The Max Gordon Recognition Award is presented to an individual who exemplifies the principles of good sportsmanship, ethical behavior in and out of the show arena, promotion of the Jersey cow, ability, and professionalism, as noted by the recipient’s peers. Each year, the Max Gordon Recognition Award committee convenes to pick the recipient for that respective year. During the 2020 National Jersey Jug Futurity, Donna Greiwe of Sidney, Ohio, was presented her award as the 2020 recipient.
Donna is both a breeder and exhibitor of high-quality Registered Jerseys and Ayrshires. A friendship and mutual respect was forged more than eight decades ago for the type of cattle the two herds bred. Donna’s father would travel to Indiana to purchase a herd bull from the Gordon family to use for a service sire in their herd. While that business relationship was a constant, perhaps it was a cow by the name of Jim’s & Brampton Jester Maggie that connected the two families most closely. Max Gordon first saw her while judging a county fair. He offered a price to the family and purchased her for Heaven Hill Farm. It was there that “Maggie’s” son, Brownys Masterman Jester, four-time National Grand Champion bull of the All American from 1970-1973, was born.
Donna’s love for the Jersey breed began at a young age. With Jerseys and Ayrshires first coming into her family in the early 1900s, it was a natural progression for her to follow in the footsteps of her father, grandfather, great-grandfather and great-great grandfather. She met her husband while showing her Jerseys. And he was an Ayrshire boy. It was a natural progression when they merged the two breeds when they married.
When talking to friends of Donna’s, she is described as a successful breeder of dairy cattle, determined and the biggest cheerleader of her grandchildren in the show ring. Now the seventh generation of her family– her grandchildren – are showing cattle at the local, state and national levels. They have bred more than three dozen All American, Reserve All American’s, Junior All American’s and Reserve Junior All Americans. This includes one National Junior Champion and one National Reserve Junior Champion. In the last decade, they have had four heifers named Junior Champion or Reserve Junior Champion of the All American Junior Show. And, every one of these heifers were bred and owned.
In addition to exhibiting cattle, four generations of the family have been recognized on the green shavings of the All American Jersey Shows with showmanship awards. In fact, three of her grandchildren have won a division of showmanship in the All American Junior Jersey Show. The family has consigned to state and regional sales and enjoy watching animals carrying their prefix go on to excel for the new owners. She is a strong supporter of the Kentucky National Show & Sale where animals carrying their prefix have captured many banners from the show.
Not only has Donna stood on the halter of winning animals, but she is an accomplished judge having judged many shows throughout the United States.
Donna’s leadership and commitment to breeding high quality individuals has not gone unnoticed. She and her husband were inducted into the Ohio State Fair Hall of Fame for exhibiting cattle for more than 50 consecutive years. She has served as director for the Ohio Jersey Breeders for many years, and served on several committees for the organization.
As evidenced by her family’s continued involvement through the generations with the dairy industry, she has been a strong influence on their life path.