February 17, 2017
Willard Wolf, Spokane, Wash., was one of the “great” breed field representatives. He was born and raised in Oklahoma on a 300-head commercial Hereford operation and graduated from Oklahoma State University (OSU) with a degree in animal science and a minor in business law.
While at OSU he worked part time and summers for the Oklahoma Commission Co. buying and selling feeder and fat cattle at the Oklahoma City Stockyards.
After college he went to work for the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) as a livestock market news reporter working in Oklahoma City, San Francisco and Spokane, Wash. He then transferred to Washington D.C. where he was responsible for the national cattle slaughter estimate and coordinating national cattle industry market news and information.
In 1966 he accepted a position with the Foreign Agriculture Service and a private company that exported cattle, sheep, hogs and horses to foreign countries. While in this role he exported more than 5,000 head of Hereford cattle to Spain, Mexico, Portugal and Honduras.
Two years later Wolf was hired by the American Hereford Association (AHA) as a field representative for the Northwest. He moved his family to Spokane and served the Association in this capacity until 2001.
During his 33 years of service to the AHA, Wolf bought more than $12 million of Hereford bulls and females for ranchers who could not attend sales. He purchased cattle for ranchers in Mexico, Canada and Australia, as well as for cattle producers from across the U.S.
Believing youth are the backbone to the future of the beef industry, Wolf spent a considerable amount of time helping young people develop cattle programs who are now very successful in the Hereford business.
“Although he worked for the AHA for 33 years, we would not say it was a job but rather his life,” say Guy and Sherry Colyer of Colyer Herefords, Bruneau, Idaho. “Since retirement from the AHA his devotion to this breed has not ceased. He continues to promote Herefords throughout the U.S.”
In his retirement Wolf continues working with Hereford breeders, commercial cattlemen and feedlot operators. He still purchases bulls and females and ships thousands of feeder cattle to feedlots for the Certified Hereford Beef (CHB) program.