The Eichs graciously made time for my visit on Saturday, Oct. 15, although they were in the midst of corn harvest and had a yard full of guests – all of whom were eagerly awaiting the noon opening of pheasant season. (NOTE: It didn’t take me long to realize that the opening of pheasant hunting season is virtually a state holiday in South Dakota. Combines shut down and harvest practically comes to a halt statwide. Until I witnessed it first hand, I thought such tales were only tall.)
When I pulled into the yard that morning, everyone was busy. The husband-wife team of Cory and Leanne run the combine and the grain cart respectively. Their nephew, Kelly Endorf, hauls the crop. All three play a role in the family’s cattle operation, as well.
In addition to growing row crops and selling Latham® Hi-Tech Seeds, the Eichs run a cow-calf operation that keeps them busy year round. The summer months are spent stock piling feed for the feedlot and winter months. After harvest, the calves are weaned and fed-to-finish for 7 months; the cows are moved to cornstalks for winter forage, weather permitting.
It’s no wonder that the Eichs are so passionate about promoting the product they produce. Cory serves as President of the McCook-Miner-Lake-County Cattlemen’s Association and is 2nd Vice President of the South Dakota Cattlemen’s Association.
“We never have to worry about what we’re going to do because there’s always something that needs to be done,” says Leanne. “We enjoy working together and charting our course. We enjoy operating our own business and the independence that comes along with farming and raising cattle.”
“Beef, it’s what’s for dinner!” isn’t just a slogan, it’s a way of life for the Eichs.
“Our main meal for the day is dinner (at noon),” says Leanne, who keeps her freezer stocked with beef and homemade bars and cookies. “Home-raised beef is our favorite, so most of our sit-down meals consist of roast beef, grilled steaks or hamburger.
A family favorite of the Eich’s two grown daughters, Rachel and Leslie, is Country Beef Roll-Up. Give the Eich’s recipe a try and complement your meal with one of my favorite autumn dessert recipes for Pumpkin Tarts.
1/3 c. tomato sauce (small can)
½ c. chopped onion
1 tsp. dried oregano
½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. pepper
1/3 c. crushed saltine crackers
1½ pound lean ground beef
2 c. Mozzarella cheese (do not mix in)
Bake uncovered in a loaf pan seam side down, for 50 minutes. Spoon remaining tomato sauce over top and sprinkle with remaining cheese. Then bake for an additional 10 minutes.