Robert “Bob” Rebholtz and Willard Sparks were inducted posthumously into the Cattle Feeders Hall of Fame at a ceremony at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Denver, Colo., on Wednesday evening. Also honored during the event was Terry Klopfenstein, recipient of the CFHOF Industry Leadership Award, and Hector Pacheco, recipient of the Arturo Armendariz Distinguished Service Award.
“While the contributions of these individuals are unique, what binds our honorees together is their steadfast dedication, determination and devotion to leaving the cattle-feeding community a better place than they found it. And, they have,” says Jim Miles, Merck Animal Health Feedlot Segment Marketing Manager and Cattle Feeders Hall of Fame founding partner. “The Cattle Feeders Hall of Fame is one of the most rewarding programs. We are humbled and honored to play a small part in celebrating these inspirational industry heroes.”
2012 Cattle Feeders Hall of Fame Inductees
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.”
Established in 2009, the Cattle Feeders Hall of Fame celebrates the rich traditions of the cattle feeding industry and recognizes individuals who have devoted their careers to preserving its mission and improving production practices.
Previous inductees include: 2009 – Paul Engler, Cactus Feeders; W.D. Farr, Farr Feeders. 2010 – H.C. “Ladd” Hitch Jr., Hitch Enterprises; Kenneth Monfort, Monfort Feeders; 2011 – Lee Borck, Beef Marketing Group and Innovative Livestock Services, Inc.; Dave Wood, Harris Feeding Company.