Farm Tech Days through the eyes of the host

The Kewaunee County Wisconsin Farm Technology Days recently wrapped up at Ebert Enterprises, and we were able to sit down and chat with Jordan Ebert, the seventh generation on his family farm, and a recent UW-Madison Graduate.

A bird’s eye view of FTD!

Ebert Enterprises had humble beginnings in 1997, and grew from zero to 1,000 cows within five years. From 2002-2012 they double in growth, and now milk approximately 3,000 cows, twice a day in an 80 cow rotary parlor. Additionally, they crop 5,500 acres and breed the bottom 25% of their dairy herd to angus to provide wholesome beef to the local area. Jordan’s farming family is comprised of his parents, Randy and Renee, his twin sisters, Whitney and the late Britney, 40 full time employees and 15 part time employees. There was a lot of hard work and emotion behind hosting one of the largest farm shows in the United States, but anyone who attended can agree that the host family and county did a phenomenal job.

The 80-cow rotary parlor the Ebert’s use to milk 3,000 cows.

From the eye’s of a member of the host family; Jordan Ebert’s reflection of Farm Tech Days:

1) What were you most looking forward to during Farm Tech Days?

I didn’t allow myself to have too many expectations for the event. However, I was probably most looking forward to having our farm look the best it’s ever looked and welcoming anyone that attended onto our farm and land.

2) What were your duties as the host family?

Our duties as host family were varied. As a host family and farm, my family and our hard-working employees tried to give it our all for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

A milk toast to start Farm Tech Days!

3) Looking back, what was your favorite aspect of Farm Tech Days?

It’s difficult for me to narrow down my favorite aspect of FTD. There were numerous highlights. Our farm and family was able to be apart of a Make-a-Wish type experience before the show where a young boy who had a courageous victory over Leukemia was able to tour our farm and drive John Deere equipment. Another aspect that stands out was the butterfly release in memory of my sister, Britty. Both were very emotional and put the whole week-plus in perspective.

Renee Ebert releases butterflies in memory of her daughter, Britney.

4) What did it feel like being a member of the host family? What were the emotions behind hosting this large event?

As the host family the feelings or emotions were also quite varied. Our family, along with our employees, were extremely humbled to host the event from start to finish. Rather than excited, I’d say I was more anxious. A mixture of excitement and nervousness, looking forward to it but also always wanting to leave the very best impression. From our perspective it felt like those 3 days went by in the blink of an eye. Throughout the event I felt the want to be in multiple places at once, and I wish I could have slowed it down to see more of it than what I was able to.

5) Is there anything else you’d like to share?

Up to 4 years before the event Kewaunee County knew it’d be hosting the event, and our farm was announced as host about 3 and a half years before the event. Throughout that time there was an unreal amount of hours spent by good-hearted volunteers putting thought towards and physically working to make this event possible. Watching everyone come together for the right reasons was enough to give you goosebumps.

Ebert Family receiving the proclamation for hosting the WI Farm Technology Days.

Thank you to recent UW-Madison graduate, Jordan Ebert and his family, for opening up their farm to thousands and thousands of agriculture enthusiasts, a tremendous job was truly done!

Photos courtesy of Alyssa Bloechl Photography and the Kewaunee County Farm Technology Days Facebook page.

Story by Emily Matzke, CFB at UW-Madison Secretary


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