Past President Spotlight: Eddie Blazek

The Past President Spotlight is a column we feature in our bi-monthly publication, the Brangus Journal. We hope you learn from these great leaders who have extensive experience and expertise in their respective fields.

Eddie Blazek
IBBA President 2004-2005

Having served the International Brangus Breeders Association (IBBA) as a former president in 2004-2005, Eddie Blazek, owner of Mound Creek Ranch, has a positive outlook for the future of the breed and particularly for further developing international relations. Blazek and his team at Mound Creek near Leona, Texas, have developed successful working relationships with seedstock Brangus breeders and commercial producers from all over the world.

Mound Creek Ranch has an ongoing successful business relationship with Juan and Santiago Debernardi, some of the most reputable agribusiness leaders in Argentina and South America. When it comes to international markets, Blazek said Genex/CRI and the Debernardi family have been very instrumental in opening doors. Their understanding of protocols and procedures to meet export requirements is essential. Blazek emphasized having patience, courtesy and knowledge about your product is critical when developing international relationships.

“We go in with the mindset to build relationships first and marketing second,” Blazek said. “It’s fun to build familiarity with their customs and their needs. The interest and desire to increase quality in their beef cattle has grown exponentially.”

Blazek was involved in the cattle business at a young age with his father’s commercial cattle herd in Teague, Texas, which had very little Bos indicus influence. After he graduated with an agriculture business degree from Sam Houston State University in 1975, Blazek started out on his own business venture. He sought to purchase the best commercial cows he could find for the best price available. He purchased some commercial females from a herd liquidation sale; half of that herd was pedigreed Brangus females. Once he bred them to a registered Brangus bull he purchased from Harold Gore, the results were unbeatable.

“These Brangus females consistently outperformed and produced the best product,” Blazek said. “Bottom line they made more money.”

Impressed by the results that were produced by the Brangus breed, Blazek invested in the seedstock industry and purchased his first registered females in 1987 at the Genetic Connection sale hosted by Pete Raines and Ray Blair in Hunstville, Texas. Mound Creek now hosts some of the top averaging sales in the country. With the valuable experience and insight he has gained as a Brangus producer and effective leader in the seedstock industry, Blazek said the future of the breed remains positive and prosperous.

“As breeders, as members and as an association, the future of the breed is in our hands,” Blazek said. “There’s no doubt in my mind that Brangus has more future and promise than any other beef breed, and it’s up to us to move it forward.”

Blazek’s foresight is supported by years of experience and involvement in the Brangus breed. His emphasis on implementing the latest technologies and highest quality genetics makes Mound Creek an innovative leader in the seedstock industry domestically and internationally. Mound Creek Ranch initiated a complete new genetics program in the mid ‘90s that is now their hallmark of quality Brangus genetics. Also, the Mound Creek program has a zero tolerance policy in the economically important areas of fertility, skeletal soundness, udder quality, and female accountability.

Not only did Blazek serve as president for the IBBA, but he has served as president for the Texas Brangus Breeders Association (TBBA) and several other regional associations as well. During his term as president, Blazek believed in effective leadership and made it a priority to unite the members of the association. In 2001, he was recognized by his peers as the IBBA Breeder of the Year. Outside of his involvement in the industry, Blazek participates in church missions and activities, and he helps develop programs that assist underprivileged youth.

Past President Spotlight: Gary Bruns

The Past President Spotlight is a column we feature in our bi-monthly publication, the Brangus Journal. We hope you learn from these great leaders who have extensive experience and expertise in their respective fields.

Gary Bruns
IBBA President 1994-1996

ImageIn his many years of involvement with the Brangus breed, Gary Bruns has served the industry and the association in several capacities. His knowledge and expertise now make him one of the best marketers in the business at Advance Solutions Network.

Bruns initially gained valuable experience working with cattle growing up in Madison, S.D. Upon returning from Vietnam in 1970, Bruns worked for an Angus cattle operation in Ohio where he bought several Brangus bulls because of the breed’s ability to adapt to different climates.

“Brangus did well in the North even in the cold weather, and I saw firsthand how well Brangus perform,” Bruns said. “In Texas, Brangus handle the heat and humidity better as compared to other breeds from my experience.” 

In 1973, Bruns was employed as manager of Willow Springs Ranch of Burton, Texas, a premier Brangus operation. After six years with Willow Springs, Gary and his wife, Gwen, moved to Fort Stockton, Texas, where he was given a general manager position with Williams Brangus, owned by Clayton and Modesta Williams. When the operation moved to Floresville, Texas, in 1983, Gary and Gwen were made partners in the cattle ranch. Bruns’ years of involvement and experience in the industry have given him knowledge and insight about the Brangus breed.

“Brangus females are in high demand right now,” Bruns said, “and we have more demand than product for good quality bulls.” He adds, “It is important to improve disposition not just in Brangus, but in all breeds as well.

Bruns served his country as a First Lieutenant in the U.S. Army, his industry as a seedstock producer, and the Brangus breed in numerous ways. Bruns is a longtime member of the Texas Brangus Breeders Association (TBBA) and a past President of the Hill Country Brangus Breeders Association (HCBBA). In 1992, the HCBBA honored Bruns with the Member of the Year award. He was also an elected member on the International Brangus Breeders Association (IBBA) Board of Directors, serving as President from 1995-1996. Bruns was awarded the IBBA’s Breeder of the Year award at the 1993 Annual Convention in Houston for his dedication to the improvement of the breed. Bruns’ years of involvement and experience make him an accomplished, knowledgeable and respected leader in the beef industry and among seedstock producers.