Jordan Gebhardt, 18, the son of Sam and Karen Gebhardt of Nelson Township, likes to excel. Not only was he valedictorian of the Cedar Springs High School class of 2011, he won two top awards at the Montcalm County 4H Fair last month—Grand Champion Beef Showman and Grand Champion Market Steer.
Jordan said it felt good to win the awards. “It was exciting to hear them call my name,” he said.
This was Jordan’s 12th year in 4H. “I got interested in 4H after I went with my dad and brother (Jacob) to the auction in Montcalm County,” he explained. He said he started out with goats, then raised sheep, and the last couple of years he raised pigs and steers. But he said he’s never really gotten attached to the animals.
“You know from the beginning that’s what they are for,” said Jordan, referring to them being auctioned off. Although, he said they have kept some goats as pets.
Two years ago Jordan was also named Grand Champion Beef Showman, so it was nice to win both awards this year. Lee Story of Story’s Meat Market bought the 1,215-pound prize steer for $3,341.25. Jordan also sold two pigs at auction.
Jordan said he’s always loved animals, and will study Animal Science at Michigan State University and hopes to go to veterinary school for large animals.
Does Jordan have any tips for kids who might want to get into 4H? “Go to the fair and talk to people who are doing it,” he said. “They are all really friendly and they will help you get started.”