Wisconsin Junior Holstein members hit the road for the National Holstein Convention, June 26-29 in Springfield, MO, where they were recognized for their efforts throughout the year.
Photo By Katie DeBruin
Wisconsin Junior Holstein members get their kicks on Route 66
Like clock-work, each year in the first week of summer, Wisconsin Junior Holstein members hit the road for the National Holstein Convention.
This year was no exception as 25 of Wisconsin's finest headed off for Springfield, MO to compete in Dairy Jeopardy, Dairy Bowl, Distinguished Junior Member competitions and more.
Wednesday morning started off with Andy Sell of Dodge County smoking the competition in the Intermediate division of Jeopardy. It came right down to the final wager and while Andy had the most points going into the final phase, he was out-bet by Megan Rauen of Iowa to end up 2nd in this national competition.
Also competing in jeopardy were: Andy and Abby Field, Sauk County and Kyle Natzke.
Ami Cooper, Dane County, Stephanie Nagel, Manitowoc County and Kyle Natzke, Dodge County spent Wednesday interviewing for the six spots that are reserved for the top six Distinguished Junior Members in the nation.
Cooper and Nagel have had solid Junior Holstein careers, spanning over a decade of Junior Holstein work and both plan to continue in the industry.
Natzke is one of the most decorated Junior Holstein members in the country, with past winnings at state and national Dairy Jeopardy, State Dairy Bowl competition and numerous state and National show winnings.
He has won many judging contests and will continue in the dairy industry as a fitter and owner of top Holsteins.
All three were awarded Distinguished Junior member semi-finalist awards.
Receiving Younger Distinguished Junior member recognition were Katherine Larson of Vernon County and Jordan Siemers of Manitowoc County.
Larson, who owns several outstanding Holsteins, also competed in the folding display contest. Siemers was the captain of the Wisconsin Junior Dairy bowl team, exhibited the Grand Champion Holstein at the 2011 International Junior Holstein Show and is an accomplished herdsperson at his family's dairy.
Wisconsin is always a force to be reckoned with in Dairy Bowl and in 2012 the top teams at the state contest fared well against the national competition.
The Polk County team, made up of Bethany Dado, Chris Rassier, Ethan Dado, Trent Dado and coached by Patti Hurtgen, lost a heartbreaker to end up 4th.
The Junior Dairy Bowl team consisted of brothers Jake and Josh Siemers, Bieke de Bruijn and Jordan Siemers. This well-studied group, coached by Janina Siemers and Jeff Neuser placed third to strong teams from Iowa and California.
California buzzed their way to national champion in both the junior and senior divisions. Incidentally, these teams are coached by former Wisconsin Dairy Bowl standout Megan Hayes Pierce, formerly of New Glarus and currently residing in California.
Numerous Wisconsin Junior Holstein members won awards for Breeder of an Excellent cow, Breeder of a 30,000-pound cow, Breeder of a 150,000-pound cow and Breeder of a 200,000-pound cow.
The Breeder of an Excellent Cow award is presented to Junior members who have bred and owned a cow officially classified "Excellent" on or after January 1, 2010.
The 2012 recipients of the Breeder of an Excellent cow are: Charles Hamilton, Catherine Larson, Bret Long, Jessica Pralle, Ryan Pralle, and Crystal Siemers-Peterman.
The National Progressive Breeder Award recognizes cattle bred by Junior members that meet high production and classification standards for their age group. Every cow qualifying receives a star and Junior members acquire a star for each elite cow they have bred.
This marks the twentieth year that Holstein youth have had the opportunity to apply for the award. Those accumulating five or more stars over their career receive a plaque at National Convention.
One-star recipients are: Brooks Hendrickson, Devin Kepler, Valerie Kramer, Courtney Moser and Mariah Strauss.
Receiving two stars are: Mitchell Kappelman; Katrina Nunes, Austen Schmidt, and Nicole Wright.
Three-star winners are Amelia Cooper, Breinne Hendrickson, Jordan Siemers, and Kayla Wright.
A Seven-star winner was Brandon Long.
Awarded her ninth star is Crystal Siemers-Peterman.
Receiving their tenth star are Brett Hildebrandt.
Awarded his twelfth star is Charles Hamilton.
Thirteen-star honorees are Jessica Pralle and Ryan Pralle.
The 16-star recipient is Bret Long.
The National 30,000-Pound Cow award is received by youth who own a cow producing over 30,000 pounds of milk in 305 days or less, between May 2010 and May 2012.
This year's recipients are: Charles Hamilton, Bret Long, Jessica Pralle, Nicole Pralle, Ryan Pralle, Connor Siemers, Jacob Siemers, Jordan Siemers, Josh Siemers, and Crystal Siemers-Peterman,
The National 150,000-Pound Cow award is given to Junior members who own a cow that has produced over 150,000 pounds of milk in her lifetime.
This year's recipients are: Mitchell Kappelman, Brandon Long, Bret Long, Taegan Long, Jessica Pralle, Ryan Pralle, and Jordan Siemers.
The National 200,000-Pound Cow award is given to Junior members who own a cow that has produced over 200,000 pounds of milk in her lifetime. This year's recipients are: Bret Long and Katie Wendorf.
Rachel Nigh, Vernon County won third place in the scientific category for the folding display contest, which had over 60 entries this year.
The Wisconsin scrapbooks also placed well, receiving 2nd in the paper scrapbook and 5th in the digital.
The Juniors enjoyed tours of Missouri dairy farms and Holstein herds, socials and dances as well as watching the National sale.
The next stop for Wisconsin Junior Holstein members is the Wisconsin Championship Show in Marshfield where they will compete in judging, classification and showmanship contests as well as fun activities.
The State heifer show begins at 2:00 on July 16.
For more information on joining this group, contact Larry Nelson at the Wisconsin Holstein Association, Baraboo.