Hometown: Orleans, Neb.
Minor: Engler Entrepreneurship & Agricultural and Environmental Sciences Communications
Graduation Date: May 2020
Jacob's Facebook page Jacob's Twitter page
What is your story?
I grew up in a small town in South Central Nebraska. Growing up I was involved in 4-H, FFA, academics and showing cattle. I was fortunate enough to grow up in a family of entrepreneurs and agriculturalists. I’m proud to say I am a fifth generation cattle producer. This is what lead me to start my first business, HP Ehrke Cattle Co. when I was eight years old with the gift of a market heifer from my parents. Since then, my brother and I strive to implement into our commercial cattle herd show cattle genetics, which we are continuing to build today. Wave Image Marketing, my second business, was started when I was a sophomore in high school. I had a passion for agriculture and marketing, so I created my marketing business. I provide multimedia, social media marketing to existing businesses.
What is your business?
Wave Image Marketing and HP Ehrke Cattle Company
Who is your entrepreneurial inspiration OR biggest hero?
I can't pinpoint one single person. I would have to say my mom who started a non-profit, GROW Nebraska, my uncle JD Anderson, who started a bull company that he later sold to ABS Global, and my uncle Jason Anderson who has shown me day in and day out to follow your passion and build your empire with the feed yards he owns.
What advice would you give to a student starting their entrepreneurial journey?
I would tell a student to just do it. You honestly have nothing to lose!
What has been your favorite "Engler Experience" to date?
My favorite Engler Experience has been the trip to Silicon Valley, California. I honestly cannot say enough good things about this trip. From meeting numerous industry leading Ag Tech businesses to learning about the culture, it was a trip of a lifetime.
What has been the biggest hurdle or struggle you've dealt with in your entrepreneurial journey?
I have seen numerous areas of challenges, but my biggest struggle has been communication. Communication has been a challenge, not just in my cattle company, but within my communication company as well. Attending UNL meant I would live three and a half hours from home. Not being able to check my cows and make day to day decisions has been different. However, learning how to communicate better with my dad and brother who serve as business partners has led our business to grow. My communications company itself has had issues when I work remotely from anywhere and I do not see the people I work with. This is both awesome and can be a struggle. I never get the chance to have a face to face discussion with them which makes it hard to gauge in a video chat or email if they like the work I have done for them. I have learned ways around this too, so my company can continue to grow and develop.