Selling a third-generation feedlot was not an easy decision. However, when the opportunity presented itself, Terry Crofoot took the chance to pursue a lifetime dream of ranching and raising horses.
Crofoot, who resides in Lubbock, Texas, always had a passion for raising and showing horses. After selling the family feedlot in 1996, Crofoot and his wife, Kelly, purchased land near Clarendon, Texas, to form Crofoot Ranches, LLP. Soon after, Crofoot started pursuing his dream of raising horses and showing in versatility ranch horse competitions.
As Crofoot expanded into the horse world, he reached out to others to become a better horseman.
“I got to travel with a lot of [horse training] clinicians, and it was a very rewarding experience for me,” Crofoot said. “I actually put on a few clinics myself.”
Spending time with clinicians and influencers inspired Crofoot to give back to the horse industry he had grown to know and love.
In 2010, Crofoot began contributing to the Texas Tech Equestrian Center. At that time, the facility was more of a liability than an asset, nor did it have the funding necessary to help keep it maintained.
“The people in charge didn’t really have a choice but to just kind of make do with what they had, and it was showing when I got there,” Crofoot said.
Crofoot said he quickly started working with the Texas Tech administration to organize committees and funding to improve the equestrian center facilities. By 2016, with the assistance of other committee members, he formed an executive committee to regulate each subcommittee and served as the chairman of this committee until August 2017.
It just creates an environment where you want to succeed.
“I felt like my main role was a liaison between the committee, the center and the administration at the university,” Crofoot said. “We had to educate them on what we were, so they would understand and try to help us. They’ve been very receptive. I’m really thankful for the people we’ve got in the administration right now. They are kind of fulfilling the dream I had for it.”
Looking back at his nine years with the Texas Tech Equestrian Center, Crofoot said he likes the facility because it is more than a physical location; it is a place for students to learn skills to use after college whether that is work ethic, time management, organization, or people skills.
“All of those skills you wouldn’t necessarily think of in relation to horsemanship, but in this particular case with students that are interested in the horses, it’s an avenue. The horse is just a tool to accomplish all those things.”
Crofoot said the people at the equestrian center also contribute to the students by providing the right mental environment.
“Both staff and other students all have a common goal,” Crofoot said, “and it just creates an environment where you want to succeed.”
Moving forward, Crofoot would like to see the facility and its reputation continue to excel with the support of the university and the Lubbock community.
“You know, it’s easy to say get bigger and better as a goal. Better is always a good goal, while bigger is not necessarily always a good goal. We’d like to see as many people that want to participate can, but there is a limit to the resources we have. We just need to use our resources wisely and provide the service to as many students as we can.”
Crofoot and his wife continue to be the top supporters of the Texas Tech Equestrian Center by donating their time and money to ensure the facility and students succeed.
“I think that we’re blessed to have the connection with the Texas Tech Equestrian Center,” Kelly Crofoot said. “We love the way that they produce young adults to go out into the world with a sense of responsibility, a sense of accomplishment, and also a sense of pride.”