Bob Spears is well known for his contributions to the Arkansas dairy industry. Born in Mountainburg (Crawford County), Spears graduated from the University of Arkansas in 1962. After working as a pig buyer for Swift and Co. in Kansas City for six years he realized that wasn’t what he wanted to do and returned to northwest Arkansas as a partner in a 25-cow dairy operation. Through the years that grew to a herd of 400 milking cows. His herd was recognized as having the highest production per cow for 12 out of 20 years in the Dairy Herd Improvement Association program. Cows from this herd were exported to Honduras and Mexico, while frozen embryos were sold to producers in several European countries and Japan. Spears was also known for his technological achievements, including construction of the first rapid exit parallel milking barn in the state and the use of a transponder or computer chip to monitor each cow’s production capacity. He was elected the first president of the Arkansas Dairy Federation and served on regional and corporate boards of the Associated Milk Producers Inc. Always willing to serve and help young people, he has judged dairy cattle at state fairs in Arkansas, Kansas, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma and Texas. For many years he hosted the state 4-H and FFA dairy judging contests on his farm and has welcomed numerous groups and visitors including U of A students, international and chamber of commerce tour groups. As members of the Partners of America organization, Spears and his wife Nadine have made three trips to Bolivia to assist in the improvement of dairy cattle health and nutrition as well as the organization of a small dairy cooperative and nutrition program for children. Since selling his milking herd in 2001, he now produces about 3,000 replacement heifers each year.