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Meet Your American Simmental-Simbrah Foundation Board

02 August 2018
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Meet Cathy Eichacker          |             Salem, South Dakota                         

Cathy Eichacker, the newest member to the Foundation, grew up in Salem, SD. Eichacker married her high school sweetheart, Steve, and they moved to the family farm and continued growing the Simmental herd that Steve’s dad, Raphael, started in 1971. Raising registered Simmental cattle was a bit different for Eichacker since her family raised hogs and had a small herd of commercial cattle. Eichacker & Steve have three children, Amanda (Dana) Buttemeier, Nick (Jordan) Eichacker, and Adam Eichacker, and three grandchildren, Hunter, Taylor & Ellie.

Eichacker worked as an Assistant Finance Manager for 25 years before deciding to transition back to working full-time on the farm. Along with working on the farm, Eichacker has been a volunteer for the County Fair Board, 4-H Leader, the Salem Summer Youth & Rec, and many organizations for St. Mary’s Catholic Church.

For the past 20 years, Eichacker has been the junior advisor for the South Dakota Junior Simmental Association and has also served as Secretary on the South Dakota Simmental Association (SDSA) Board. The SDSA has hosted the North Central Regional Classic twice in the past six years with Eichacker taking the role as coordinator. “Working with our youth, the future of our breed has been such a delight, watching these kids grow each year from crying the first time they took the Cattleman’s Quiz, to getting up enough nerve to compete in the public speaking contest, and then winning a prize. The smiles on their face are priceless,” she states.

“I’m excited to be a part of the Foundation Board and help out anywhere I can. I have seen the benefits of AJSA and we are very fortunate to have this program available for our youth, they are not only showing cattle, but developing lifelong skills and making lifelong relationships,” Eichacker shares, “Donating to the Foundation is an easy decision, what better place to contribute…but to the future of our breed. I am eager to learn all about the Foundation and work with my fellow board members and junior members.”

This is a specific objective that the ASF supports:

Each year state associations host to the largest SimGenetics event in the country, one of the most prestigious youth livestock events, the AJSA National Classic. With each year’s National Classic bigger than the last, more and more SimGenetic enthusiasts attend the National Classic and purchase SimGenetics; at the same time, state associations are saddled with a growing financial responsibility in hosting. Help lighten the load by contributing and ensuring many years of AJSA National Classics to come.


Meet Foundation Board Member Bob Mullion

Palo Verde Valley, CA

Bob, Jamie, Michael and Jamey Mullion operate Red River Farms, a diversified farming operation in the Palo Verde Valley, along the Colorado River near Blythe, California. They run 150 purebred and SimAngusTM females on irrigated pasture, focusing on performance, calving ease, and phenotype. Bob managed a full blood operation in Colorado following graduation from Cal Poly, and has been passionate about the breed ever since.

Mullion is a strong believer that the future of the Simmental breed is dependent upon its youth and is an avid supporter of the Western and National AJSA programs. One of his greatest joys is watching his granddaughters, Madison, Logan, and Hayden in the showring.

This is a specific objective that the ASF supports:

The Eastern and Western Regions have each formed state groups to fundraise for their yearly Regional Classics. The Eastern Regional group hosts a fundraiser at the NAILE each year, allowing states in the east to step up more freely to host classics, due to a lower financial cost. The Western Region has also formed their own group. The key is to see states within a specific region as one unit, rather than individuals. The establishment of these regional groups is to raise funds for the Eastern and Western Regional Classics, despite which state holds the classic




Scott Cowger

Meet Foundation Board Member Scott Cowger

Kansas City, Missouri

Scott Cowger purchased his first Simmental bred heifer in 1982 which led to an active involvement with the AJSA growing up. Cowger then became active at a state level in Missouri. He has served on the Missouri Simmental Association board as well as the ASA Board for three years. His involvement has rubbed off on his daughter Jordan, who is currently the AJSA President.

