Four individuals receive 2021 Rounders Award


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Contact: Brandon Larrañaga
Communications Assistant, New Mexico Department of Agriculture
blarranaga@nmda.nmsu.edu
575-646-1864
Oct. 26, 2021

Four individuals receive 2021 Rounders Award

Etcheverry, Hillerman, West, Zimmer celebrated as champions of Western culture

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LAS CRUCES – New Mexico cartoonist Etienne “A-10” Etcheverry, author Anne Hillerman, rancher/musician/actor Archie West and writer Stephen Zimmer all received a 2021 Rounders Award for their contributions to preserving the Western way of life. 

The award is named after “The Rounders,” a classic Western novel written by New Mexican Max Evans. Created in 1990 by former New Mexico Agriculture Secretary Frank DuBois, the purpose of the award is to honor those who live, promote and articulate the Western way of life. This year’s recipients join 27 previous honorees, including Evans as the inaugural award recipient. Evans passed away in 2020 at the age of 95.

New Mexico Secretary of Agriculture Jeff Witte presented the awards to Etcheverry, Hillerman, West and Zimmer Oct. 26 at the New Mexico Farm and Ranch Heritage Museum in Las Cruces.

Witte said that these four recipients wholly embody everything that Evans and the Rounders Award represent.

“Max and I discussed the future of the Rounders award several years ago, and he was adamant about it continuing,” said Witte. “I am proud of the legacy Max has left in Western culture, and this year’s award winners are perfect recipients who ‘live and articulate the Western way of life’ – the words that serve as the foundation of this award. We miss Max, but his impact lives on through the Rounders!”

Cartoonist Etienne Etcheverry with a horse.
Cartoonist Etienne Etcheverry is a 2021 Rounders Award recipient. The Rounders Award, named after the classic Western novel written by Max Evans, serves to honor those who live, promote and articulate the western way of life. (Photo by Kathy Smith)

Etcheverry is a second-generation Basque-American who was raised in southeastern New Mexico and attended New Mexico State University. He is a renowned cartoonist best known for his depictions of Wild West tales through illustrations featured primarily on his calendars. Etcheverry received the Academy of Western Artists Award for 1998 Cowboy Cartoonist of the Year. In 1999, he was elected into the Cowboys Cartoonists International Organization. He is always looking for new tales and stories to translate into one of his trademark cartoons.

Author Anne Hillerman wearing a grey jacket and green scarf
Author Anne Hillerman is a 2021 Rounders Award recipient. The Rounders Award, named after the classic Western novel written by Max Evans, serves to honor those who live, promote and articulate the western way of life. (Photo by Jean Fogelberg)

Hillerman thoroughly enjoys living in the West, especially after moving from Oklahoma. She graduated from the University of New Mexico before working as a newspaper journalist for several years in Santa Fe and Albuquerque and eventually beginning a career as a non-fiction author. When her father, mystery author Tony Hillerman, died in 2008, Anne determined that the series he had started more than 50 years prior would continue. Her central character, officer Bernadette Manuelito, famously solves mysteries on the Navajo Nation and beyond. Her inaugural novel, “Spider Woman’s Daughter,” received the prestigious Spur Award from Western Writers of America. That book, and the five that followed it, all became New York Times bestsellers.

Black and white photo of rancher Archie West sitting on a saddle
Rancher and musician Archie West is a 2021 Rounders Award recipient. The Rounders Award, named after the classic Western novel written by Max Evans, serves to honor those who live, promote and articulate the western way of life. (Photo by Stephen Guion Williams, All Rights Reserved)

West was born on a homestead south of Santa Fe in 1937. His family moved to another homestead in 1943 – the same house West continues to live in to this day, over 80 years later. After serving in the Army, West started his own cow/calf operation in 1962. He has been in the cattle business for over 50 years. Soon, West’s reputation as a cowboy found its way into the spotlight. His neighbor, Marc Simmons, used West as a model for photos of a cowboy that Simmons needed while writing a book. Author Jack Schaefer, author of western novels “Shane” and “Monte Walsh,” used West – his neighbor – as the inspiration for the ideal cowboy. West continues to live the ranching lifestyle to this day.

Western writer Stephen Zimmer wearing a black cowboy hat
Writer Stephen Zimmer is a 2021 Rounders Award recipient. The Rounders Award, named after the classic Western novel written by Max Evans, serves to honor those who live, promote and articulate the western way of life. (Photo by Toby Kessler)

Zimmer has studied and written about the cattle industry for more than 50 years. For 25 of those years, he served as the Philmont Scout Ranch Director of Museums in Cimarron. He has written hundreds of articles about Western art and ranch life that have appeared in such magazines as Western Horseman, Ranch Record, Cowboy Magazine, Southwest Art and New Mexico Magazine. He is also the author of more than 10 books, including “Horses and Cattle and A Double-Rigged Saddle” and “All in a Day’s Riding: Stories of the New Mexico Range.”

For a list of past Rounders Award recipients, visit https://www.nmda.nmsu.edu/rounders-awards-ceremony/.

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