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Brattleboro, Vt. (July 1, 2020)…Holstein Association USA recently recognized six finalists as 2020 National Distinguished Junior Members (DJM) during a Facebook Live event on Wednesday, July 1, 2020. This award is the highest honor given to members of the National Junior Holstein Association, ages 17 to 21, in recognition of a commitment to the Holstein breed and involvement in a variety of agriculture related activities.

The finalists for this year's Distinguished Junior Member competition are Todd Allen, Jefferson, Md.; Matthew Boop, Millmont, Pa.; Kristen Burkhardt, Fowlerville, Mich.; Connor Erbsen, Lanark, Ill.; Mason Jauquet, Pulaski, Wis., and Emily Mikel, Stafford, N.Y.

“The Distinguished Junior Member contest has been held since 1922 and is the longest running Holstein youth program. The award recognition is coveted by Junior members working with Registered Holsteins and participating in our programs across the country,” stated Kelli Dunklee, Holstein Association USA & Holstein Foundation Program Specialist. “These outstanding dairy youth are incredible individuals, leaders and role models for the dairy industry.”

Applicants completed two judging phases. Phase one, the Junior's entry book, is worth 60 percent of the final score. The book highlights the Junior's Holstein work, activities and projects, breeding program and personal views. The top 12 individuals based on their book score are named DJM Semifinalists.

Next, the twelve semifinalists are interviewed by a committee of judges, with the interview accounting for 40 percent of their final score. The six individuals with the highest combined scores are named Distinguished Junior Member Finalists and receive an annual renewed Holstein Association USA membership.

2020 Young Distinguished Junior Members (YDJM)

Eight young people were selected as finalists in the 2020 Young Distinguished Junior Member (YDJM) contest and were recognized during a Facebook Live event on July 1, 2020. YDJM applicants are judged on similar criteria as the Distinguished Junior Member contest, but do not complete the interview phase. Junior members ages 9 to 16 are eligible to apply for the YDJM recognition.

The Young Distinguished Junior Members for 2020 are: Colton Brandel, Lake Mills, Wis.; Rachel Craun, Mount Crawford, Vir.; Nevin Erbsen, Lanark, Ill.; Natalie Fredericks, Little Falls, N.Y.; Jacob Harbaugh, Marion, Wis.; Jacob Raber, Gridley, Ill.; Naomi Scott, Westgate, Iowa and Gabriella Taylor, Newark, N.Y.

For more information about Holstein Association USA’s youth programs, visit