Scott and his family enjoy attending the AJSA National Classic each year. He believes that the Simmental breed has the best National Classic with the various events youth compete in to become well-rounded individuals. This involvement over the years leads to their giving to the Foundation. Being involved with this breed for over 35 years he is a passionate believer in the American Simmental Association and its members.  Cowger states, "The future is very bright in our youth and the scientific data we as a breed have compiled is second to none.  Ensuring the future of our breed for years to come would be the biggest reason someone should support the foundation. There are numerous areas of interest and working cooperatively through financial donations would greatly assist the breed for years to come."

This is a specific objective that the ASF supports:
AJSA Canadian Exchange Project. Each summer, two AJSA Board of Trustee members are randomly selected to attend the Young Canadian Simmental Association National Classic. This is more than just an opportunity to travel, but rather an opportunity for AJSA members to learn about international agriculture, and gain new friends in an attempt to build their resume and personal experience.


Meet Foundation Board Member Lori Eberspacher            |            

Marshall, MN                            
Family: husband, Val; daughter Amanda, favorite son-in-law Mark and granddaughter Kinslee Hope                       
Employer: Owner of Eberspacher Ent Inc Sale Management for 30 years.                

Lori Eberspacher is no stranger to the Foundation. Along with her husband, Val, Eberspacher lives in Marshall, Minnesota, where they operate Eberspacher Enterprises Inc. Sale Management. Both Val and Lori were raised on purebred operations, as well as raising their daughter, Amanda in the cattle industry. The seedstock business is near and dear to their hearts. The Eberspachers have been promoting the Foundation and the AJSA for the past 21 years, and Lori has strong conviction toward the cause.

“It is my belief that if you have a strong Junior program, you will have a strong breed association for years to come. The AJSA has been so successful at allowing youth who love the livestock industry to follow their dreams and in the process, teach them the importance of the dedication this breed has done for making the science/research equal the success of this breed,” Eberspacher states. “That is the reason I believe in supporting the Foundation to be able to touch the lives of so many youth in a positive way. The Foundation is set up to allow everyone to support their interest and add to the breed for research, science, education, and youth. There is a place for everyone to support the Foundation, and yes, one person can make a difference!”

This is a specific objective that the ASF supports:

Established in 1981, the Merit Award is designed to provide recognition to junior members who have made “significant contributions to their community, home, family, school and the Simmental or Simbrah breeds of cattle.” As college tuition continues to increase, the Foundation continues to support 16 AJSA members each year by awarding over $26,250 in scholarships, 11 Silver Merit Awards and 5 Gold Merit Awards, to help them continue their collegiate educational endeavors.

Tonya Phillips grew up in Iowa and was a member of the Iowa Junior Simmental Association. She and her brother were fortunate enough to exhibit two Simmental heifers across Iowa and attend regional and national events. Phillips absolutely loved her time in the AJSA and also served on the AJSA Board of Trustees. She met her husband Chan while attending one of the National Classics.

Phillips shares, “We both realized the value of the AJSA and the lifelong skills that juniors learn. We knew that we wanted our children involved as well. There are many areas that donors can designate their funds within the Foundation.”. She encourages people to contribute to the area that they are passionate about so that area can be expanded and help educate members. A teacher for 27 years, Tonya will be retiring this month and moving to Oklahoma. Chan and Tonya have two children: her son, AK, who is an active AJSA member, and Morgan, former AJSA President, who recently married Sam Wallace. 

This is a specific objective that the ASF supports: 

AJSA Canadian Exchange Project: each summer, two AJSA Board of Trustee members will be randomly selected to attend the Young Canadian Simmental Association National Classic. This is more than just an opportunity to travel, but rather an opportunity for AJSA members to learn about international agriculture, new ideas to progress the association, and gain new friends in an attempt to build their resume and personal experience.



