By Glenda Price
(partially re-printed from the New Mexico Stockman)
August 2005 -- Now and then, when the selection of the person to receive an association?s highest honor is announced, that selection is universally greeted with, ?Yes, of course.?
The New Mexico Wool Growers, Inc., (NMWGI) announcement that Bob Naylor of Roswell, N.M, had been chosen Sheepman of the Year was one of those rare occasions.
His friend and fellow sheepman, Tom Runyan, says, ?Bob Naylor has a reputation throughout the West as being a very honest man, and I feel very honored to call him my friend. I?ve been around him in many different situations in lots of different parts of the country, and I can tell you everybody likes Bob Naylor. He?s recognized as a man you want to be seen with ? a well-respected individual.?
Naylor got into the real-estate appraisal business, after him and his wife, Sue, sold her parent?s ranch in 1977. Then, in 1980, Naylor sold a ranch to Bob Armstrong.
?He wanted me to manage it. It was sheep and cattle and a lot of farmland. It?s called Salt Creek Farm and Ranch, and I managed it for 22 years. I just retired from that in 2002,? Naylor says.
Armstrong says of Naylor?s management decisions, ?He always treated the operations as though they were his own. He was recognized throughout that time as one of the most knowledgeable sheepmen in New Mexico, and as a result we ran very high-grade sheep on the ranch.?
Naylor had been an NMWGI member all along, but in 1969 his activity increased dramatically.
?Phelps White contacted me,? Naylor says. ?Lee Garner was head of the Livestock Board then, and we needed to rewrite the brand laws on sheep. We set up sheep districts the same as cattle districts, so they had to be inspected. You couldn?t just load them up and haul them. It was mainly to deter theft.?
Bob served as NMWGI president in 1974-1975.
Although White has been out of the sheep business for about 25 years, he says, ?Bob is a close friend. He has been a straight and noble resource for the sheep industry in New Mexico, as well as nationally. He was always there to help whenever we needed him.?
Tony Treat and Naylor purchased the Roswell Wool Warehouse in 1982. They kept it for 12 years, after which they sold it to the present owners in 1994.
Naylor is among those who still like sheep. Even though he?s supposedly retired, he is an order buyer of wool who does his best for his customers.
It?s no wonder everyone who knows Bob Naylor said, ?Yes, of course,? when he was named Sheepman of the Year.