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JIMMY JONES HAS A REPUTATION

BY BRUCE BRANUM

The Greenville Standard

 

Jimmy Jones, a Butler County native, has a reputation that speaks volumes in the longhorn cattle business. You don’t become called “The Legend” without earning it.

In fact, earlier this year, Jones was the tenth person ever to be inducted into the Texas Longhorn Breeders Association of America’s (TLBAA) Hall of Fame at the Jan. 12 Fort Worth Stock Show.

Jones was also honored with the 2023 TLBAA Elmer Parker Lifetime Achievement Award at the same show.

Considering the TLBAA currently has 3,800 adult and junior member and has been in existence since 1964, Jones is one of a very few special breeders to be honored with such distinction.

From his early teenage years, Jones indicated he began to develop of a love of cows and horses from local veterinarian Dr. Harold Autrey.

After graduating from Greenville High School, he joined the Marines and served in Vietnam for 13 months as a radio operator before being injured and receiving a Purple Heart.

In his mid-twenties, Jones interest in rodeo redeveloped and by the early 80’s he started concentrating on roping.

That is when his love for the Longhorn breed began. He purchased some longhorns and in his curiosity to develop a better breed, a lifelong passion developed into the Horseshoe J brand.

That passion was expressed in the January 2024 edition of Texas Longhorn Trails which stated, “His genius for breeding outstanding longhorns is superseded only by his humility, honesty, and willingness to help other breeders succeed, while seeking no recognition for himself…Jimmy’s passion for longhorns has been a commitment of hard work, “on a shoestring budget”, constant study, and research of pedigrees for the betterment of the entire industry.”

Jones noted that when he began breeding there were no 50-inch horn spreads in the longhorn breed, but through time and genetic selection, breeders are raising animals which can now have over 100-inch spreads.

He attributes his success with his breeding program to an innate ability to recognize traits in the animals that are desirable. And after 40 years of breeding, auctions, sales, partnerships and raising prize longhorns, he and his brand are often called “The Legend”.

Apparently, he has a gift. Jones has longhorns spread over much of the United States. One of his cows was named the 2023 TLBAA Most Iconic Cow.

At Jones induction ceremony, Dr. Ben Stone, TLBAA member, said “While most of us in this room recognize the unequivocal influence Jimmy has had on the longhorn breed, what, in my opinion qualifies him for the Longhorn Hall of Fame is the way he has bent and shaped this breed with the currents of honesty, humility, and an unselfish willingness to serve present and future generations of breeders – most times at the expense of his own time and at the cost of his own money.

“With that, Jimmy has accomplished something to which many of us in this room can only aspire… that when you see a Horseshoe J brand imprinted on an animal, you automatically know whatever is underneath it, has value.

“To me, the induction of anyone into a Hall of Fame signifies an outward acknowledgment of one individual’s accomplishments in building a team, a business, or an organization. Jimmy Jones helped build an entire community.

“Tonight, we honor the achievements of someone who has spent a great deal of their life breeding animals in search of their version of perfection.”

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