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Wisconsin Holstein Wraps Up a Successful 2015 Junior Convention

Baraboo, Wis. – January 5, 2015...The annual Wisconsin Junior Holstein Convention was hosted by the Dodge County juniors in Fond du Lac, Wis., at the Holiday Inn, January 2-4, 2015. Over 500 Holstein members, chaperones, and volunteers were in attendance to help make the weekend a huge success.

Throughout the convention junior members participated in numerous contests, including speaking, arts and crafts, photography, dairy jeopardy and dairy bowl. The largest competition of the weekend was dairy bowl, in which 33 junior, 23 senior, and 11 rookie teams competed.  

Over 50 volunteers helped coordinate dairy bowl matches, dairy jeopardy contests, and the speaking contest. As the dairy bowl contest came to a close, the Dodge County juniors took top honors in the junior division, and the Polk County seniors defeated Dane County to earn the honor to represent Wisconsin at the National Holstein Convention in Illinois. Dodge County’s team included Dawson and Kylie Nickels, Matthew Gunst and Grady Wendorf. Polk County’s team was comprised of Chris Rassier, Ethan Dado, Taylor Elwood, and Cody Getschel.

All juniors at convention had the chance to compete in the dairy jeopardy competition. The top competitor in each of three age brackets has the opportunity to compete at the national level. Qualifying this year was Kylie Nickels of Dodge County in the junior division, Dawson Nickels of Dodge County in the intermediate division, and Lizi Endres of Dane County in the senior division. Placing second and third in the junior division were Cole Booth of Sheboygan County and Lauren Siemers of Manitowoc County. In the intermediate division, Ben Schmidt of Shawano County took second, and Allie Breunig of Dane County was third. In the senior division, Andrew Greenfield of Fond du Lac and Brad Warmka of Dodge County placed second and third, respectively.

In the speaking contest, Wisconsin can send up to three delegates in each division to compete at National Convention. To compete, youth must prepare a speech on a topic related to the dairy industry at a length assigned to their specific age division. Heading to National Convention this year are Mae Buttles of St. Croix County, Brianna Meyer of Calumet County, and Matthew Gunst of Dodge County in the junior division. Courtney Moser of Vernon County, Eva Doornink of Pierce County, and Kelsey Cramer of Green County qualified in the intermediate division. Representing the senior division will be Charlie Hamilton of Grant County, Kati Kindschuh of Fond du Lac County and Cierra Ehrke-Essock of Jefferson County.

On Saturday evening, the annual banquet was held to honor outstanding juniors in the Association. Ryan Pralle of Clark County and Carrie Warmka of Dodge County claimed the most prestigious honor, being named Outstanding Holstein Boy and Girl. These individuals have excelled in their Holstein programs and have been an asset to the Association and dairy industry as a whole. Also receiving honors were 12 other Distinguished Junior Members, 11 Young Distinguished Junior Member winners, and 14 Twelve & Under Recognition winners, all of which excelled in their Wisconsin Holstein activities in 2014.

2014 Distinguished Junior Holstein Members include Karsen Haag of Dane County, Charles Hamilton of Grant County, Rachel Hartlaub of Manitowoc County, Kayla Krueger of Waupaca County, Cassy Krull of Jefferson County, Austin Nauman of Monroe County, Jessica Pralle of Clark County, Elizabeth Sarbacker of Dane County, Andy Sell of Dodge County, Matthew Kramer of Fond du Lac County, Lizi Endres of Dane County, and Cassie Endres of Dane County.

The Young Distinguished Junior Holstein Members include Courtney Moser of Vernon County, Kalista Hodorff of Fond du Lac County, Kaianne Hodorff of Fond du Lac County, Michael Moede of Kewaunee County, Elise Bleck of Sheboygan County, Kylie Nickels of Dodge County, Dawson Nickels of Dodge County, Alli Walker of Columbia County, Lindsey Sarbacker of Dane County, Rachel McCullough of Green County and Brooke Trustem of Rock County.

Finally, 12 & Under member recognition was awarded to Hannah Hensel of Wood County, Sara Dorshorst of Wood County, McKenzie Calvert of Lafayette County, Drew Noble of Grant County, Clarissa Ulness of Manitowoc County, Jacob Harbaugh of Shawano County, Grady Wendorf of Dodge County, Megan Moede of Kewaunee County, Hunter Crowley of Winnebago County, Colton Brandel of Jefferson County, Hannah Hockerman of Marquette County, Brett Walker of Columbia County, Madison Calvert of Lafayette County, and Jared Abraham of Sheboygan County.

Of the exceptional youth recognized, four representatives in the Distinguished and Young Distinguished Member categories were selected to submit award forms to the national level with hopes of being honored at the National Convention, being held in Illinois in June. Jessica Pralle of Clark County, Lizi Endres of Dane County, Andy Sell of Dodge County and Kayla Krueger of Waupaca County were all chosen to represent Wisconsin as Distinguished Junior Members. The Young Distinguished Member delegates include Rachel McCullough of Green County, Brooke Trustem of Rock County, Dawson Nickels of Dodge County and Kalista Hodorff of Fond du Lac County.

