Eight finalists have been named in Holstein Association USA's annual Young Distinguished Junior Member (YDJM) competition. The YDJM recognition is the highest award given to National Junior Holstein members, ages 9 to 16, and honors their dairy project work and involvement with other agricultural and community organizations. The eight finalists will be recognized during the 2012 National Holstein Convention, June 27-30, in Springfield, Mo. This year's YDJM finalists are: Annie Achen, South Ambia, Ind.; Cole Davis, Pleasant Garden, N.C.; Emily Irwin, Belvidere, Ill.; Katherine Larson, Viroqua, Wis.; Laura Lesher, Bernville, Pa.; Tony Lopes, Gustine, Calif.; Kathryn Osborne, Millerstown, Pa.; and Jordan Siemers, Newton, Wis. Applicants for the YDJM award complete an entry book, which summarizes their involvement with Holstein cattle and programs, as well as other extracurricular activities. In her Junior project story, Katherine Larson said, "Growing up on a farm is the best upbringing I could've asked for. It has taught me a lot about responsibility, hard work, how to care for animals and has helped me find my career direction." "My career goals include attending a four-year university and obtaining a degree in either agri-business, agri-economics, or agri-engineering," stated Cole Davis. "An agricultural Bachelor's degree will enhance my dairy background and prepare me to be a strong voice and advocate for the dairy industry regardless of the specific career path I choose. I am so thankful for the dairy opportunities and experience I have gained over the last 16 years and look forward to a lifetime of involvement and support of the dairy industry." 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 kdunklee@holstein.com. 3.27.2012