Marlin Eisenach passes passion for cattle to next generation – The Fort Morgan Times

  • Marlin Eisenach, CSU’s livestock extension officer, asks each participant a few questions. A girl accepts the offer to sing a song for the audience as her goat hides behind the chair. (Katie Roth/The Fort Morgan Times)

  • Marlin Eisenach asks a participant to introduce themselves and present their...

    Marlin Eisenach asks a participant to introduce himself and his lamb to the crowd. (Katie Roth/The Fort Morgan Times)

  • Marlin Eisenach interviews a participant.  (Katie Roth/The Fort Morgan Times)

    Marlin Eisenach interviews a participant. (Katie Roth/The Fort Morgan Times)

  • Morgan County Extension Officer Marlin Eisenach (top left) opens the...

    Morgan County Extension Officer Marlin Eisenach (top left) opens the door for a Mutton Bustin’ attendee at the 2021 Brush Rodeo. (Katie Roth/The Fort Morgan Times)

  • Morgan County Extension Agent Marlin Eisenach models a sturdy sled...

    Morgan County Extension Officer Marlin Eisenach models a sturdy sled at the Morgan County Cattleman’s Association auction. (Katie Roth/The Fort Morgan Times)

  • Marlin Eisenach works as an extension worker in Colorado...

    Marlin Eisenach works as an extension officer in the Morgan County Extension Office at Colorado State University in Fort Morgan. (Slade Rand/The Fort Morgan Times)

  • Marlin Eisenach was honored as Superintendent and Judge...

    Marlin Eisenach has been honored as a superintendent and judge at national livestock shows for decades. He displays identification badges and medals on a wall in his office. (Slade Rand/The Fort Morgan Times)

  • Marlin Eisenach leafs through the pages of a breeding of youngsters from 1998...

    Marlin Eisenach flips through the pages of a 1998 youth breeding magazine in which he was previously featured at his office on Friday, March 13, 2020. (Slade Rand/The Fort Morgan Times)

  • Morgan County Livestock Extension Officer Marlin Eisenach volunteers at...

    Dan Barker/Fort Morgan Times

    Morgan County Livestock Extension Officer Marlin Eisenach volunteers at the National Western Stock Show, as he does every year. (Courtesy picture)

  • A teenager Marlin Eisenach shows a steer to a stock...

    A teenage Marlin Eisenach shows off a steer at a stock show. (Courtesy picture)

  • Marlin Eisenach began showing oxen and sheep at cattle shows...

    Marlin Eisenach began showing oxen and sheep at livestock shows as a teenager. This photo shows him in a sheepfold as a young man. (Courtesy picture)

Marlin Eisenach was born and raised in Morgan County on the family farm. Growing up, he was involved in both 4-H and the FFA, where his passion for cattle began. In 4-H, Eisenach competed in the beef cattle and market hog category, and he also showed corn and sugar beets in the crop production category. As a teenager, he also began showing oxen and sheep in cattle shows.

After graduating from high school, Eisenach stayed behind and helped his father on the farm, gaining valuable experience in the process. However, two years later, he decided to study agronomy and animal science at Colorado State University and is still grateful he made that decision.

Eisenach returned home to Morgan County after college and continued his involvement in the world of agriculture. He became a 4-H leader and served on the Morgan County Fairgrounds Board of Directors before discovering a job opening at the CSU Morgan County Extension Office. Eisenach got the job, started working as an animal husbandry extension worker, and never looked back. He has now held the same position for over 35 years and still looks forward to each day of work.

“If I hadn’t obtained my diplomas, I would not have been able to hold this position that I held 35 years ago. I love coming to work, so is it a job or just something I want to do? It’s something that I really appreciate. They pay me to do what I want to do! I like to get up and think about going to work. It’s not (something) that everyone can say who has a job. I’m just lucky,” Eisenach said.

He explained that about 30% of his work involves working with ranchers, farmers and other agricultural producers. The other 70% of his job includes working with 4-H youth and livestock, which is his most favorite part of the job.

Eisenach is responsible for livestock at the Morgan County Fair and responsible for Mutton Bustin’ at the Brush Rodeo, two of his favorite events each year. He first threw Mutton Bustin’ at the National Western Stock Show and had so much fun he started the tradition right here in Morgan County.

“I started the one at the National Western years ago, and I just brought the same rules and everything (to the Brush Rodeo). I’m always the one to let them out the door! said Eisenach enthusiastically.

He may also travel quite a bit to judge county, state and national livestock shows. He said the people he interacts with at these events are the highlight. He loves meeting new people and looks forward to seeing young people grow and learn year after year.

Over more than three decades in her role, Eisenach has seen many young people take part in the 4-H program and even got to see her three children participate in 4-H as they grew up.

“They were all into cattle judging which I think is a great thing for any youngster. It’s just those basics,” Eisenach said, explaining that anyone involved in 4-H learns important life skills that can be transferred to any career. “First they have to make a decision on how to place (the cattle) and then in many classes they have to defend that with oral arguments. And those two things can take you far. It is, I think, one of the best activities young people can have.

Her son earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in engineering from CSU, and Eisenach’s two daughters live on farms. One of his daughters lives in Carpenter, Wyoming, and works in agricultural production, milking about 5,000 head of dairy cattle. His other daughter lives on a farm in Fort Morgan and raises lambs. Eisenach has obvious pride in his children and grandchildren, making sure to mention that one of his grandsons had the Grand Champion Market Lamb at the 2021 Colorado State Fair and one of his grand- girls was part of a judging team at Northeastern Junior College.

He is also proud to report that despite the decline in 4-H membership overall, cattle numbers remain high.

Eisenach remains involved with several Morgan County councils and events each year and continues to build his legacy in the world of agriculture. He hopes some of the 4-H youth he works with will one day be inspired to do the same.