“They called my cow’s name and the place lit up,” says dairy science major Jordan Ebert. “It was an adrenaline rush—the coolest experience I have ever had showing.” That moment happened at World Dairy Expo last fall, when Siemers Goldwyn Goldie, a Holstein from his family’s 2,900-cow dairy farm in Algoma, was named the junior supreme champion.
Ebert started showing cattle at age 4, often working with his sister, Whitney. “Our county fair had a Kiddie Showmanship class,” he recalls. “Our first purchases of show cattle were Jerseys because my sister and I were pretty small people, so we started with smaller animals.” As he grew in size and ability he started presenting at bigger venues. By age 10 Ebert was showing Jerseys at World Dairy Expo and began garnering honors from shows large and small.
Alongside his work with cattle, Ebert was active in 4-H, FFA and, eventually, high school sports including baseball, track and basketball, all while maintaining a 4.0 GPA.
Ebert, now a sophomore, brought his love of sports to the UW–Madison campus. He spent his freshman year as a student manager for the men’s basketball team, working behind the scenes to help keep logistics and office work running smoothly for coaches and players. “It’s been an awesome experience,” he says. He’s also been involved with the Badger Dairy Club.
Ebert hopes to bring what he learns at CALS back to the family farm, Ebert Enterprises, which has nearly 30 full-time employees and up to 20 seasonal workers. “My plan is to work my way up through the ranks into a management position where I am making some decisions, learning what it takes to run the farm through my dad, and eventually take it over,” Ebert says.
Showing cattle has helped his professional development, Ebert notes, citing the value of networking and interacting with industry professionals. “My success in the show ring has gotten my name out there a little bit,” he says. “I have met people along the way and am a familiar face. I feel comfortable talking with them and introducing myself.”