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Perez honored as Hereford Herdsman of the Year

New Mexico

Pictured at the 2009 National Western Stock Show (l to r) are: Wes Hudson, American Hereford Association Board member and chairman of the show and sale committee, Harrison, Ark.; Kyle Perez, 2009 Hereford Herdsman of the Year, Nara Visa, N.M.; and Bill King, AHA president, Stanley, N.M. (Courtesy photo.)

Kyle Perez, Nara Visa, N.M., was selected as the 2009 Hereford Herdsman of the Year at the National Western Stock Show in Denver. Perez was selected for the award by his peers--other Hereford herdsmen and breeders--and honored prior to the selection of the champion horned Hereford bull on Jan. 17.

Perez is a third-generation Hereford breeder. He grew up participating in junior Hereford activities, including serving on the National Junior Hereford Association board of directors and winning senior showmanship in 2002. In 2004, at his final Junior National Hereford Expo, he was named the junior Herdsman of the Year.

Following graduation from Kansas State University in 2005, Kyle decided to move back home to work on the ranch and continue C&M Herefords with his parents, Michael and Connie Perez.

Since graduating to the adult ranks, Kyle has bred and shown numerous national champions including the 2009 National Western reserve grand champion horned female.

Howard Fehlman, a former Hereford Herdsman of the Year, mentored Kyle and his family when they started showing Herefords in the early 1990s. Howard fit and showed many C&M-bred cattle prior to Kyle and his brother, Drew, being old enough to go on the show road and manage the cattle themselves.

"It has been a real pride for me to watch Kyle grow up and see what he has accomplished in the Hereford business," Howard says. "There is no quit in Kyle. What makes him a great herdsman is his work ethic--his willingness to stay and work till the job is done. He doesn't do anything half way, with Kyle he is going to do it to the best of his ability, every time."

Kyle and his family value the showring and the opportunities it allows them in marketing their cattle, but Kyle says what he enjoys most about the cattle business is calving season and branding time. He admits he spends just as much time horseback and roping as he does with a pair of clippers. Whether on the ranch or at a show, Kyle and his wife, Tonya, his parents and Drew, work as a team to make C&M a success.

"It's an honor," Kyle says about being named Herdsman, "In my opinion the biggest honor you can receive as a fitter or breeder."

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