The Eagleburger family is upping their quality and genetics with careful breeding and selection
BUFFALO, MO. – Some say the Eagleburger family is in the business of perfection. Broken E Farms has a passion for supreme genetics, and it shows in their herd.
Jeff Eagleburger, owner of the 400-acre cattle farm in Buffalo, Mo., puts in long hours to ensure he’s producing excellent cattle.
Jeff’s wife Pam and their two adult children, Nathan Eagleburger and Brittany Wilkerson, have helped in the endeavor of prime genetics.
In 1988, Jeff and Pam started their venture with commercial cattle and a handful of Angus. In 2006, they began to incorporate more Angus and eventually phased out of the commercial operation. Today, the Eagleburger herd is 125 herd of registered Angus and Simmental.
Jeff and Nathan do most of the day-in and day-out work at Broken E Farms. The farm’s breeding program consists of embryo transplanting and AI – and they are very particular about donors for these programs. Their purpose is to sell to both registered and commercial breeding stock. Broken E bulls typically go more to commercial operations, and a goal is to sell registered heifers to other registered breeders.
The Eagleburgers also enjoy showcasing their animals in the show ring, which has become a family affair.
“When we pick show heifers, we pick them from their toes to their ears,” Jeff said. “You don’t pick a calf just because she kind of fits. You literally go from what type of hoof of they got, what kind of ankle they got, what type of leg they got, the sweep in their belly, their necklines, how their head sits on their neck… once you get that type of cattle that will grow and perform, it’s just a better overall calf.”
Their end goal is to make the cattle more phenotypically correct, and for the genetic and phenotype potential to match.
“I want every calf and cow I have to be able to be in the front pasture,” Jeff said.
“When they’re choosing which bull they’re going to breed to, it’s not only looking at the EPDs; just because the numbers say this should happen doesn’t mean it will,” Pam added. “So it’s important they know the cow’s past production.”
Brittany added the goal of their operation is to provide better genetics to commercial producers and to continue to improve the breed as much as possible.
“When people buy from farms like ours, we are genuinely able to talk about what we think this cow will do because we know more about it than most people. We really have thought about where this cow is going and how we bred her. We know her dam, her grandam, we know all the cattle are behind her. We know all their EPDs. We know what they’ve done and what we expect from her. We genuinely can attempt to predict her future,” Brittany said.
Nathan said each cow has its own history, which they use to determine which bull they will be bred to and it’s never a grouped-off decision.
“Every bred cow is about precision,” Nathan said.
The Eagleburgers look at a lot of calves before they choose a bull. They will travel out of state just to inspect calves before deciding if a bull is the right sire for their females.
“Not all our calves make it to the showring, but every calf that makes it to the showring makes it to our pasture,” Jeff said. “If they go to the showring, they have to be able to come out and perform in our pasture, too.
When it comes to selling bulls, they focus on the structural aspect to ensure the healthiest and best-bred animal.
“We do show bulls, too,” Brittany added. “It’s just that our showman is a little young, so we are holding off on her showing bulls until she’s a little bit bigger. Even though our bulls are incredibly calm, it’s just a lot to handle.”
Their showman is Kassidie Eagleburger, a fourth-grader at Fair Grove and Jeff’s niece, who one day wants to be a farmer and a veterinarian.
Jeff’s brother Jason Eagleburger, his wife Stacy and Kassidie have their own farm with about 30 head of cattle — but they’ve been pulled into the ring at Broken E Farms. Jeff and his family encouraged Jason’s family to transition Angus into their operation. As Nathan and Brittany aged out of junior shows, Kassidie took over as the family junior showman.
When they started out, all of their show heifers were been purchased elsewhere. Today, almost every calf they take into the ring has been born and raised on their farm.
Kassidie has won a slew of awards showing bred, born, and raised heifers from Broken E Farm. Three heifers, nicknamed Almond, Candy and June, have earned high accolades this show season.
The Eagleburger family does not have any intentions of slowing down, and they look forward to the future of their operation and breeding program. Kassidie can be expected in the show ring with a bull in the next couple of years.