The National Junior Holstein Association is a dynamic organization for youth under the age of 21, with over 8,000 active members in 48 states. Eight finalists have been named in Holstein Association USA’s annual Young Distinguished Junior Member (YDJM) competition.
The YDJM recognition is designed to reward youth, ages 9 to 16, who demonstrate a firsthand working knowledge of the dairy industry. Applicants must participate in Registered Holstein®, dairy and other activities, be role models for other youth and good spokespeople for the dairy industry.
The 2018 Young Distinguished Junior Members Finalists are:
- Eliza Endres, Waunakee, Wis., daughter of Randy and Karen Endres
- Nathan Erbsen, Lanark, Ill., son of Carl and Becky Erbsen
- Matthew Gunst, Hartford, Wis., son of Dennis and Nichole Gunst
- Julia Heijkoop, Webster, Fla., daughter of Johan and Trisha Keijkoop
- Hannah Hockerman, Westfield, Wis., daughter of Greg and Dawn Hockerman
- Samantha Pitterle, Watertown, Wis., daughter of Mark and Val Pitterle
- Audrie Risser, Lebanon, Pa., daughter of John and Alisha Risser
- Blake Wright, Verona, Mo., son of Larry and Jodi Wright
Kelli Dunklee, Holstein Association USA & Holstein Foundation Program Specialist states, “One of the most important components of Holstein Association USA is its youth programs. The Young Distinguished Junior Member program, which began in 2004, recognizes the future of the dairy industry. This honor has become an extremely coveted award by honoring youth from across the country while drawing future leaders committed to Registered Holsteins.”
Applicants for the YDJM award complete an entry book, which summarizes their involvement with Holstein cattle and programs, as well as other extracurricular activities.
The eight finalists will be recognized during the 2018 National Holstein Convention, June 29-July 3, 2018 in Acme, Mich.