Wisconsin women among national DJM finalists

Colleen Kottke
Wisconsin State Farmer

Two Wisconsin women are among an elite grouping of outstanding Junior Holstein Association members.

Kalista Hodorff of Eden, and Allison Breunig of Sauk City were recognized as 2019 2019 National Distinguished Junior Members (DJM) finalists at the National Junior Holstein Convention on June 27 in Appleton, Wisconsin. This is the highest honor a Junior Holstein member may receive and is based on outstanding work throughout their dairy project career, according to Holstein Association USA.

Hodorff will return to the University of Wisconsin-Madison this fall where she is pursuing a degree in Dairy Science. She is also active with the Association of Women in Agriculture. Breunig, who was selected as the 2019 Wisconsin Holstein Girl, also attends UW-Madison where she is studying life sciences communications and ag business management.

The contest, held since 1922, has honored 374 outstanding dairy youth for their contributions to the Association and the dairy industry as a whole.

Other finalists rounding out the top six include: Brock Irwin, Belvidere, Illinois; Sarah Thomas, Pittsboro, North Carolina; Taylor Wolfe, Milton, Pennsylvania; and Lora Wright, Verona, Missouri.

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. 

Phase two takes place at the National Junior Holstein Convention, where the twelve semifinalists are interviewed by a second committee. The interview accounts for 40 percent of the final score. The six individuals with the highest combined scores were recognized at the Gala Banquet as Distinguished Junior Member Finalists and receive an annual renewed membership to the Holstein Association. 

“The Distinguished Junior Member program is the longest running Holstein youth program. This recognition is coveted by Junior members working with Registered Holsteins across the United States,” Kelli Dunklee, Holstein Association USA & Holstein Foundation Program Specialist states. “These youth leaders excel at what they do each day and are phenomenal individuals in addition to being role models and spokespeople for the dairy industry.” 

The Young Distinguished Junior Member (YDJM) Contest selected eight Junior members as finalists and were recognized at the National Junior Holstein Convention. The YDJM winners were judged on similar criteria to the Distinguished Junior Member Contest, but do not complete the interview phase. 

Three Wisconsin youth were among the Young Distinguished Junior Members for 2019 are: Caroline Arrowsmith, Peach Bottom, Pennsylvania; Delana Erbsen, Lanark, Illinois; Austin Holcomb, Lithia, Florida; Kylie Konyn, Escondido, California; Brianna Meyer, Chilton, Wisconsin; Ainsley Noble, Lancaster, Wisconsin; Addison Raber, Gridley, Illinois; and Clarissa Ulness, Valders, Wisconsin. 

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