“I shall leave the place better than I found it.”
Dwight D. Eisenhower
One of the things that attracted General Eisenhower to the farm was the poor, worn-out condition of the soil. It was a perfect place for Ike to practice his life-long interest in soil conservation.
Growing up in turn of the century Kansas, Eisenhower had witnessed first hand the plight of farmers scraping out a living from depleted soil. Milton, Eisenhower’s youngest brother, had been a high ranking official in the federal Department of Agriculture in the 1930’s. Over many dinners, the two discussed the horrid conditions of the depression era “dustbowl.”
“The cows practically had rugs to lie on.”
By 1954, Eisenhower and his partners decided to raise purebred Aberdeen Angus cattle for the show circuit. Farm 2, just south of main farm, became the hub of the new activity, with a spacious show barn erected to shelter the valuable animals. Many of Ike’s cattle were gifts. They worked towards producing high quality purebred cattle.