Arizona National Livestock Show honors pioneers
The Arizona National Livestock Show and Arizona Pioneer Stockmen Association honored Velma and Leroy Tucker of Roosevelt, AZ, as the 2014 Pioneer Stockmen of the Year. The Tuckers were honored at the Annual Pioneer Stockmen’s luncheon, Dec. 28 during the 66th Annual Arizona National Livestock Show at the Arizona State Fairgrounds in Phoenix.
The Pioneer Stockmen Association members are true Arizona pioneers. To be a member of the association you have to be age 75 and older and have been involved in Arizona’s agriculture industry.
Leroy was born July 18, 1928, in Greenback Valley at the Frying Pan Ranch. Velma Lucille was born May 21, 1933, in Globe. They are parents to three children: Tenna Lucille, Roy Dale and Lee Ann. The Tuckers have been involved in the ranching industry their entire lives. The couple celebrated their 64th anniversary this year.
Leroy and Velma are members of the Gila County Cattle Growers, Arizona Cattle Growers and the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association. Velma joined the Arizona State Cow belles and helped form the Gila County Cowbelles in 1971. She went through all the chairs for both Gila County and the state, becoming President of Gila in 1976-77 and State Cowbelle President in 1980. While state President, she was given a seat on the board of the Arizona Beef Council. In 1981, Gov. Bruce Babbitt appointed her to that board and she was reappointed by Governors Mofford and Mecham before retiring in 1996.
Velma was proud to be appointed to the National Livestock and Meat Board in Chicago where she chaired the Education Committee and the Research Committee. While serving on the board, Velma helped develop the promotions, “Where’s the Beef,” and “Beef, it’s What’s for Dinner.” Velma was named Cattle Women of the Year by the Arizona State Cowbelles in 2010.
Leroy served as President of the Gila County Cattle Growers and later became the sales chairman for 11 years for the Gila County Annual Yearling Sale. He has graded bulls for over 20 years at Cattlemen’s Weekend in Prescott. Leroy also sat on the Arizona Stabilization Conservation Board.
The Arizona National Livestock Show and Arizona Pioneer Stockmen Association said it was an honor to present this award to a couple who have been so involved in Arizona ranching and to this day continue to stay involved.
The Arizona National Livestock Show, Inc. is a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting youth and promoting livestock and agriculture to the public while preserving our western heritage. For more information call the Arizona National office at 602/258- 8568. — WLJ