Legacy of Texas ranching on display at Bush Library

The George Bush Presidential Library and Museum’s latest exhibit celebrates the importance of ranchers and their place in Texas history. The Legacy of Ranching: Preserving the Past, Embracing the Future showcases Texas ranches and highlights how they’ve changed over time. The exhibit, which opened March 2, will be on display in the Ansary Gallery until Jan. 8.

Warren Finch, the director at the George Bush Library and Museum, said the museum not only worked with ranching museums from across the state to put the exhibit together, but a key partner was the Department of Animal Science at Texas A&M. The department donated items and coordinated other donations for display through connections to ranchers from all over Texas.

“Texas A&M is at the forefront of agriculture here in the state of Texas — cattle breeding and improving cattle stocks, the heartiness of cattle for this climate,” Finch said. “We talked a lot about that and different breeds of cattle that are raised from ranches here in the state of Texas. They were very helpful there and helpful in the genetic component, that topic and the research. … They had a lot of the contacts because they’ve worked with these ranches throughout the state of Texas.”

Penny Riggs, associate professor at the Department of Animal Science at Texas A&M, said the inspiration for the exhibit came from George H.W. Bush’s connection to Ann and Tobin Armstrong of the Armstrong Ranch. Riggs had worked with the museum before — helping with the genome exhibit displayed a few years ago. The idea for a ranching exhibit formed shortly after that.

“It kind of came off President Bush’s connection to Ann Armstrong,” Riggs said. “Ann Armstrong, of course, was an ambassador to Great Britain and had a very important political career — but also her husband, Tobin Armstrong, was a real important force in the beef industry. And so, that was sort of our link where we started.”

Riggs said the department can use the exhibit as a tool inside the classroom.

“One of the important things is this did provide an opportunity to collect a lot of information, materials and videos,” Riggs said. “So, the plan is that these materials will be important educational materials we’ll be able to use for quite some time. We’ll be able to use in classes in the college and department and hopefully — we’re not sure exactly what will happen, but this a temporary exhibit over at the library, but we’re hopeful that these materials can be used in a way where it can be on more public display on campus.”

Guests can expect to hear, see and interact with many things, including the oral history of the ranches from their families, among other things shared via video displays, and a 12-minute video explaining more of the history of Texas ranches and what those ranches look like today. Other topics include conservation of resources like minerals and water and what a modern-day ranch looks like. A few of the centerpieces include a replica chuck wagon explaining cattle drives and a giant Brahman bull and how important they are to cross-breeding cattle in Texas.

“It’s very interactive, there’s a lot of components — a lot of video, a lot of audio and a lot of touch screens, a lot of great photographs of the ranches across the state of Texas,” Finch said.

Finch said the exhibit celebrates the history of ranches in Texas and should be of interest to area residents and visitors alike

“There’s a mythology in the state and with people around the country, when they think about Texas, they think about ranching and the ranches in the state of Texas,” Finch said. “Those ranches have great history — and that history is very interesting to kind of look into and the cultural artifacts, the fact that some of those families, generations and generations later, are still running the same ranches. … So, it’s a topic that people in Texas enjoy seeing and reading about, it’s also something people from outside the state who visit the Presidential Library are always so interested in seeing and reading about.”

The museum is open Monday through Saturday from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. and from noon to 5 p.m. on Sundays. For tickets and more information, visit https://bush41.org/.

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via source The Eagle  |  Legacy of Texas ranching on display at Bush Library


For more information regarding news from the Department of Animal Science, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Texas A&M University, please contact Maggie Tucker at maggie.tucker@tamu.edu or (979) 845-1542.

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