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BRATTLEBORO, VT

Eight Wisconsin youth are among the finalists being honored by the Holstein Association USA.

Kaianne and Kalista Hodorff of Eden, Hannah Nelson of Ellsworth and Kylie Nickels of Watertown were selected to receive the 2016 Young Distinguished Junior Member (YDJM) award, while Matthew Kramer of St. Cloud, Elizabeth Sarbacker of Verona, Nicole Pralle of Humbird and Jodan Siemers of Newton were named semifinalists for the 2016 Distinguished Junior Member (DJM) awards.

The DJM award i the highest honor given to members of the National Junior Holstein Association ages 17 to 21 who have excelled in preparing for their life's work, while contributing to their local and state Holstein activities.

Each of the semifinalists completed an entry book detailing their Junior Holstein project work, involvement with their cattle, program participation, and school and community activities.

"Through perseverance, hard work and calculated decisions I've been able to achieve many goals as a member of the Junior Holstein Association," wrote Jordan Siemers. "As I transition to an adult member of the Holstein Association USA, I will use the skills I learned as a Junior Holstein member for the good of our farm and for my involvement in the Association."

Siemers, Kramer, Sarbacker, Pralle along with the other two finalists, Lucas Hitchinson, MN, and Kayla Windecker, Frankfort, NY, will interview at the National Holstein Convention, June 27-July 1 in Saratoga Springs, NY, where the finalists will be selected. Finalists receive annual renewed memberships to Holstein Association USA.

Similar to the Distinguished Junior Member contest, the Young Distinguished Junior Member award recognizes 9-16 year olds for their accomplishments working with Holsteins, achievements and leadership in Holstein activities, as well as school and community involvement.

To qualify, a youth must compile a portfolio which demonstrates their involvement and leadership within the Holstein community, their school, and in other aspects of their life.

In her Story of Junior Holstein work, 16 year old Kalista Hodorff wrote, "My farm responsibilities are many and varied which is helping me prepare for my future by increasing my knowledge and understanding of the farm's operations and allowing me to experience the complete life cycle of our animals."

Semifinalists are chosen to attend the National Holstein Convention where they will be recognized. Other YDJM semifinalists include: Todd Allen, Jefferson, MD; Jordyn Griffin, Union Bridge, MD; Johnathan King, Schuylerville, NY; Madison Weaver, Ephrata, PA.

Established in 1922, this contest is the longest running Holstein youth program, and is the highest honor that can be given to a Junior Holstein member.

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