Eichacker named SD Woman Farmer/Rancher of the Year
Dakotafest named its first ever woman farmer/rancher of the year.
Like many women on the farm, Cathy Eichacker wears many hats. From running heavy equipment, to preparing meals for the farm team harvesting in the field, to overseeing all of the farms marketing, Eichacker’s role is vast and imperative for the success of the farm. She also plays the role of mom, helping keep not only the farm together, but the household as well.
Out of the five finalists, Cathy Eichacker was named South Dakota woman/farmer rancher of the year during a Dakotafest Women in Ag event earlier this month.
“My kids nominated me for this award. I thought my kids never noticed what I did on the farm, I thought they only noticed that I did the cooking, cleaning and that I did the laundry,” Eichacker said.
Dakotafest held its Women in Ag event and other forums online this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. While the event was virtual, it did not stop the celebration and recognition of the five finalists up for the award of woman farmer/rancher of the year.
“To be with this group of women is amazing. Every woman working on the farm is truly a blessing to her husband I believe and to the farm,” Eichacker said.
After marrying her husband, Eichacker became a part of the Eichacker farm, located in Salem, S.D. The farm encompasses corn, soybeans, alfalfa, grass hay and also a cattle operation. Eichacker puts well over her 40 hours in on the farm helping with maintaining the books, records, registering the cattle, helping with the annual Eichacker Simmental bull sale and much more.
While her role on the farm keeps Eichacker busy, she also enjoys helping her community every chance she gets. She organizes fundraising events for the local community, 4-H club and school. She is a tremendous advocate for the agriculture industry and shares her knowledge about it wherever she can. She is involved in the FFA and is sponsor as well as a judge for the organization. She is also involved in the Simmental Association.
Eichacker’s passion runs deep, and she enjoys teaching young people about the agriculture industry also. During the pandemic, Eichacker organized a virtual field trip for her son’s class to the family farm. This experience allowed students from non-ag backgrounds to see what life on the farm is like. On this field trip, the class was able to partake in naming a newborn calf. Eichacker continues to update the class on the newborn as it matures.