The Wyoming Hereford Association- later named and known today as the Wyoming Hereford Ranch (WHR)- is the oldest, continuous registered livestock operation in the United States. The first calf bred and registered by Wyoming Hereford Association arrived Jan. 2, 1883. She was Lady Clara 2D, No. 25638 in the then 18 month old American Hereford Cattle Breeders Association registry.
In Forrest Bassford’s book Wyoming Hereford Ranch, Century of Endurance 1883-1983, he states that in 1921 the Wyoming Hereford Ranch took heed with a bull called Prince Domino. Bassford wrote that in 1981, the American Hereford Association’s Genealogical Listing of Hereford Sires devoted 79 of 100 pages to his descendants. “He and his progeny drew thousands here, forging WHR to breed preeminence from the 1920s well past 1900 midpoint.
In the early years of the Hales ownership of WHR, the herd was in need of a dominant sire. The bull BLR CL1 Domino 5109 was purchased in 1980 from Kansas’ Brush Creek Ranch for $261,000. The bull, nicknamed “Lerch” became in the 1980s by far and away the most dominant horned Hereford sire not only in the United States, but probably in the world.. Both Prince Domino, and “Lerch” have burial monuments located at the ranch headquarters dedicated to their profound influence to the Hereford breed in America and WHR.
In 1921 Henry Parsons Crowell, founder of the Quaker Oats Company, purchased the Wyoming Hereford Corporation. Officers of the corporation were George C. Lazear, Edward T. Lazear, and Robert W. Lazear. According to Crowell, Robert Wells Lazear was a graduate of the University of Michigan, trained as an engineer, strong, active, virile, a lover of nature, and an intelligent Christian. Bob Lazear continued to manage, and market WHR cattle until his death in 1957. Many samples of his innovative marketing techniques are displayed in the WHR office, including “Brands”, a professionally turned out monthly newsletter with a circulation of over 6,000 in 1921.
Wyoming Hereford Ranch, during Lazear’s tenure, became the most successful exhibitor in the history of the greatest of all carlot bull shows, the National Western at Denver. The first WHR grand championship was won in 1926, and this commenced a 29-year span in which WHR bulls were Denver carlot grand champions 20 times. Lazear seemed to take greater pride in this record than in any other of WHR’s accomplishments under his guidance.