Raising quality Hereford cattle has always been a family affair for both Clifford and Barbara. Clifford’s parents and grandfather acquired a Hereford herd in the 1940s and started what was then known as Jack Copeland and Sons Hereford Ranch. Nestled just north of Nara Visa, N.M., five generations of Copelands have since called the ranch home.
Clifford and Barbara met showing cattle at the New Mexico State Fair, and in 1959 they assumed management of the Copeland family ranch. Fast forward, Copeland & Sons Herefords LLC now has two divisions and is home to more than 500 cows. Three generations of Copelands work on the ranch today — Clifford and Barbara; their son Cliff and his wife Pat; and their son, Matt. This year marked the ranch’s 75th anniversary. Clifford and Barbara note that Cliff, Pat and Matt have been vital in preserving the family legacy.
The operation hosts an annual bull sale in the spring and females in the fall. On the ranch’s 50th anniversary in 1993, the Copelands hosted the New Mexico Junior Hereford field day and Governor Bruce King declared the day as Hereford Day in New Mexico to help celebrate.
Clifford and Barbara have devoted decades of leadership to the breed. They have both served as advisers for the New Mexico Junior Hereford Association. Barbara saw through the formation of the American Hereford Auxiliary and was a charter member of the Auxiliary.
Past AHA president, Phil Harvey Jr., says, “I’m deeply honored to nominate Clifford and Barbara Copeland as they have not only have been outstanding Hereford breeders and ranchers but untiring, enthusiastic and loyal Hereford promoters and supporters all their lives.”