H and FFA contests. Price-Black Farms was also home to the All-American Guernsey Bull and the top milk-producing Guernsey Cow in the country for five years.

In 1982, Houston returned to Roswell, where he became vice president and general manager to Price’s Roswell Farms until his retirement in 2003. At Price’s Roswell, he was instrumental in improving genetics to make the dairy one of the best in all of the Southwest.

Price’s Roswell Farm milked 2,400 cows, raised replacement bulls and heifers, and sold herd sires to other dairies, according to data recorded by the Dairy Herd Improvement Association in Provo, Utah.

During his 30-year dairy career, Houston also served on many more boards across the city and state. He spent nine years on the National Dairy Advisory Board for Farm Bureau. For five years, he also served on the AMPI Milk Market Board, which was instrumental in bringing Leprino Cheese to Chaves County.

Houston also served on the Dairy Farmers of America Southwest Council Board for three years, and the DFA Resolutions Committee for two years. He was a member of the Central Valley Electric Cooperative Board for 18 years, serving as president for three. This board sets policy for the pricing of electricity in the southeastern portion of New Mexico, and has strived to keep power available for those in need of hookups.

For six years, Houston served on the First United Methodist Church Board of Trustees, and for 15 years was an usher for the church. For 10 years, Brad was on the New Mexico Plant Center in Artesia Advisory Board, working as a liaison between farmers and NMSU and encouraging the center’s testing to improve the quality of alfalfa.

Furthering his involvement at NMSU, Houston was part of the NMSU Dairy Advisory for three years.

He was also president for three years and a member for 10 years of the Sierra County Farm Bureau Board, and from 1983 to the present he has also served on the Chaves County Farm Bureau Board. This board sponsors the Kids & Cows program and provides 3-5 scholarships a year for high school seniors.

From 2005-13 Houston served on the New Mexico Farm Bureau State Board, and has been an agriculture representative to the Chaves County Chamber of Commerce, helping to sponsor the Rise with Roswell Agriculture Business Breakfast.