For the Ebert family of Algoma, their Holstein cow, Siemers Goldwyn Goldie-ET, has earned a special place in the scrapbook, winning Grand Champion at the International Junior Holstein Show, held during World Dairy Expo last week in Madison. Later in the week she was crowned Junior Supreme Champion.
She was one of several Wisconsin cows that took top honors during the annual fall dairy extravaganza.
The senior three-year-old, owned jointly by Jordan Ebert, 18, and his sister Whitney, 16, was one of seven show animals the family brought to World Dairy Expo — a show string that included both Holsteins and Jerseys.
Their dad Randy explains that when the kids were small they wanted to show cattle and he believes in showing cows rather than heifers whenever possible. So the smaller stature of Jersey cows seemed a good fit for the Ebert kids, who own all their show cattle jointly.
Jordan had competitive Jersey cattle at World Dairy Expo as early as 2004. The Eberts also won Reserve Junior Champion of the Jersey show in recent years.
But as they grew into young adults they added some Holsteins to the show string and have had success in both breeds. They had success with Budjon-JK Edge of Reason, who won Reserve Grand Champion of the International Junior Holstein show at Expo and had won the winter yearling class with Goldie when she was younger. At that time she was named unanimous Junior All-American.
The Eberts keep their show heifers at home, but if they have cows that are headed for the upper echelons of showing they are cared for by operations that have show ring expertise, says Randy.
"Just like with anything else there are specialists, your business has accountants and feed consultants. We’ve been lucky to surround ourselves with people that are really experts. They are really, really good at this."
The family bought Goldie at a Siemers farm sale when she was a yearling and "have had nothing but fun with her since then," Randy said.
He said he was naturally proud when his kids won the huge title with the cow at Expo. "It’s an awesome experience and something Jordan and Whitney will, I hope, always remember.
"With the kids it’s all about the memories, whether it’s school or extra-curricular activities or the people you meet."
Randy and Renee Ebert’s family also includes Whitney’s twin sister Britney, who was born with special needs and Randy notes that having her in the family keeps a lot of things in perspective for all of them.
Their Ebert Enterprises — with 2,900 cows and 4,700 acres of cropland — is a stone’s throw from where Randy grew up on a much smaller dairy farm. He credits a roster of excellent employees with making the family’s dairy operation a success.
The Eberts began with a few hundred cows and grew their operation to 2,000 head of commercial dairy cows — mostly Holsteins with some Jerseys too, he says.
Whitney is a high school sophomore and Jordan is a freshman at the University of Wisconsin-Madison where he is majoring in dairy science/business. He’s understandably proud of Goldie’s Expo win.
"We strive to find the right blend of dairy strength, body capacity and dairy quality while still getting femininity and extreme style. I think Goldie combines those things with the best of them," Jordan said.
Winning the International Junior Holstein show was "one of the bigger adrenaline rushes I’ve ever had," says the college student. "I’m proud of the process and I feel pretty lucky and humbled to be there."
As well as having success in the show ring, Jordan is thrilled with a new activity at the UW-Madison. He was recently named student manager of the men’s basketball team. "I love the experience so far. I love basketball."
The Eberts said they are still deciding whether or not to take their Goldie to the Royal, a show that is coming up fast and where they showed her as a senior two-year-old last year. "We’re still debating," says Jordan.
Reserve Junior Supreme Champion Honors were awarded to the Grand Champion Red & White Holstein, a 5-year-old, Ms Del-Hollow Javent-Red-ET, exhibited by co-partners Kyle Natzke, Fond du Lac and Kyle Demmer from Iowa (see related story).
Other juniors vying for the title of Junior Supreme Champion were as follows:
• Grand Champion Ayrshire — Four-Hills Tdent Snoopy 2634, exhibited by Britney Hill, Bristol, VT.
• Grand Champion Brown Swiss — Busy Bee Syndicate Jasper, exhibited by Elisabeth Regusci, Modesto, CA.
• Grand Champion Guernsey — Misty Meadows Adacka Pixie, exhibited by Jaclyn Peterson, Wilson. (See related story).
• Grand Champion Jersey — Big Guns Jamaica Vanilla, exhibited by Madison Fisher and Josh McKay, Claysburg, PA.
Grand Champion Milking Shorthorn — Sageser Clay Penny, exhibited by Morgan Sageser, Shelbyville, KY.