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Brey's career is all about Holsteins

Brey's career is all about Holsteins
2013 UW-Madison graduate works for Holstein USA as a classifier

Since graduating from University of Wisconsin-Madison in May 2013, Jacob Brey has been working for Holstein Association USA as a classifier.

Brey classifies cows all over the United States.

"We pretty much go where the cows are and there are cows everywhere," he says. "I am typically on the road two to three weeks per month. I get to see a lot of the country."

Brey says he spends time talking to farmers and farm managers at each farm visit.

The summer between his junior and senior year, Brey had an internship with Holstein USA. His internship led to a job he has now.

"I like discussing their breeding philosophy," the 24 year old explains. "They breed for different things. Some breed for type or for showing, some for indexing, while others breed for production. So we score cows in every condition and everywhere. Some are out on pasture, some are in tie stalls and some are in freestalls or on dry lots -- wherever people milk cows. It makes the job interesting and challenging."

When Brey was a student at Southern Door High School, he knew he wanted to attend UW-Madison and major in dairy science.

 "All four of my older siblings graduated from UW-Madison," he says. "My brother Tony and his wife Moriah (who is a UW-Madison graduate) and my sister Angie all majored in dairy science. Needless to say, I knew where I was going to college and I knew what I was going to major in."

While in college, Brey was a member of the UW-Madison dairy judging team, Alpha Gamma Rho Fraternity and Badger Dairy Club. He was also chairman of the Badger Dairy Sale his senior year.

"Being on the dairy judging team and living at AGR House helped make the campus feel smaller," he says. "A lot of my friends lived there. It felt like home."

During the spring semester of his junior year, Brey studied abroad in the Netherlands.

"That is probably the semester I grew the most in college," he explains. "I was forced out of my comfort zone. Students should take advantage of the study abroad opportunities that CALS (College of Ag and Life Sciences) offers. College is the time to do that."

The summer between his junior and senior year, Brey had an internship with Holstein USA. His internship led to a job he has now.

"It's a great way to figure out if you want to work for a company or not after you graduate. You can decide if you want to work for them and they can decide if they want you to work for them."

In October, Brey married his college sweetheart Lauren Holterman from Watertown. Lauren graduated in May 2013 with a double major in food science and life science communications. She works for Dairy Business Milk Marketing Co-op as market development manager. The couple lives on his family's 400-cow registered Holstein dairy farm near Sturgeon Bay.

Brey owns some cows in the herd and eventually, he says he and Lauren plan to join his brother and sister-in-law on the farm his parents started farming 40 years ago.

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