The Wisconsin Junior Holstein Association in coordination with the Dane County Junior Holstein breeders is excited to announce the 2017 annual Junior Holstein Convention, set for January 6-8, 2017 at Glacier Canyon Lodge in Wisconsin Dells. This convention draws over 500 youth, chaperones and volunteers annually, and this year will bring even more new events and opportunities for everyone in attendance.
"We are very excited to team up with these bright young industry members to bring more educational opportunities to our Junior Holstein members at the annual convention," commented Ashley Yager, WHA Public Relations Associate. "The Dane County Juniors have done a tremendous job in thinking outside the box to bring a new dimension to our annual convention, and attendees will be able to gather key takeaways from the knowledge presented through the weekend."
On Friday, January 6, two educational sessions will be offered that highlight past Wisconsin Junior Holstein members and how their Holstein experience influenced college choices and their respective career paths.
The first educational panel will feature "College Choices to Shape Your Career," a young adult educational panel, moderated by WHA Board member Erica Ullom. Erica grew up in Chippewa County on her family's Mayerlane Holstein farm. This session will kick off at 1:00 p.m., and feature Cassie Endres, a 2015 UW-Madison graduate and Marketing Executive at Filament Marketing, Erik Warmka, a 2010 UW-River Falls graduate and herdsman at Warmka Holsteins, Cassy Krull, a December 2015 UW-Platteville graduate and Dairy Focus Consultant for Cargill Animal Nutrition, and Sean Brown, a 2013 UW-Madison Farm and Industry Short Course graduate and herdsman at Ma-Brown Farm.
The second panel of the afternoon will start at 2:00 p.m., and highlight "The Impact of Black & Whites - Past, Present and Future," a Holstein experience panel. This discussion will feature four individuals that were very involved in their Junior Holstein years, and will be moderated by Joseta Halbur, calf-raiser at Burledge Holsteins, a commodity-risk management employee and member of the WHA Board. Erica and Joseta are also members of Wisconsin Holstein's Young Adult Committee, sponsoring gifts for each panel member.
This Holstein experience panel will garner input from Laura Elliott, marketing consultant for Elanco and past WHA Princess, JAC and Holstein Girl. Also on the panel is Charles Hamilton, a junior at UW-Madison studying dairy science with plans to return to the home farm. He is also a past JAC, Holstein Boy and National JAC. Next is Laura Herschleb, Vice President of Marketplace Strategies for Badgerland Financial and also a past JAC and WHA Royalty. Finally, Kyle Natzke will round out the panel. Kyle is a past Outstanding Boy and graduate of UW-Madison Farm and Industry Short Course.
Adults and juniors are welcome to attend the feature panels, and are asked to come with questions for the speakers about their Holstein experience, current career, college education, and more.
On Friday afternoon, "It's all about cheese," as convention guests will have the chance to meet Wisconsin native and Guinness Book of World Record holder, Troy Landwehr. A renowned Fox Valley cheese carver, Tony completed a cheddar sculpture of a cheeseburger that was the biggest the world had ever seen. Landwehr, owner of Kerrigan Brothers Winery in Freedom, earned a spot in the Guinness Book of World Records by creating the 1,524-pound sculpture of a cheeseburger. He will be working near registration from 11:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. on Friday to create a special Holstein cheese sculpture that will be auctioned off at the banquet on Saturday night.
"The Dane County Juniors are thrilled to have Troy join us in Wisconsin Dells," added convention co-chairs Elizabeth Sarbacker and Sara Griswold. "We hope that juniors coming to convention will take advantage of this unique opportunity to see a world-record holder and his talents in promoting cheese and the dairy industry."
Saturday will feature two special sessions on media training from the staff of Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board. Brenda Murphy, WMMB director of Producer Communications and Programs, will help lead the discussion. Brenda is a past Junior Holstein Member and grew up on a small Registered Holstein farm in southern Wisconsin. Vicki Janisch will also be presenting, and Vicki grew up in Junior Holsteins and helps on her family's Registered Holstein dairy, Moss-Oak Farm. Vicki assists WMMB with AmericasDairyland.com and other WMMB supported websites, as well as social channels and answering consumers' questions about dairy farming and foods on those platforms.
First up will be a session titled "Before You Answer, Ask," an opportunity to focus on youth and how they listen and respond to the consumer at dairy related events. This discussion will start at 10:00 a.m. and will be targeted toward older youth in the association, but all are welcome to attend.
In the afternoon starting at 2:00 p.m., Brenda and Vicki will present "Brown Cows and Chocolate Milk." This educational seminar will target younger WHA members and address the age-old comments from fairgoers, such as answering the question about where chocolate milk comes from. Youth will be able to discuss questions they've heard at the fair and learn how best to answer them.
Wisconsin Holstein is excited to partner with members of the industry to bring these educational opportunities to the table for members during a very busy weekend of contests, awards and recognition for the states' hundreds of Junior Holstein members. For a complete schedule of the weekend's events or to submit a registration for the convention, visit the website at www.wisholsteins.com or contact the WHA office at 1-800-223-4269.