The annual Wisconsin Junior Holstein Convention was held at Glacier Canyon Lodge, Jan. 3-5 at Wisconsin Dells. Some 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 30 junior, 24 senior, and 10 rookie teams competed.
More than 100 volunteers helped coordinate dairy bowl matches, dairy jeopardy contests, and the speaking contest. As the dairy bowl contest came to a close, the Shawano County juniors took top honors in the junior division, and the Polk County seniors defeated Dodge County twice to earn the honor to represent Wisconsin at the National Holstein Convention in Iowa. Shawano County's team included Mason and Carter Jauquet, Nathan Ferfecki and Ben Schmidt. Polk County's team was comprised of Chris Rassier, Ethan Dado, Bethany Dado and Cody Getschel, with alternate Tayler Elwood.
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 Adam Field of the District 5 Juniors, Tyler Franklin of St. Croix County, and Dawson Nickels of Dodge County. Recognized for high scores in the senior division were Andy Sell of Dodge County, Lizi Endres of Dane County and Charlie Hamilton of Grant 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. Qualifying this year was Brian McCullough of Green County in the junior division, Jordan Siemers of Manitowoc County in the intermediate division, and Andy Sell of Dodge County in the senior division. Placing second and third in the junior division were Abby Field of the District 5 Junior Club and Clarissa Ulness of Manitowoc County. In the intermediate division, Sanne DeBruijn of Manitowoc County took second, and Hannah Nelson of Pierce County was third. In the senior division, Lizi Endres of Dane County and Ethan Dado of Polk County placed second and third, respectively.
In the speaking contest, Wisconsin can send up to three delegates in each division to the 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 Connor Siemers of Manitowoc County, Cole Booth of Sheboygan County, and Elise Bleck of Sheboygan County in the junior division. Jessica Steger of Crawford County, Josh Siemers of Manitowoc County and Kelsey Cramer of Green County qualified in the intermediate division. Representing the senior division will be Jessica Pralle of Clark County, Kristen Broege of Rock County and Mackenzie Sarbacker of Dane County.
Holstein Boy and Girl
On Saturday evening, the annual banquet was held to honor outstanding juniors. Brett Hildebrandt of Dodge County and Breinne Hendrickson of Green 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 17 other Distinguished Junior Members, 12 Young Distinguished Junior Member winners, and 18 Twelve & Under Recognition winners, all of whom excelled in their Wisconsin Holstein activities in 2013.
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 Iowa in June. Ryan Pralle of Clark County, Nicholas Schuster of Fond du Lac County, Cassy Krull of Jefferson County and Carrie Warmka of Dodge County were all chosen to represent Wisconsin as Distinguished Junior Members. The Young Distinguished Junior Member delegates include Carley Krull of Jefferson County, Megan Nelson of Trempealeau County, Nicole Pralle of Clark County and Rachel Coyne of Pierce County.
The 2014 Wisconsin Holstein Princess and Attendant were also crowned at the banquet on Saturday evening. This year, Kayla Krueger of Waupaca County will serve as the Princess, and Kristen Broege of Rock County will join her as the Princess Attendant.
Wisconsin Holstein awarded more than $10,000 in scholarships this year, and following the award presentation, an auction was held to raise funds for future awards. Funds from auctioning donated items, along with a silent auction, are put into the WHA scholarship fund. More than $3,500 was added this year. Throughout the convention, youth were recognized for other outstanding achievements, including 12 youth with 43 animals qualifying for Junior Progressive Breeder honors and 14 Long Range Production animals producing 100,000 to over 200,000 pounds of milk lifetime.
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 eleven recipients including Paige Nelson of Pierce County, Aaron Berg of LaCrosse County, Rachel Coyne of Pierce County, Cole Hoyer of LaCrosse County, Katie Bauer of Waupaca County, Elizabeth Sarbacker of Dane County, Sara Griswold of Dane County, Sam Minch of Wood County, Austin Nauman of Vernon County, Katherine Larson of Vernon County and Paul Grulke of Dodge County. The group will be traveling the state early this spring.
New JAC members elected
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 group is responsible for coordinating and overseeing all junior events within the Wisconsin Junior Holstein Association. Selected this year for the southwest district was Charlie Hamilton of Grant County, Jessica Pralle of Clark County for the northwest district, Andy Sell of Dodge County for the southeast, and Crystal Siemers-Peterman of Manitowoc County for the northeast. These members will serve a two-year term as JACs, and join second-year members Sean Brown of Iowa County, Cassi Miller of Wood County, Cassy Krull of Jefferson County and Rachel Hartlaub of Manitowoc County.