More than 500 Holstein members and volunteers were in attendance at the annual Wisconsin Junior Holstein Convention Jan. 6-8. This year's even was hosted by the Dane County juniors at Glacier Canyon Lodge in Wisconsin Dells.
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 37 junior, 24 senior and 11 rookie teams competed.
More than 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, defeating Brown County, and the Shawano County seniors beat a tough Manitowoc County team to earn the honor to represent Wisconsin at the National Holstein Convention in Washington state in June. Dodge County's team included Kylie Nickels, Matthew Gunst, Grady Wendorf and Sam Pitterle. Shawano County's team was comprised of Mason Jauquet, Ben Schmidt, Carmen Haack and McKenna Coffeen.
Rounding out the top five for the junior division were Manitowoc County, Green County and Clark County girls. Finishing in third through fifth places in the senior division were Wood County, Rock County and Lafayette County.
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 Kenadee Weigel of Grant County, Sam Pitterle of Dodge County and Christina Buttles of Grant County. Recognized for high scores in the senior division were Ben Schmidt of Shawano County, Jake Siemers of Manitowoc County and Paul Grulke of Dodge 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. Qualifying this year were Clarissa Ulness of Manitowoc County in the junior division, McKenna Coffeen of Brown County in the intermediate division and Jordan Siemers of Manitowoc County in the senior division. Placing second and third in the junior division were Grady Wendorf of Dodge County and Marissa Vosbers of Green County. In the intermediate division, Coltin Coffeen of Brown County took second, and Josh Gerbitz of Rock County was third. In the senior division, Paul Grulke of Dodge County and Allie Breunig of Dane County placed second and third, respectively.
Holstein Boy and Girl
On Saturday evening, the annual banquet was held to honor outstanding juniors. Logan Voigts of Lafayette County and Kristen Broege of Rock County claimed the most prestigious honors, being named Outstanding Holstein Boy and Girl. These individuals have excelled in their Holstein programs. Also receiving honors were 17 other Distinguished Junior Members, 12 Young Distinguished Junior Member winners, and 12 Twelve and Under Recognition winners.
In addition to Voigts and Broege, 2016 Distinguished Junior Holstein Members included Rachel Coyne of Pierce County, Kelsey Cramer of Green County, Zachary Endres of Dane County, Kalista Hodorff of Fond du Lac County, Mason Jauquet of Shawano County, Matthew Kramer of Fond du Lac County, Carley Krull of Jefferson County, Katherine Larson of Vernon County, Rachel McCullough of Green County, Austin Nauman of Monroe County, Hannah Nelson of Pierce County, Megan Nelson of Trempeauleau County, Paige Nelson of Pierce County, Nicole Pralle of Clark County, Brooke Trustem of Rock County, Alli Walker of Columbia County and Danielle Warmka of Dodge County.
The Young Distinguished Junior Holstein Members included Nicole Broege of Rock County, Madison and McKenzie Calvert of Lafayette County, Coltin Coffeen of Brown County, Eliza Endres of Dane County, Matthew Gunst of Dodge County, Hannah Hockerman of Marquette County, Kaianne Hodorff of Fond du Lac County, Evan Jauquet of Shawano County, Ben Kronberg of Rock County, Kylie Nickels of Dodge County and Samantha Pitterle of Dodge County.
Finally, 12 and Under Member Recognition was awarded to Ashley and Colton Brandel of Jefferson County, Payton Calvert of Lafayette County, Abby Giddings of Marathon County, Cathryn and Christopher Gunst of Waushara County, Jacob and Logan Harbaugh of Shawano County, Kaydence Hodorff of Fond du Lac County, Brianna Meyer of Calumet County, Emily Stumpf of Fond du Lac County and Kenadee Weigel of Grant County.
Of the exceptional youths recognized, five representatives in the DJM and three in the YDJM categories were selected to submit award forms to the national level with hopes of being honored at the National Holstein Convention. Logan Voigts, Kristen Broege, Austin Nauman, Carley Krull and Brooke Trustem were all chosen to represent Wisconsin as DJMs. The YDJM delegates include Ben Kronberg, Matthew Gunst and Hannah Hockerman.
The 2017 Wisconsin Holstein Princess and Attendant were also crowned at the banquet on Saturday evening. This year, Courtney Moser of Vernon County will serve as the WHA Princess, and Kelsey Cramer of Green County will join her as the WHA Princess Attendant.
The convention concluded Sunday morning with an awards breakfast and the annual business meeting, where four new Junior Activities Committee members were elected. The JAC is responsible for coordinating and overseeing all junior events within the Wisconsin Junior Holstein Association. Selected this year was Jessica Steger of Crawford County for the southwest district, Sam Minch of Wood County for the northwest district, Carley Krull of Jefferson County for the southeast district, and Caleb Hamm of Waupaca County for the northeast district. These members will serve a two-year term on the JAC, and join second-year members Zach Tolzman of Iowa County, Nicole Pralle of Clark County, Joseph Opsal of Dane County and Katie Bauer of Waupaca County.
Yaeger is a public relations associate at Wisconsin Holstein Association.