The 2015 Wisconsin Holstein Princess and Attendant were also crowned at the banquet on Saturday evening. This year, Sierra Lurvey of Richland County will serve as the WHA Princess, and Cierra Ehrke-Essock of Jefferson County will join her as the WHA Princess Attendant.

Special recognition is given to youth leaders that have been nominated by youth in the Junior Holstein Association and selected by the Junior Activities Committee. This year’s WHY (Wisconsin Holstein Youth) Friends were Amber Elliott of Dane County in the five year and under division, and Dana Kepler of Richland County in the six years and over division.

Wisconsin Holstein awarded over $16,000 in scholarships this year, and an auction was held to raise funds for future awards. Donated items auctioned off included clippers from Andis, UW-Madison Men’s Hockey tickets donated by Larry Nelson, a certificate for a Bonnie Mohr print, UW-Madison Men’s Basketball tickets donated by Corey Geiger and Krista Knigge, another pair of men’s basketball tickets donated by the Rob Rippchen family, a show package donated by NASCO, a stay at the “Doctor’s House” by Daluge Travel, and five units of GOLD CHIP donated by East Central/Select Sires. Funds from these items, along with a silent auction, are put into the WHA scholarship fund, and over $3,000 was added this year. High school seniors, short course, and two and four year college students that are members of WHA are all eligible for these scholarships.

Throughout the convention, youth were recognized for other outstanding achievements, including Junior Progressive Breeder and Long Range Production animals producing 100,000 to over 200,000 pounds of milk over their lifetime. Those receiving Junior Progressive Breeder Awards include Ryan, Jessica and Nicole Pralle of Clark County, Elizabeth Sarbacker of Dane County, Katrina Nunes of Chippewa County, Bryce Krull of Jefferson County, Cassy Krull of Jefferson County, Dane Trustem of Rock County, Brooke Trustem of Rock County, Cole, Ava and Campbell Booth of Sheboygan County, Riley Miller of Rock County, Nicole Wright of Jefferson County, Courtney Moser of Vernon County, Katherine Larson of Vernon County, Nathan Cordes of Barron County, Charlie Hamilton of Grant County, Valerie Kramer of Fond du Lac County, Matthew Kramer of Fond du Lac County, Sarah Hensel of Sheboygan County, Andy Sell of Dodge County, Joey Opsal of Dane County, Allisa Frisle of Barron County and Madison, McKenzie and Payton Calvert of Lafayette County.

Long Range production owners of cows include McKenzie Calvert of Lafayette County, Julia Nunes of Chippewa County, Matthew Kramer of Fond du Lac County, Emily Steger of Crawford County, Dane Trustem of Rock County, Julia Nunes of Chippewa County, Jessica Steger of Crawford County, Joey Opsal of Dane County, Charlie Hamilton of Grant County, Valerie Kramer of Fond du Lac County, Nathan Cordes of Barron County, Elise Bleck of Sheboygan County, Kari Brokish of Iowa County, Carley Krull of Jefferson County, Ryan, Jessica and Nicole Pralle of Clark County, Elizabeth Sarbacker of Dane County, Geneva Nunes of Chippewa County, Riley Miller of Rock County, and Dane Trustem of Rock County.
 
The Wisconsin Junior Holstein Association awards interested juniors the opportunity to travel to an area of the state to tour farms and learn from their dairy operations. This Farm Tour award was given to 13 recipients including Sanne DeBruijn of Manitowoc County, Adam Field of District 5 Junior Holstein Club, Amanda Gehrke of Wood County, Erica Helmer of Sheboygan County, Matthew Kramer of Fond du Lac County, Carley Krull of Jefferson County, Jennifer Krull of Shawano County, Riley Miller of Rock County, Megan Nelson of Trempealeau County, Paige Nelson of Pierce County, Nicole Pralle of Clark County, Ryan Smith of Green County and Kaila Wussow of Shawano County. The group will be traveling the state early this spring.

The convention concluded Sunday morning with an awards breakfast and the annual business meeting, where four new Junior Activities Committee (JAC) members were elected. The JAC group is responsible for coordinating and overseeing all junior events within the Wisconsin Junior Holstein Association. Selected this year for the southwest district was Logan Voigts of Lafayette County, Rachel Coyne of Pierce County for the northwest district, Kristen Broege of Rock County for the southeast, and Andrew Greenfield of Fond du Lac County for the northeast. These members will serve a two-year term as JAC’s, and join second-year members Charlie Hamilton of Grant County, Jessica Pralle of Clark County, Andy Sell of Dodge County and Crystal Siemers-Peterman of Manitowoc County.

The contest room is always fun and a great way to show off projects done by junior members throughout the year. In the advertising contest, members submit advertisements they ran in the Wisconsin Holstein News or something they designed at home on their own. This year’s winners in the junior division were Madison, McKenzie and Payton Calvert of Lafayette County, Clayton and Cole Mahlkuch of Green County and Elise Bleck of Sheboygan County. In the senior division, Carley Krull of Jefferson County, Nicole Wright of Jefferson County and Katherine Larson of Vernon County were recognized. Taking people’s choice honors were Ava Booth of Sheboygan County in the junior division and Kayla Krueger of Waupaca County in senior.

