During the 2019 Houston Livestock Show, Pleasanton resident and retired PISD ag teacher, Tom Heffernan received the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo Superintendent Lifetime Achievement Award.
“There are not enough words to express the way I feel about being in the first group to be made a Lifetime Superintendent of the Houston Livestock Show,” said Heffernan. “My 45 plus years working with the show have been rewarding and I just cannot find the words to express my appreciation. I am also appreciative of all the kind words and congratulations I have received. I thank each of you from the bottom of my heart.”
In presenting the award to Heffernan, the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo said, “We are recognizing superintendents that distinguished themselves for their expertise, countless hours and outstanding service to the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo. Mr. Tom Heffernan began working as Assistant Superintendent in 1972 with the late Professor Emeritus L.M. Hargrave, Texas Tech University. Mr. Heffernan was the Ag Teacher in Pleasanton and was appointed by Mr. Hargrave to help with the show due to his expertise in managing shows. Mr. Heffernan worked with the show for 30 years, primarily with the swine sift in Brenham. He was instrumental in managing the exit out of Brenham to Houston. The hours that Mr. Heffernan gave to this show and to the youth of Texas will be remembered forever. It is a pleasure and an honor to present Mr. Tom Heffernan from Pleasanton, the Lifetime Superintendent Award for the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo.”
Heffernan started his career in Nazareth after he graduated college from Texas Tech. He stayed there for five years then made a move to South Texas. He briefly left teaching ag to sell feed for seven years. He received a call from a Pleasanton school board member in 1975 to come teach ag. The answer was yes and he remained at Pleasanton High School until 1998.
Heffernan said he had a lot of backing from a lot of good people during his time at PISDE. “I had a good administration with Principal Larry Brown and Superintendent Darryl Pool,” said Heffernan. “They were the best. They never shut me down when I was appointed to boards and had to travel. They said it was a good advertisement for the school.” Heffernan said that he got spoiled by the two administrators, although that is hard to believe with what is known about his hardworking work ethic. “Both of those men were just so wonderful. You’ll never find another two like them.”
The Pleasanton FFA honored Heffernan with the 2019 Golden Eagle Award this year at the Pleasanton FFA Banquet. Heffernan can still be seen front and center at the Atascosa County Livestock Show every year where he serves as the ACLS board treasurer. This year’s sales at the ACLS were near one million dollars with a total of $925,175.