Blaine’s livestock interest led to an education in animal science at the University of Illinois where he competed on the winning 1960 livestock judging team. He later received his master’s degree in meat technology and marketing under the supervision of his mentor Dr. Burdette Breidenstein. Blaine’s studies revolved around cutability studies to predict the retail product yield based on quality grade for the USDA. His studies were eventually utilized to develop the USDA Yield Grades 1-5 that are used today.
After completing his thesis, Blaine followed Dr. Breidenstein to Wilson Foods where he soon headed the processed beef division in the Oklahoma City office. Later, he joined Sizzler Steak Houses in charge of purchasing beef for their 600 plus restaurants, continuing to operate from his Oklahoma home.
Angus Acres was born in 1996 when Blaine and Dwight came back together with a breeding philosophy spawned by years in the beef industry and the knowledge of how quality and yield grade can influence profitability. The female selections combined visual appeal with EPD values generally in the top 25% with a primary focus on carcass traits. The program used only AI sires and propagated the best cows through embryo transplant.
Every member of the Shoemaker family is highly educated, including his wife Tony, who has a business degree from the University of Iowa and their daughters, and two eldest granddaughters. Daughter Gwen and her husband Allen Niemann live in Oklahoma City and have two college aged daughters. Another daughter, Amy and her husband Jim Martin have two daughters in the third and sixth grades.
On December 18th, Blaine and Dwight will hang up their sorting sticks and pitch forks and are planning a more relaxed lifestyle focused on family and friends.
“I’ve been blessed to have worked with good people and good cattle,” said Shoemaker. “And I believe that great opportunities exist for the next generation of cattlemen.”
The Angus Acres herd will be dispersed in its entirety at the Midwest Connection Angus Sale held December 18, 2016 at 1 p.m. at the Bloomfield Livestock Auction in Bloomfield, Iowa.