H. Eugene Schroeder
Gene Schroeder was born in Benkelman, Nebraska on September 14, 1921. He grew up in Imperial, Nebraska where his family was involved in the lumber and grain business. Gene was first involved in the cattle business at the age of eight when he started working part time on the large Kilpatrick Ranch near Imperial. Schroeder attended the University of Nebraska, where he majored in Business and took many Animal Science electives.
Gene and Madeline Krotter made a start in the registered Hereford business in 1948 as partners, purchasing Prince Domino and Helsman Third bloodlines. Eventually the pair became man and wife and Madeline remains a strong behind-the-scenes partner with Gene today. They have one son, Chuck, who is manager of the registered cattle operations of the firm's farming operations. Schroeder Cattle Company is located surrounding Palisade in the valley of the Frenchman River.
Performance and profit is the motto of the S5 Ranch. Gene works forever improving quality that will turn a profit for each owner along the production line. Schroeder credits a period in the dairy business with giving him the penchant for record keeping that is the corner stone of his operation today. Keeping up with new technology available to the livestock producer, Schroeder's have experimented with embryo transfer.
The Schoeder commercial herd is used primarily for progeny testing herd sires and has qualified nine Registered of Merit Feedlot carcass sires under the American Hereford Association's rigorous testing program. In the mill at S5 is the development of a composite breed based on the combination of four beef breeds. For the paternal side, outstanding Gelbvieh heifers, noted for their high fertility, will be crossed with Sayler bulls, noted for their carcass traits. High performance Hereford heifers will be crossed to leading Angus sires to form the maternal side of the cross. Schroeder's goal for the composite emphasizes reproduction, rapid early growth with moderate mature size, carcass quality, and the retention of heterosis through subsequent generations.
Certainly a factor in the efficiency of the Schroeder program lies in their excellent facilities. A chute designed by Gene has proved to be very functional and is an example of the innovative-thinking found at S5.
Home raised working horses are a part of the S5 program. They are now introducing racing blood into their present program in hopes of future track performers.
The farming operation consists of 1,000 acres of irrigated corn along with wheat and alfalfa.
An interesting side light is Schroeder Gravel Company. In their excavations they have found many fossils, and select pieces can be viewed in Morrill Hall.
As a promoter of youth, Gene has been involved with a number of 4-H programs and hosted numerous field days and judging clinics at the ranch. Gene holds a prominent leadership role in the cattle industry today. He has served the American Hereford Association as President, Vice President and represented that association as a member of the Board of Directors of the National Cattlemen's Association in 1981-1982. During 1981 and 1982 he served as Chairman of the Grading and Inspection Committee for the N.C.A.
Gene has been awarded several honors which include Top Farmers of America Award of Honor, Southwest Nebraska Conservation Award, Agricultural Builders Award by the McCook Chamber of Commerce, "Man of the Year in Livestock" given by the Record Stockman, Block and Bridle Honorary Member and Ak-Sar-Ben Agricultural Achievement Award.