By Mara Budde
The annual Wisconsin Junior Holstein Convention was hosted by the Sheboygan County juniors in Sheboygan, Wis., at the Blue Harbor Resort and Conference Center, Jan. 4-6. More than 450 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 33 junior, 21 senior and 10 rookie teams competed.
More than 50 volunteers helped coordinate Dairy Bowl matches, Dairy Jeopardy contests and the speaking contest. The Manitowoc/Calumet County team took first place in the junior Dairy Bowl contest for the second year in a row, with Brown County Team 1 coming in second place. The winner of the senior division was Shawano County Team 1, with Door County taking second.
Team members on the winning junior team from Manitowoc/Calumet County include Clarissa Ulness, Garrett Ulness, Austin Meyer and Brianna Meyer. The winning seniors, Shawano County Team 1, consisted of Summer Henschel, Mason Jauquet, Carmen Haack and Ben Schmidt. Those top teams will represent Wisconsin at the National Holstein Convention in Appleton, Wis., in June.
Rounding out the top five for the junior division were Wood County Team 2, Iowa County Team 1 and Clark County, in third, fourth and fifth, respectively. Finishing in third through fifth places in the senior division were Brown County, Dodge/Vernon County and Lafayette County.
All juniors at the 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. Winning the junior division was Maddy Hensel of Wood County, with Jacob Harbaugh, Shawano County, and Brady Bleck, Sheboygan County, placing second and third, respectively. Lauren Siemers of Manitowoc County topped the intermediate division, with Clarissa Ulness, Manitowoc County, placing second, and Brianna Meyer, Calumet County, taking third. The winner of the senior division was Jared Baudhuin, Door County. Mason Jauquet and Summer Henschel, both of Shawano County, placed second and third, respectively.
In the speaking contest, Wisconsin can send up to three delegates in each division to compete at the national convention. 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 contest this year in the junior division are Abby Meyer, Calumet County; Jacob Harbaugh, Shawano County; and Elizabeth Gunst, Dodge County. In the intermediate division, Matthew Gunst, Dodge County, took home top honors. Ava Endres, Dane County, placed second, and Sydney Gwidt, Shawano County, placed third. Winning the senior division was Lauren Siemers, Manitowoc County, with Mikayla Endres, Richland County, taking second, and Maddy Gwidt, Shawano County, placing third.
On the evening of Jan. 5, the annual banquet was held to honor outstanding juniors in the Wisconsin Holstein Association. Zach Tolzman of Iowa County and Allison Breunig of Dane County claimed the most prestigious honor, being named Outstanding Holstein Boy and Girl. These individuals have excelled in their Holstein projects and have been an asset to the association and the dairy industry as a whole. Also receiving honors were 10 other Distinguished Junior Members (DJM), 14 Young Distinguished Junior Members (YDJM), and 12 Twelve and Under Recognition winners, all of which excelled in their Wisconsin Holstein activities in 2018.
TOP AWARDS: Allison Breunig of Dane County and Zach Tolzman of Iowa County were selected Outstanding Holstein Girl and Boy at the Wisconsin Junior Holstein Convention.
In addition to Tolzman and Breunig, 2018 DJM included: Jenna Broege, Rock County; Nicole Broege, Rock County; Kaianne Hodorff, Fond du Lac County; Kalista Hodorff, Fond du Lac County; Ben Kronberg, Rock County; Rachel McCullough, Green County; Courtney Moser, Vernon County; Hannah Nelson, Pierce County; Kylie Nickels, Dodge County; and Brooke Trustem, Rock County.
The YDJM were: Colton Brandel, Jefferson County; Ava Endres, Dane County; Jacob Harbaugh, Shawano County; Hannah Hockerman, Marquette County; Kaydence Hodorff, Fond du Lac County; Brianna Meyer, Calumet County; Ainsley Noble, Grant County; Drew Noble, Grant County; Ashlyn Sarbacker, Dane County; Lauren Siemers, Manitowoc County; Erin Strauss, Jefferson County; Emily Stumpf, Fond du Lac County; Clarissa Ulness, Manitowoc County; and Kaelyn Weigel, Grant County.
The Twelve and Under Recognition was awarded to: Macie Abraham, Sheboygan County; Campbell Booth, Sheboygan County; Ashley Brandel, Jefferson County; Katie Brandel, Jefferson County; Cathryn Gunst, Waushara County; Christopher Gunst, Waushara County; Logan Harbaugh, Shawano County; Levi Nelson, Pierce County; Macie Noble, Grant County; Cameron Ryan, Fond du Lac County; Dylan Ryan, Fond du Lac County; and Tessa Schmocker, Jefferson County.
Of these youth recognized, four representatives in the DJM and the YDJM categories were selected to submit award forms to the national level with hopes of being honored at the national convention. Allison Breunig, Kalista Hodorff, Courtney Moser and Zach Tolzman were all chosen to represent Wisconsin as DJMs. The YDJM delegates are Colton Brandel, Brianna Meyer, Clarissa Ulness and Ainsley Noble.
The 2019 Wisconsin Holstein Association Princess and Attendant were also crowned at the banquet. This year, Lauren Siemers of Manitowoc County will serve as the WHA Princess, and Mikayla Endres of Richland County will join her as the WHA Princess Attendant.
The convention concluded the morning on Jan. 6 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 Holstein Association. Selected this year were Nathan Daniels of Iowa County for the southwest district, Hannah Nelson of Pierce County for the northwest district, Matthew Gunst of Dodge County for the southeast district, and McKenna Coffeen of Brown County for the northeast district. These members will serve a two-year term on the JAC and join second-year members Joshua Gerbitz of Rock County, Hannah Ullom of Chippewa County, Emma Buss of Lafayette County and Mason Jauquet of Shawano County.
Budde is director of communications for Wisconsin Holstein Association.