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Twisted E Show Goats advances goat genetics for 4-H, FFA buyers

While cattle may dominate the Midwest region in terms of livestock, Jacob and Sara Ebbers decided to go another route. The pair offers premium goat genetics to 4-H and FFA members in the Dakotas.

( This is the third stop on the 2021 Agweek Livestock Tour. Follow the tour by clicking here. )

LAKE NORDEN, S.D. — Jacob and Sara Ebbers own and operate Twisted E Show Goats , located in Lake Norden. They specialize in offering sound show wethers and market does. Twisted E utilizes embryo transfer to help build their herd’s overall genetic quality.

“The big part in using ET is it just makes the goats better. If we can take our top end of our does and instead of getting one or two babies a year we can get five to 10 babies a year, out of that top end they are just better quality," Jacob Ebbers said. "We can increase our doe base with the genetics that we want, if we find a doe that really works, we can flush her and maybe get five daughters. Then, we can throw five daughters back into the flock next year.”

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Jacob and Sara Ebbers started their goat herd in 2016. (Emily Beal / Agweek)

Embryo transfer is the process of taking eggs from a donor doe, a doe of high genetic quality, and placing those eggs into a recipient doe. The recipient doe will carry the donor doe’s egg, birth the kid and raise the kid as its own. This allows producers to build up their herd’s genetics at a much faster speed.

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“Just the progression you can get, we can get better, faster, quicker,” Ebbers said.

The Ebbers started their operation in 2016 with 11 does, but have grown exponentially in the last five years, now kidding out around 45 does. Their offspring are sold to 4-H and FFA members, their show wether and market does excelling in the show arena.

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Jacob and Sara Ebbers own and operate Twisted E Show Goats. (Emily Beal / Agweek)

“We have done pretty well in that category,” Sara Ebbers said.

Twisted E kids out anywhere from 45 to 80 kids during their kidding season. They sell their offspring through private treaty and consignment sales, as well as online sales.

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While goats are not as prevalent in the Dakotas as cattle, they are growing in popularity. The species’ size makes them easier to manage and also cuts down on overall production costs.

“I grew up on a cattle farm and so having the goats here, they’re easier to manage. The size is good, feeding expenses and all of that are smaller because they are a smaller animal,” Sara Ebbers said.

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However, like many, the Ebbers see the similarities between show steers and show wethers.

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Twisted E Show Goats kids out anywhere from forty-five to eighty kids a season. ( Emily Beal / Agweek)

“Some of our best families that have been showing our genetics are cattle families. They are mini steers, they like to play with the hair and if you can feed a calf, you can feed a goat,” Jacob Ebbers said.

Moving forward, Twisted E hopes to continue to offer premium genetics and sound animals to their customers.

“Hopefully we keep making better animals. The goal of it is not always quantity, but quality. We want our customers to have success in the show ring,” Jacob Ebbers said.

Emily grew up on a small grains and goat farm in southern Ohio. After graduating from The Ohio State University, she moved to Fargo, North Dakota to pursue a career in ag journalism with Agweek. She enjoys reporting on livestock and local agricultural businesses.
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