“The 36 young people from 17 states selected for this class exemplify the many talented, interested Jersey youth across the United States that our organization wants to encourage to pursue careers in the Jersey dairy business,” Merriam said.
“Continuing the impact of the national Jersey youth programs offered by the association,” he continued, “the Jersey Youth Academy is an intensive educational program focused specifically on the Jersey cow and the many elements of the Jersey dairy business. Academy challenges participants to understand the long history and current growth of the Jersey breed in this country and shows them the opportunities and challenges of the dairy business in the future.”
Participants in the sixth Jersey Youth Academy, with their current academic institutions, are:
California: Hayley Fernandes, Tulare (California Polytechnic State University); Nathan Merriam, Hickman (Hughson High School); Madisen Petersen, Hilmar (California Polytechnic State University); Hannah Sanders, Hilmar (Modesto Junior College).
Florida: Amber Foley, Sarasota (Berry College).
Iowa: Meghan Hettinga, Orange City (South Dakota State University); Mary Holtz, Maquoketa (Maquoketa High School); Lakaya Lyon, Clarence (Des Moines Area Community College).
Illinois: Elizabeth Reis, Barry (John Wood Community College).
Kentucky: Elise Carpenter, Russell Springs (Marion County High School).
Maine: Ruth Huettner, Monson (Kennebec Valley Community College).
Maryland: Sydnie Grossnickle, Union Bridge (gap year, Maryland FFA); Isabella Kukor, Frederick (Berry College).
Massachusetts: Gregory Norris, Westhampton (The Pennsylvania State University); Abigail Shaw, Oxford (Assumption College).
Minnesota: Abigail Grimm, Milaca (Ridgewater College); Alaina Johnson, Dakota (La Crescent-Hokah High School).
Missouri: Maria Poock, Boonville ( State Fair Community College).
New York: Lydia Chittenden, Schodack Landing (Maple Hill High School); Kennedy Crothers, Pitcher (Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University); Megan Gilligan, East Chatham (State University of New York -Cobleskill,); Caroline Lafferty, Schodack Landing (Maple Hill High School); Rileigh Mumbolo, Edmeston (State University of New York -Morrisville).
North Carolina: Austin Baker, Staley (Providence Grove High School and University of Mount Olive).
Oregon: Natalie Berry, Sherwood (Sherwood High School); Joshua Seals, Tillamook (Nestucca High School).
Pennsylvania: Sarah Alexander, Liberty (The Pennsylvania State University); Caroline Arrowsmith, Peach Bottom (Solanco High School); Hannah Diehl, McVeytown (The Pennsylvania State University); Naomi Diehl, McVeytown (Mifflin County High School); Camryn Moyer, Roaring Branch (North Penn-Liberty High School).
Tennessee: James Ozburn, Lewisburg (Forrest High School).
Washington: Bailie Shultz, Seattle (Oregon State University); Luke Wolfisberg, Everson (Washington State University).
Wisconsin: Grace Vos, Maribel (Manitowoc Lutheran High School); Colin Wussow, Cecil (University of Wisconsin -River Falls).
Applications were evaluated by a committee appointed by Merriam and chaired by AJCA Director and chair of the Development Committee, Sam Bok. Selection was based on merit, motivation and preparation for the program as reflected in the written application and goal statement.
Presenters will include representatives of key support agencies and allied industry. The group will also meet and interact with leaders from the Jersey community to gain their unique insights about the future of the dairy business with a specific focus on the Jersey cow.
All program costs, including round-trip transportation for participants, are paid by the Academy.
The Jersey Youth Academy is a 501(c)(3) educational foundation administered by the American Jersey Cattle Association. Contributors represent a broad spectrum of Jersey breeder and dairy industry support.