Bob Feist Went from Restaurant Manager to Legendary Rodeo Entrepreneur
Bob Feist is a Santa Rosa grown cowboy who has left his mark on the western world in many ways.
With a father in the beef industry, Feist grew up on a cattle ranch before going to Oklahoma State University. There, he went from being an agriculture major to hotel and restaurant management.
“To me, it was the tail end of agriculture. I finally figured out you can raise the best beef or lambs in the country, or pigs, but if they weren’t served right or finished right it didn’t serve the product properly,” Feist said.
His first job was at the Cellar in Oklahoma City before he joined the army. He was an infantry officer in Fort Benning, Georgia when he was asked to manage the kitchen for the officers. It was after this that Feist said he was craving the outdoors.
“I had attempted to ride bulls in college and a little bit in high school and didn’t do real well at it. So I got to looking at the longevity in the rodeo business, what would be something you could do for a while and roping was the part,” he said.
Feist started getting to know some well known ropers in the area, got a horse and started roping. While he was jackpotting, Feist decided to put together a four-page program called Roper Sports News. He learned how to use the camera, develop film and write in the paper and Feist says that before he knew it they were getting more and more subscribers.
Feist’s rodeo entrepreneurship did not end there. On top of announcing, Feist decided to host a roping after watching a tennis match. He decided to invite to Top 40 teams for the first annual Bob Feist Invitational. He was told time and time again it would not work and now, the BFI Week has been running for 26 years and Feist calls it a big family investment.