Earl Eikmeier, 68, Flandreau area Angus breeder, was honored in 1974 as Eminent Farmer by the Board of Regents and South Dakota State University.
Some of the top-producing lines in the Angus breed today were started as a result of the cattle raised and sold at Elmdale Farms in Moody County.
Eikmeier still “keeps tabs on where the good Angus are,” even though he retired in 1970. He helped to organize the South Dakota Angus Association in 1939, consigning cattle with his brother, Harry, to the first purebred sale in Brookings that year. In 1965 he helped organize the Southwest Angus Association. He was a charter member in both organizations and president of the state association in 1963.
The Eikmeiers have shown champions from local fairs to the country’s largest national shows, appearing in Denver, Fort Bliss, Fargo, Rapid City, and Minneapolis.
His credo is, “In order to be a purebred livestock dealer, you’ve got to be a ‘purebred’ man. People have got to be able to depend on what you say.”
On ground once thought to be too rocky and too weedy to be worth much, Eikmeier has taken off some of the top-yielding corn crops in Moody County. He was a charter member and one of the first secretaries of the Moody County Crop Improvement Association.
He has also been involved in the Moody County livestock tuberculosis eradication program, cooperated with the Soil Conservation District on grassed waterways and pasture rotation, and was honored for 30-year membership on the Moody County Extension Board.