What's the Beef? MBC Board Director: Jeff Pagel

Makenna Winkelmann | July 7, 2020

My travels led me to the eastern part of the state this week to meet up with Minnesota Beef Council Board director, Jeff Pagel of Eyota, MN. 

One thing you'll find about Jeff's farm is that not only is he a beef farmer, but a dairy farmer as well. So, he offers perspectives on both industries.

I was warmly invited on to the Pagel farm, and Jeff gave me a full tour when I arrived. 

Jeff is the third generation on the farm. The farm was purchased in the 60's by Jeff's grandpa and from that point on, they have grown. 

They currently have 90 head of dairy cows (primarily Holsteins) that are milked twice a day and also have 30 head of cow/calf pairs. 

Jeff says they got into beef cows 15-20 years ago because they were down on dairy numbers and needed something to maintain the pasture areas. 

One of the things that stuck out to me when talking with Jeff was his passion about what he does everyday. Which you can easily notice when talking with him. 

When I asked Jeff about some of challenges that he faces with raising cattle he said, "You can do anything and everything in your power and fight to the last minute to save that cow or baby calf. It doesn't matter if you have lost one or fifteen, you will walk away from that with a feeling of defeat every time." 

To me that is such an impactful statement because it goes to show how much farmers care for their animals. He also added, "We take good care of our animals because they take care of us."  

"We take good care of our animals because they take care of us."


Jeff ended our conversation with why he is proud to be not only a Minnesota beef farmer but also a Minnesota dairy farmer. 

"I'm proud to be a Minnesota beef and dairy farmer because the products that we provide are safe, healthy and wholesome."

now for the BEef

Next, we ventured over to Chatfield, MN to have a burger at "Shari's Sports Saloon." Shari's has been in business for 10 years now and if you ask Shari what's good on the menu, she will say without skipping a beat, "Everything." 

It is no doubt a sports bar complete with recognition of all sports and teams and multiple TV's, so you won't miss out on any of the action. 

It was hard to choose what to order, but I ended up going with the Patty Melt, which included a hand-pattied burger, fried onions, Swiss cheese and American cheese all in between two slices of Texas toast. 

This was an awesome choice and something I typically wouldn't order but would definitely have again. The burger was cooked perfectly, juicy and packed with flavor. The fried onions tied it all together for me along with the two different cheeses. 

If you are looking for a place to watch your favorite sport's team while eating great food, Shari's Sports Saloon is a place you'll want to check out. 

Another week wrapped up with "What's the Beef?" Join me next week to make sure you don't miss out! 

Makenna