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The 2024 Distinguished Junior Member finalists were named on June 27, 2024, at the National Holstein Convention in Salt Lake City, Utah. The finalists, pictured from left to right, are Courtney Glenna, Lila Sloan, Samuel Mess, Jacob Harbaugh, Keenan Thygesen, and Gabriella Taylor.

Holstein Association USA is thrilled to announce six exceptional young adults who have been named Distinguished Junior Member (DJM) finalists. This prestigious accolade has celebrated the dedicated efforts of young individuals in the dairy industry and their work with Registered Holsteins® since 1922.

“Being named a DJM finalist is the highest honor bestowed upon a Junior Holstein Member and a highlight of National Holstein Convention each year,” says Kelli Dunklee, Holstein Association USA Event and Program Lead. “We look forward to seeing the positive impact this impressive group of young leaders will have on the dairy industry and beyond in the years to come.”

Holstein Association USA named the DJM finalists on June 27, 2024, during the National Junior Holstein Convention Awards Banquet in Salt Lake City, Utah. Congratulations to the 2024 Distinguished Junior Member finalists!

2024 DJM Finalists:

Courtney Glenna, Amery, Wisconsin

Jacob Harbaugh, Marion, Wisconsin

Samuel Mess, Rosendale, Wisconsin

Lila Sloan, Davis, Illinois

Gabriella Taylor, Newark, New York

Keenan Thygesen, Tunbridge, Vermont

DJM judging is a two-part process. Youth members competing put together a book highlighting their Junior Holstein work, activities and projects, breeding program, and personal views. The Junior’s entry book is worth 60 percent of the final score, and the top 12 individuals are named DJM Semifinalists based on their book score.

Phase two of the contest takes place at National Junior Holstein Convention, where the semifinalists are interviewed by a committee of judges. The interview is worth 40 percent of the final score, and the six individuals with the highest combined scores are named DJM finalists.

Young Distinguished Junior Member Finalists

The 2024 Young Distinguished Junior Member finalists were recognized during the 2024 National Holstein Convention. Pictured in the front from left to right are Katie Brandel, Ella Raatz, Makenna Mase, and Cameron Ryan. In the back from left to right are Lauren Silveira, Lydia Couch, Ethan Palmer, and Atley Shafer.

Eight Junior Holstein members ages 9 to 16 were selected as Young Distinguished Junior Member (YDJM) finalists. The applicants were judged on their YDJM books, which highlight their accomplishments and leadership with the Junior Holstein Association and beyond.

The YDJM finalists were recognized during the 2024 National Junior Holstein Convention in Salt Lake City, Utah. Congratulations to these outstanding Junior Holstein members for their impressive accomplishments!

2024 YDJM Finalists:

Katie Brandel, Lake Mills, Wisconsin

Lydia Couch, Huntingdon, Pennsylvania

Makenna Mase, Cochranton, Pennsylvania

Ethan Palmer, Waukon, Iowa

Ella Raatz, Colby, Wisconsin

Cameron Ryan, Fond du Lac, Wisconsin

Atley Shafer, Jefferson, Maryland

Lauren Silveira, Chowchilla, California

For more information about the Distinguished Junior Member and Young Distinguished Junior Member awards and other Holstein Association USA youth programs, visit To learn more about National Holstein Convention, visit