Yet, that is what Bob and Tessie (Theresa) Fisher have done.
The Fishers are celebrating 51 years of leadership in a program that Bob feels is, and has been, very important in the lives of a number of young people. He says that he “will continue as long as my health remains good.” At age 74, that could mean several more years of helping youngsters “reach their potential.”
Bob and Tessie are currently leaders in the Butte Basin Beef Club, but began helping participants while with the Westside Beef Club, then the Antelope Beef Club. The Antelope Club split, not because of an argument or disagreement, but because Antelope Beef became too big and leaders felt they didn’t have enough time to help everyone. That too, was long ago.
The Fishers have experience in horse clubs too, having formed the “Hay Burners Club” back in the early days. That didn’t last long, though and the couple turned their attention to the beef side of the competition. That’s where they’ve been since that time.
Bob is being honored by the 2009 Jackson County Fair as the longest running leader in Jackson County. And he is instilling that spirit of helping to co leaders Duane and Beckie Haas, Murrit Davis and Jerry Mefford. Haas and Davis have both been involved for more than 20 years.
While the Fishers have donated countless hours to youth projects, that hasn’t been their entire life. They run a log trucking business, something Bob learned from Steve Wilson during his 12 years with that firm. And, if that isn’t enough, they have a farm on Agate Road where they run approximately 75 cows, put up hay and raise miniature donkeys.
But Bob’s duties as advisor to youth doesn’t end when youngsters enter the Jackson County Fair, he also works as ring man during the youth livestock auctions, something he has been doing since 1979. The auction has been a good jumping off point for many a youth headed for a college education.
Despite the busy schedule, the Fishers have had time to raise a family. Son, Robbie and daughter, Tami, both live in the eastern part of the state and both have occupations related to the agricultural industry.
Tessie comes from one of the older families in southern Oregon. Though she was born in Medford, to Wallace and Dorotha Ragsdale, her family settled in the Lake Creek area in 1859, when Oregon first became a state. Bob lived on a dairy that is now in the city limits of Medford. The barn still exists and is now recognized as Hardy Engineering just off Biddle Road, near the airport. They have been married since 1956.