Jim Eggleston, a partner with the law firm of Eggleston King, LLP - Weatherford, said he was “humbled” when he received the word recently, of a governor’s appointment to the Texas Animal Health Commission, (TAHC).
Thirteen individuals serve on the TAHC, with ten of its commissioners coming from various livestock industries and professions. Eggleston was appointed as one of three public members to the commission.
“First, the appointment is humbling as you often think being selected for this kind of service on state boards and commissions, is for big donors, or people in bigger cities,” Eggleston said. “Obviously, Phil King was very instrumental in getting me an interview, and in touch with people in the governor’s office who look for commissioners and board members.”
He said the board was of particular interest to him because of its origins in the 1890s; its beginnings with Longhorn cattle; and its initial driving force being Robert Kleberg from the King Ranch.
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“So, it kind of wraps together Texas history, my passion for Longhorn cattle, and my professional involvement in agriculture,” he said. “And, if it can get a little visibility for Weatherford in some small way, so much the better.”
Before moving to Parker County, Eggleston practiced law in Dallas and Fort Worth and had a, “big firm” background he said. That all changed when he and his wife Sarah bought a ranch in Parker County in 2001.
“I then started practicing law on the Square in 2005, and we moved to [Weatherford] in 2006 when our youngest child went off to Texas A&M. We bought our first Longhorns about six years ago, when my wife made me sell my Harley,” he said with a grin on his face. “Our firm really came into its own with the addition of Phil King in 2008 and it has grown from there.”
Eggleston has practiced law for more than 35 years. He is board certified in Commercial Real Estate Law and Farm and Ranch Real Estate Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. He frequently writes for and speaks to continuing legal education groups of lawyers on farm and ranch topics. He has served on the State Bar of Texas’ Real Estate Legislative Affairs Committee and the Texas Board of Legal Specialization’s Real Estate Exam Committee. He has been named a Texas “Superlawyer” in Texas Monthly Magazine for the last five years. He and his wife run a herd of 25 registered Texas Longhorns and serves as general counsel for the Texas Longhorn Marketing Alliance.
In spite of his busy schedule Eggleston looks at Parker County with great fondness and admiration.
“The greatest people in the world live in Parker County,” he said. “They have been supportive of our law firm, my family, my law partner Phil King, and our cattle business - small as it is. Sarah and I often joke that we don’t see a need to go anywhere on vacation as the best place to sit and relax is on our porch on our ranch, look at our cows, all right here in Parker County.”
Eggleston’s term will expire on Sept. 6, 2021.
About the TAHC:
The TAHC was founded in 1893 and is one of the oldest state agencies in Texas. The commission was originally created to combat rampant fever tick outbreaks which has caused the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture to quarantine cattle from parts of Texas preventing their movement to northern rail yards and packing plants. Recognizing the crippling financial effects on the Texas cattle industry that these quarantines posed, the Texas legislature created the TAHC to protect Texas cattle from dangerous diseases and eradicate there causes. TAHC’s first leader was Robert J. Kleberg who oversaw the King Ranch in South Texas, but TAHC efforts to successfully reverse Texas cattle losses were not successful until 1911.
Today, the Commission works to protect the health and enhance the marketability of all Texas cattle, swine, poultry, sheep and goats, horses and exotic fowl livestock. The THAC has legislative authority to regulate the prevention, control and eradication of specific contagious or infectious diseases in livestock and poultry. The TAHC has eight regional offices and works closely with the US Department of Agriculture on livestock and poultry health. It also oversees the inspection of regulated livestock producing facilities, the compliance with state entry requirements and agency regulations, and the state’s response to natural disaster events and disease outbreaks affecting livestock or poultry.