FARM: Cattle Breeding and Showing
In the world of purebred cattle, the show circuit was king. Beginning in 1956, Eisenhower Farms’ cattle went up against many of the world’s best at shows such as the Pennsylvania Farm Show, the National Western Livestock Show in Denver, and the International Livestock Show in Chicago. Concerned about potential accusations of undue influence, Eisenhower entered his cattle under his partners’ names at the competitions while he was president. After leaving the presidency in 1961, Ike allowed his name to be used..
The cattle were successful, winning many “best of class” and “best of show” awards. These were displayed in cases at the showbarn. Although he never attended the cattle shows, Ike delighted in showing his cattle to farm visitors. He welcomed guests, loaded them into a golf cart, and took them around to admire his fine animals. Visitors included foreign dignitaries such as Winston Churchill of Great Britian, French President Charles DeGaulle, West German Chancellor Konrad Adenauer, and Soviet Prime Minister Nikita Khrushchev.
In 1958, the farm hosted its first cattle sale. After his second heart attack in 1966, Eisenhower decided to sell his show cattle herd. Wishing to keep the farm productive, Eisenhower ran a simpler feeder operation on the farm. Cattle were bought, fattened up on grain grown on the farm, and then sold for market. This operation ran until early 1969. Eisenhower sold the remaining stock to simplify his estate.