Eldon and Louisa Krebs

Eldon and Louisa Krebs

Krebs Ranch built on reputation, family

Black Hills Stock Show - February 3, 2020

Growing from humble beginnings, Eldon and Louisa Krebs credit a chance meeting at the 1969 National Hereford Show in Atlanta, Georgia, for setting them on a path to having one of the most successful registered cattle operations in the industry. Tonight, we honor Eldon and Louisa Krebs as the 2020 Stockmen of the Year.

Eldon was born and raised on the family ranch near Neligh (NEE-LEE), Nebraska, where he was active in 4-H and FFA. Louisa was raised in Maryland, where she was also involved in 4-H and livestock projects. When they met in Georgia, both were there helping other breeders at the show. 

Eldon and Louisa were married in 1975 and moved to Littleton, Colorado, where Eldon accepted a job with Ken-Caryl (CARROLL) Ranch. Ed Winters was the herdsman at the ranch. The young couple had an opportunity to run some cows of their own and that was the beginning of their own Angus cowherd. While working there, the Krebs had their first experience of exhibiting and selling cattle at the Black Hills Stock Show in 1976, when it was still held in the Soule (soo-LAY) Building on the fairgrounds.

Four years later, Eldon and Louisa moved to the Gordon, Nebraska area, where they were able to slowly acquire more land and grow their registered Angus herd. Krebs Ranch exhibited at the Central States Fair in the early years, as well as state shows throughout the five-state region to promote their growing seedstock operation. 

Eldon credits events like Central States Fair and Black Hills Stock with helping establish and spread the word of their program in the early years. Krebs Ranch recently celebrated 41 years of exhibiting in The Yards at the 2020 National Western Stock Show.

Eldon and Louisa had a 30-year partnership with George Lemm of Whitestone Farms to form Whitestone Krebs, a familiar name in Angus circles. As Eldon and Louisa’s children, Ty and Kami, grew up and moved home to be involved in the operation, George Lemm made the decision to step aside in 2013. Eldon and George ended their Whitestone Krebs partnership the same way they started it — with a handshake.

Today, Krebs Ranch is completely family-owned. Ty Krebs manages the production side of the business, while Kami’s husband, Jake Scott, handles the sales and marketing. The family continued to diversify the operation with the addition of a custom semen collection facility, Western Sire Services, 12 years ago. Kami manages day-to-day operations for Western Sire Services. 

As they acquired more land, Krebs Ranch has increased the crop and forage production on the ranch, which enabled the family to start a backgrounding lot. Krebs Ranch has expanded into commercial heifer development, allowing them to support bull customers through the purchase of top-end replacement heifers. Krebs Ranch has also expanded its embryo transfer program for the family’s registered Angus and Hereford cattle. They admit all of this is possible with the help of five full-time employees, plus the family on the ranch.

Eldon is a well-known livestock judge and has judged at all of the major livestock shows in the United States. He took his experience international in 2019, judging the Hereford show in Palermo (pah-LAIR-mo) Argentina. This year he has already kicked off the year judging the National Red Angus Show during the 2020 National Western Stock Show.

Eldon says the family has enjoyed great success in the show ring over the years, including Supreme Champions at the Black Hills Stock Show, as well as the high-selling horse at one of the Stock Show Horse Sales. But there was no prouder moment for Eldon and Louisa than watching grandson Sage Krebs exhibit his Hereford Bull to Supreme Champion honors at the 2016 Black Hills Stock Show.

Eldon says Black Hills Stock Show is a tremendous asset for the region and showcases the best of agriculture whether it’s cattle, horses or ag businesses. He always appreciates the opportunity to gather with peers and come away wiser.

For Eldon and Louisa it is truly humbling to be honored as Stockmen of the Year. Eldon says there are so many previous winners that he has admired and looked up to over the years, that it is an honor just to be included with them.

With three generations of Krebs family working together on the ranch, the family looks forward to many more trips to the Black Hills Stock Show in the years to come.

Phone number: 605-347-4455
E-mail: [email protected]
Address: 1612 Junction Avenue, Suite #1
Sturgis, SD 57785