By Mara Budde
The annual Wisconsin Junior Holstein Convention was hosted by the Wood County juniors Jan. 5-7 at the Holiday Inn Hotel and Convention Center in Stevens Point, Wis. More than 400 Holstein members, chaperones and volunteers were in attendance to help make the weekend a 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 36 junior teams, 19 senior teams and six rookie teams competed.
Dairy Bowl winners
More than 50 volunteers helped coordinate the Dairy Bowl matches, Dairy Jeopardy contests and speaking contest. The Manitowoc/Calumet County team took first place in the junior Dairy Bowl contest, with Lafayette County coming in second place. The winner of the senior division was Polk County, with Shawano County taking second.
Team members on the junior Manitowoc/Calumet County team were Clarissa Ulness, Garrett Ulness, Lauren Siemers and Brianna Meyer. The Polk County senior team consisted of Kristi Getschel, Mikayla Peper, Marie Haase and Hailey Clausen.
Rounding out the top five for the junior division were Polk, Dodge and Sheboygan counties, in third, fourth and fifth, respectively. Finishing in third through fifth place in the senior division were Door County, Outagamie/Calumet County and Iowa County.
For teams to be seated in the Dairy Bowl contest, they take a written exam on the first day of the convention. Those individuals scoring highest are recognized. High scores in the junior division this year came from Jared Abraham of Sheboygan County, Matthew Gunst of Dodge County and Clarissa Ulness of Manitowoc County. Recognized for high scores in the senior division were Mason Jauquet of Shawano County, Marie Haase of Polk County and Dawson Nickels of Dodge County.
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. Brianna Meyer of Manitowoc/Calumet County placed first in the junior division, with Maddie Hensel of Wood County and Emma Paulson of Dodge County coming in second and third, respectively. The top intermediate individual was Lauren Siemers of Manitowoc County. Marie Haase of Polk County placed second, and Coltin Coffeen of Brown County, third. Jake Siemers, Manitowoc County, was the top senior individual, with second place going to Dawson Nickels of Dodge County and third to Summer Henschel of Calumet County.
In the speaking contest, Wisconsin can send up to three delegates in each division to compete at the national level. 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 the National Holstein Convention this year in the junior division are Christopher Gunst, Waushara County; Sydney Gwidt, Shawano County; and Ava Endres, Dane County. In the intermediate division, top honors went to Mae Buttles, St. Croix County, with second and third going to Molly Olstad of Dane County and Kaitlin Neu of Dodge County, respectively. Emily Steger, Crawford County; Allie Breunig, Dane County; and Mason Jauquet, Shawano County, took the top three spots in the senior division.
Outstanding Holstein Boy and Girl
On Jan. 6, the annual banquet was held to honor outstanding juniors in the association. Joseph Opsal of Dane County and Carley Krull of Jefferson 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 the dairy industry as a whole. Also receiving honors were 16 other Distinguished Junior Members (DJM), 11 Young Distinguished Junior Member (YDJM) winners, and 12 Twelve and Under Recognition winners, all of which excelled in their Wisconsin Holstein activities in 2017.
In addition to Opsal and Krull, 2017 Distinguished Junior Holstein Members included Allison Breunig, Dane County; Jenna Broege, Rock County; Kelsey Cramer, Green County; Carmen Haack, Shawano County; Kalista and Kaianne Hodorff, Fond du Lac County; Rachel McCullough, Green County; Samuel Minch, Wood County; Austin Nauman, Monroe County; Dawson Nickels, Dodge County; Nicole Pralle, Clark County; Lindsey Sarbacker, Dane County; Ryan Smith, Green County; Brooke Trustem, Rock County; Alli Walker, Columbia County; and Danielle Warmka, Dodge County.
The Young Distinguished Junior Holstein Members included Colton Brandel, Jefferson County; Nicole Broege, Rock County; McKenzie and Madison Calvert, Layfayette County; Coltin Coffeen, Brown County; Eliza Endres, Dane County; Matthew Gunst, Dodge County; Hannah Hockerman, Marquette County; Drew and Ainsley Noble, Grant County; and Samantha Pitterle, Dodge County.
Lastly, Twelve and Under Member Recognition was awarded to Campbell Booth, Sheboygan County; Ashley Brandel, Jefferson County; Payton Calvert, Lafayette County; Gina Frisle, Barron County; Elizabeth Gunst, Dodge County; Cathryn and Christopher Gunst, Waushara County; Kaydence Hodorff, Fond du Lac County; Macie Noble, Grant County; Dylan Ryan, Fond du Lac County; Cole Sarbacker, Dane County; and Kenadee Weigel, Grant County.
Of the exceptional youth recognized, four representatives in the DJM and YDJM categories were selected to submit award forms to the national level with hopes of being honored at the National Holstein Convention. Samuel Minch, Dawson Nickels, Joseph Opsal and Danielle Warmka were all chosen to represent Wisconsin as DJMs. The YDJM delegates are Eliza Endres, Matthew Gunst, Samantha Pitterle and Hannah Hockerman.
The 2018 Wisconsin Holstein Association Princess and Attendant were also crowned at the banquet on the evening of Jan. 6. This year, Allison Breunig of Dane County will serve as the WHA Princess, and Brooke Trustem of Rock County will join her as the WHA Princess Attendant.
Throughout the convention, youth were recognized for other outstanding achievements, including Junior Progressive Breeder and Long Range Production animals producing from 100,000 to more than 200,000 pounds of milk over their lifetime. Those receiving Junior Progressive Breeder awards include Colton, Ashley, Katie and Justin Brandel, Jefferson County; McKenna Coffeen, Brown County; Nathan Cordes, Barron County; Matthew Kramer, Fond du Lac County; Riley Miller, Rock County; Courtney Moser, Vernon County; Geneva and Julie Nunes, Chippewa County; Joseph Opsal, Dane County; Brooke, Dane and Luke Trustem, Rock County; and Clarissa Ulness, Manitowoc County.
Long Range Production owners of cows include Allison Breunig, Dane County; McKenna Coffeen, Brown County; Nathan Cordes, Barron County; Matthew Kramer, Fond du Lac County; Riley Miller, Rock County; Courtney Moser, Vernon County; Julie and Geneva Nunes, Chippewa County; Joseph Opsal, Dane County; Christopher and Cathryn Gunst, Waupaca County; Nicole Pralle, Clark County; Emily Stumpf, Fond du Lac County; Brooke, Dane and Luke Trustem, Rock County; and Collin Wille, Barron County.
The annual essay contest encourages members to write about assigned topics relating to today’s dairy industry. Taking top honors in this year’s junior division was Kenadee Weigel of Grant County. Second was Cathryn Gunst of Waushara County, and a tie for third place went to Lauren Siemers, Manitowoc County, and Kaelyn Weigel, Grant County. In the senior division, Brooke Trustem of Rock County took first place.
The convention concluded Jan. 7 with an awards breakfast and the annual business meeting, where four new Junior Activities Committee (JAC) members were elected. The JAC is responsible for coordinating and overseeing all junior events within the Wisconsin Junior Holstein Association.
Selected this year were Emma Buss of Lafayette County for the southwest district, Hannah Ullom of Chippewa County for the northwest district, Joshua Gerbitz of Rock County for the southeast, and Mason Jauquet of Shawano County for the northeast district. These members will serve a two-year term as JAC’s and join second-year members Carley Krull of Jefferson County, Jessica Steger of Crawford County, Caleb Hamm of Waupaca County and Samuel Minch of Wood County.
Budde is the Wisconsin Holstein Association communications associate.