Four individuals who have championed for beef and inspired others to do the same were honored during the annual Cattle Feeders Hall of Fame induction banquet, Aug. 1, in Denver, Colo. The late Robert “Bob” Rebholtz, Sr., and the late Willard R. Sparks were inducted into the Cattle Feeders Hall of Fame, a distinguished program honoring an elite class of visionaries and industry leaders. In appreciation for his scientific and academic contributions, Dr. Terry Klopfenstein was presented with the Industry Leadership Award. Hector Pacheco was recognized with the Arturo Armendariz Distinguished Service Award, which recognizes exceptional feedyard employees.
When Rebholtz and Sparks spoke, people all over the world listened, and rightfully so. Rebholtz was a visionary and founder of Agri Beef Co., a wildly diversified and one of the most respected companies in the beef industry. Sparks was regarded as one of the nation’s leading agricultural economists and businessmen. He also was internationally recognized as an authority on agricultural commodity research and analysis. Equally impressive and inspiring were their philanthropic efforts and community outreach. Rebholtz and Sparks were among five individuals selected by the Cattle Feeders Hall of Fame nominating committee. The slated nominees were then voted on by their peers. “Both Mr. Rebholtz and Mr. Sparks were extremely intelligent men whose contributions — both business related and philanthropic — will be felt for many generations,” says Randy Blach, CEO of CattleFax and the induction banquet emcee. “We lost these men far too soon. While we’re grateful for the legacies they have left behind, one can only imagine what more they had to offer.”
Klopfenstein, professor of ruminant nutrition at the University of Nebraska, is considered by many to be one of the most productive animal science pioneers. He is an internationally respected scientist and dedicated teacher. He has mentored hundreds of graduate students throughout his 45-year career, many of whom are recognized as excellent nutritionists.
Pacheco has dedicated more than 60 years of hard work and exceptional loyalty to the cattle industry. At the age of 78, Hector still oversees the care and well-being of the cattle and his cowboy crew seven days a week.