Rob. B. Hooper
February 20, 2017
Rob Hooper, Springerville, Ariz., was introduced to ranching in 1945 after he returned from 47 combat missions as a gunner in World War II. His wife, Mary, had grown up on a commercial Hereford operation in Oregon. They worked for her parents at first and then, with still very little experience, started their own small commercial ranch in Nutrioso, Ariz. They added to their outfit in 1953, when they purchased a nine-section ranch in Springerville. Although the ranch needed some work, they built a herd of well-bred Hereford cattle and, thus, began in the registered cattle business.
Since then Rob has produced quality horned and polled Hereford seedstock for 54 years on the Hooper Hereford Ranch. Throughout the years the Hoopers continued to expand and grew to encompass 31 sections in Arizona and New Mexico.
Fellow Hereford breeder, Lee Hutchens, Fallon, Nev., says since Rob started in the business, “He has never wavered in his devotion to the Hereford breed and has been tireless in mentoring, promoting and encouraging others.” He has done this through being active in the Arizona and New Mexico Cattle Growers Associations and serving as president of the Arizona Hereford Association and advisor for the Arizona Junior Cattle Growers Association and the Arizona Junior Hereford Association.
He and Mary helped with countless 4-H, FFA and junior association field days and activities. They helped start the Arizona National Junior Heifer Show and Sale. Because of his involvement and dedication, Rob was named Arizona Cattleman of the Year in 1999.
Hooper Hereford Ranch was named premier exhibitor at the 1985 and 1997 Arizona National Stock Show. Its success spanned decades; its cattle topped sales and won shows in Arizona and New Mexico and around the country starting in the ’60s. Although the majority of the cattle now belong to his grandson, Daric Knight, Hooper still keeps about 20 head to stay involved.
Rob and Mary’s children and grandchildren are involved in the cattle business thanks to their leadership in the industry. Their eldest daughter, Roxanne, and her husband run a Hereford-based commercial operation in Springerville and their sons, Daric and Lance and their wives, also raise cattle and help Rob. The couple’s son, Steve, and his wife continue to raise registered Herefords at Hooper Cattle Co., Quemada, N.M. And, although their younger daughter, Sharyl, lives in Scottsdale, Ariz., she returns often to visit the ranch.