Holstein Association USA announces twelve semifinalists in the 2014 Distinguished Junior Member (DJM) contest. DJM recognition is the highest honor that a Junior Holstein Association member can receive, recognizing outstanding youth and their involvement with the Holstein breed. Applicants must submit an entry book including essays discussing their participation in Junior Holstein programs, a detailed resume of their school and community involvement, and clearly express their knowledge of the dairy industry.
This year's semifinalists are: Emma Andrew, Newark, N.Y.; Elizabeth Davis, Union Bridge, Md.; Hayleigh Geurink, Grand Rapids, Mich.; Sara Kitchen, Danville, Pa.; Cassandra Krull, Lake Mills, Wis.; Jaylene Lesher, Bernville, Pa.; Lauren Nell, Gettysburg, Pa.; Ryan Pralle, Humbird, Wis.; Nicholas Schuster, Fond du Lac, Wis.; Joshua Simon, Farley, Iowa; Meghan Vaill, Vernon, N.Y.; and Carrie Warmka, Fox Lake, Wis.
"My Holstein story had been a whirlwind of hard work and excitement, and I can't wait to see where this ride will take me next," says nineteen-year-old Hayleigh Geurink in her story of Junior Holstein work. She continues, "The dairy industry and the many wonderful people I have met through it have developed me into the person I am today, and I want to do everything in my power to give back to this great community of dairy enthusiasts."
Twenty-year-old Ryan Pralle talks about the impact Registered Holsteins have had on him, "My life thus far has been painted black and white' with Holstein involvement and dairy activities. These experiences as well as growing up on a progressive dairy farm have given me immense knowledge, leadership growth, and inspiration to continue working in the dairy industry. Without a doubt, much of my interest in life sciences and genetics was fostered early on from my experiences in dairy bowl and interacting with our professional consultants."
These twelve semifinalists will continue on to interview at the National Holstein Convention, held June 24 through 28, in Dubuque, Iowa, to become one of six finalists. Finalists will receive annual renewed memberships to Holstein Association USA. All Junior Holstein members, between the ages of 17 and 21 are eligible to apply for the Distinguished Junior Member recognition. For more information about DJM or other Holstein youth programs, visit www.holsteinusa.com/juniors, or contact Kelli Dunklee at 800.952.5200, ext. 4124, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.