NMDA 2021 Rounders Awards - SantaFe.com
Cowboy hat, boots, rope and gloves - Adobe Stock image

Cowboy hats, boots, and jeans were the preferred attire at this week’s New Mexico Department of Agriculture Rounders Award ceremony. This style of dress was perfectly appropriate for a celebration of those who “live, promote, and articulate the western way of life.” The Rounders Award was created in 1990 by former New Mexico Secretary of Agriculture Frank DuBois and the name comes from the title of a Max Evans novel. Max himself was the first recipient of the award and his widow, Pat, also a Rounders Award recipient, was in attendance at the ceremony October 26, 2021, at the New Mexico Farm & Ranch Heritage Museum in Las Cruces.

2021 NMDA Rounders Award recipients
The 2021 NMDA Rounders Award recipients with Secretary of Agriculture Jeff Witte: Archie West, Stephen Zimmer, Anne Hillerman, and Etienne Etcheverry.

Before this week’s ceremony, 27 writers, artists, musicians, humorists, and other supporters of the western way of life had been awarded the title of Rounder. Some years, only one award is given, such as 1993 when cowboy humorist Baxter Black joined the fold. No awards was given in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This year, four new Rounders were presented a plaque: cowboy cartoonist Etienne “A-10” Etcheverry, New York Times best-selling author Anne Hillerman, rancher, musician, and actor Archie West, and prolific western writer Stephen Zimmer. New Mexico Secretary of Agriculture Jeff Witte presented the awards. Secretary Witte noted the venue was ideal as Max Evans was one of those who strongly supported the creation of the museum, which shares the story of agriculture in the state.

After the new Rounders were acknowledged, new and past recipients in attendance gathered for a photo, bringing together a wide spectrum of New Mexicans who share the western way of life with the world. Learn more about the 2021 recipients.

NMDA Rounders Award recipients
New and previous recipients of the NMDA Rounders Award at the Oct. 26, 2021, ceremony with Secretary Jeff Witte.

Previous Rounders Award recipients

1990
Max Evans, author

1991
Marc Simmons Cerrillos, historian

1992
Michael Martin Murphey, country western singer

1993
Baxter Black, cowboy humorist

1996
Pablita Velarde, artist

1997
Elmer Kelton, western writer

1999
Chuck Stock, publisher

2000
Howard Bryan, author
Alvin Davis, author
Grem Lee, western illustrator

2002
Denny Gentry, team roping entrepreneur

2021
Forrest Fenn, art collector/writer
Slim Randles, columnist/author

2013
Johnny D. Boggs, author
Donn Bullis, historian/author

2014
Pat Evans, editor/artist
Reynaldo “Sonny” Rivera, sculptor

2015
Gary Morton, cowboy painter

2016
Ollie Reed Jr., western reporter
Rod Taylor, musician

2017
Jim Harris, author/editor
Curtis Fort, artist
Rosemary Wilkie, saddle maker

2018
Robert “Shoofly” Schufelt, artist
Irvin Trujillo, weaver

2019
Dino Cornay, artist
R.W. Hampton, musician

2021
Etienne “A-10” Etcheverry
Anne Hillerman
Archie West
Stephen Zimmer

Written and photography by Cheryl Fallstead

This article was posted by Cheryl Fallstead

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