In the photography contest’s farm people photos, Hunter Crowley of Winnebago County, Jared Abraham of Sheboygan County, and Bryce Crowley of Winnebago County were recognized. In the senior division, Rachel Coyne of Pierce County (first and third place) and Jessica Steger of Crawford County had photos that received top honors. People’s choice awards went to Campbell Booth of Sheboygan County and Rachel Coyne of Pierce County.

In photography’s farm scenes category, Courtney Moser of Vernon County took first, while Bryce Crowley of Winnebago County received second and Courtney Moser of Vernon County also took third in the junior division. Excelling in the senior division were Jessica Steger of Crawford County, Rachel Coyne of Pierce County, and Sara Griswold of Dane County in third. People’s choice honors went to Courtney Moser of Vernon County in the junior contest and Cierra Ehrke-Essock of Jefferson County in senior.

Wrapping up the photography contest was the farm animals category, where Campbell Booth of Sheboygan County took first and Elise Bleck of Sheboygan County and Brooke Hammann of Barron County came in second and third respectively. Sara Griswold of Dane County took first, Joey Opsal of Dane County took second and Jessica Steger of Crawford County rounded out the senior division in third place. People’s choice awards went to Campbell Booth and Sam Minch of Wood County.

The juniors got creative in the arts contest, and taking top honors in the junior division were Clarissa Ulness of Manitowoc County, Brandon Biesel of Manitowoc County, and Tamara Hendrickson of Vernon County.  In the senior division, Amanda Gehrke of Wood County took top honors and Eva Doornink of Pierce County rounded out the contest. Clarissa Ulness and Amanda Gehrke received the people’s choice awards.

Also bringing out creativity were those in the crafts contest. Hannah Hensel of Wood County, McKenna Coffeen of Brown County, and Matthew Gunst of Dodge County were the top individuals in the junior division, with no seniors participating in the contest. People’s choice went to McKenna Coffeen.

Each county is encouraged to submit a scrapbook of their activities throughout the year. These books are judged and awards are given to the top three counties. This year, Sheboygan County earned top honors, and District 5 Juniors and Wood County followed closely in second and third place. Digital scrapbooks were also submitted, and the winners of that contest were Lafayette County with Dodge County taking second place.

The folding display contest was a huge success again this year. Individuals developed display boards to highlight activities or subjects within the dairy industry. First in the junior division was Brady Bleck of Sheboygan County, second was Jared Abraham of Sheboygan County, and third was Alex Shaw of Jefferson County. Alex Shaw of Jefferson County was named people’s choice in this contest. First in the intermediate division was Courtney Moser of Vernon County, second and people’s choice was Madelynn Guldt of Shawano County. In the senior contest, Valerie Kramer of Fond du Lac County was the winning entry, and Katherine Larson was second place and people’s choice winner.

The state banner contest was very competitive, and a banner from Wood County took first place. Sheboygan County was second, and Chippewa County third. The Wood County banner will represent Wisconsin at this year’s National Holstein Convention in Illinois.

The annual essay contest encourages members to write about assigned topics relating to today’s dairy industry. With an unprecedented number of entries in this year’s junior division, taking top honors was Connor Siemers of Manitowoc County. Second went to Dawson Nickels of Dodge County, and a tie for third went to Clarissa Ulness of Manitowoc County and Cole Booth of Sheboygan County. In the senior division, Rachel Coyne of Pierce County was first with Zach Dressler of Iowa County second.

One of the most coveted awards, based on participation throughout the year and enthusiasm, is the Spirit award, which was given to Rock County. The Bell-R-Ring contest was also won by Rock County with a clever song featuring the ‘Rock-a-pellas.’

For teams to be seated in the dairy bowl contest, they must take a written exam on the first day of convention. Those individuals scoring highest are recognized with awards. High scores in the junior division this year went to Lauren Siemers of Manitowoc County, Kelli Marshall of Barron County, and Ben Schmidt of Shawano County. Recognized for high scores in the senior division were Ethan Dado and Chris Rassier of Polk County, and Lizi Endres of Dane County.

The Wisconsin Holstein Association would like to commend the Dodge County Junior Holstein Association members and chaperones, and extend a special thank you to all volunteers that helped make the weekend a success!

The Association would also like to thank the following junior raffle sponsors: Siemers Holsteins, WI State Farmer, Accelerated Genetics, Professional Dairy Producers of Wisconsin, ABS Global, Inc., CRV, Holstein World, The Country Today, Animart, NASCO, East Central/Select Sires, Cattle Connection, UW-Madison Badger Dairy Club, International Protein Sires, Semex, World Dairy Expo, Agri-View, Hoard’s Dairyman, Wisconsin Holstein Association, and Wisconsin Holstein Publications.