Dr. Mikell Davis, DVM

Starkville, Mississippi

Family: Wife, Mary Cheek Davis; daughters: Laura (Jon) Conroy, Lisa (Tony) Rook, Sara (Steve) Lyle; grandchildren: Morgan, Lauren, Erin, Lindsey, Justin

Employment: Little Creek Farm, LLC and retired from the College of Veterinary Medicine at Mississippi State.

Mikell Davis, DVM is retired from the College of Veterinary Medicine at Mississippi State University. His family owns Little Creek Farm, LLC (ASA 182335) which purchased its first full Fleckvieh Simmental cattle in 1993, and maintains the herd today. Davis enjoys attending sales for the personal interaction with other cattle breeders.

As a supporter of the breed, Davis encourages others to give to the Foundation to preserve and enhance the present for the future. Davis and his wife, Mary, live in Starkville and have three daughters and five grandchildren.

This is a specific objective that the ASF supports:

Walton-Berry Graduate Student Support Grant supports graduate education with an emphasis on genetic improvement of livestock. The fund originally started by Jim Berry of Wildberry Farms honors Dr. Bob Walton’s lifelong efforts in animal breeding and raising Simmental cattle. Walton-Berry Graduate Student Support Grant funds graduate education in research programs to directly improve applied livestock genetics and help build future experts in animal breeding. There are two awards - one for $5,000 and a second for $3,000 for graduate education programs; each recipient contributes to ASA Publication, Inc. regarding their research both SimTalk and the Register.

Emily Brinkman                  
New Bavaria, Ohio                   
Family: Parents: Tim & Peg, Brother Kyle             
Employment: Creative Director/Owner of Generation 6 Marketing.            

Emily Brinkman hails from New Bavaria in northwest Ohio. The AJSA has been a big part of Brinkman’s life because her parents Tim and Peg took her and her brother, Kyle, across the US to participate in the Regional and National Classics. She has served on the AJSA Board from 2008-2012, serving as President in 2011. Today, Brinkman owns Generation 6 Marketing, an agricultural marketing, and graphic design business, and is actively involved with her family’s 75 head cow-calf operation. She has donated her graphic design and marketing talents to AJSA and ASF projects since her time as an AJSA member ended.

Brinkman believes that each segment of the Foundation (Education, Research, and Youth) supports programs important to the Simmental breeds’ success. The youth program provides a strong foundation for the future membership, but we're also able to give the next generation the tools through education and research to continue the success of the Simmental breed. She also knows the impact the AJSA had on her life. “I strongly believe future generations should have the same youth program opportunities. Not only are youth programs important to me, but also the success and longevity of our breed,” says Brinkman.


Mark Smith          |    Picayune, Mississippi          
Mark's family includes his wife Debbie, their daughter Jessica, and their son Alan, his wife Sara Catherine, and two wonderful grandchildren, Ross Alan and Ella Catherine. 
Employment: Re/Max Premier Group for 15 years, previously ABS for 22 years.

Mark grew up in the dairy business until 1988, raising Registered Jersey cattle with his brother Neal and father Ezra Smith. In 1972, he learned to AI and began AIing his neighbors' herd of Simmental cattle. At this time he learned how much performance the breed offered. In 1988, after dispersing the Jerseys, Greg Brown, a Mississippi Simmental breeder, assisted him in getting in the breed. Mark purchased his first Simbrah in 1989. Jason Todd and Jennifer Rogers introduced the Regional and National Classics to the Smith's as they were showing some of the Smith's calves, and invited them to tag along. Once they realized the AJSA program was more than a cow show with the contests such as judging, sales talk, quiz, and speaking, they were hooked! It is the only show they attended that more kids were winners other than just the Grand Champion owner.

The AJSA is so much more than the show. Character building, leadership development, work ethic, people skills, plus making a lot of friends for all involved. The Smith's children, Alan and Jessica, benefited greatly from the AJSA program. It is truly priceless, and that is why we give to the Foundation. Not only that but you can earmark your giving, and the Foundation board will use it where specified. AJSA youth is the best investment for Foundation dollars there kids are living proof.

Profiles will be added weekly!

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