Holstein youth compete

Now Media Group


The 2016 National Holstein Convention was held June 27 through July 1 in Saratoga Springs, N.Y. Over 400 Holstein Junior members competed in contests and participated in various other activities. Contests are designed to showcase talents and develop skills that will be useful for these young Holstein breeders' future endeavors.

Youth were the stars of the show during the Holstein Foundation's national Holstein youth competitions. Over 196 youth from around the country participated between three contests, most of whom qualified at the state level before moving to the national competition.

Dairy Jeopardy

Nearly eighty participants competed in the Dairy Jeopardy competition, divided into three age divisions. This competition is based on the popular television game show, featuring a wide range of dairy-related questions in a number of categories. Following are the top three individuals in each age division.

Junior Division (ages 9 to 13)

1st: Cassy Schilter, Wash.

2nd: Henry Hamlett, Iowa

3rd: George Andrew, N.Y.

Intermediate Division (ages 14 to 17)

1st: Gregory Norris, Mass.

2nd: Michael Fioretto, Fla.

3rd: Ayla Blatt, Pa.

Senior Division (ages 18 to 21)

1st: Alex Gambonini, Calif.

2nd: Emily Irwin, Ill.

3rd: Stephanie Bishop, N.Y.

Dairy Bowl

In the National Dairy Bowl contest, four-person teams compete within two age divisions; Junior, ages 9-15, and Senior, ages 16-21. A total of twenty-eight Junior and Senior teams participated this year, with 17 states sending teams in each division.

The Junior division championship came down to the teams from California and Pennsylvania, with California emerging as the victor in the final match. Team members included Hayley Fernandes, Jacob Fernandes, Abbi Prins, and Kylie Konyn, coached by Kirsten Areias. The runner-up Pennsylvania team members included Caroline Arrowsmith, Nicole Arrowsmith, Amber Pownall, and Roy Bramn, with coaches Mandy Arrowsmith. Rounding out the top five teams in the Junior division were New England in third, Iowa in fourth and New Jersey in fifth.

The Senior division finals saw California squaring off against New York, with California claiming the championship. California team members were Hannah Van Dyk, Hannah Mancebo, Siana Barret, and Mackenzie Elmer, coached by Kirsten Areias. Representing New York were Alton Rudgers, Allison Herrick, Nick George, Tracy Rudgers, with coach William Herrick. Other teams placing in the top five in the Senior division were Pennsylvania in third, Washington in fourth and Florida in fifth.

J. George & Anna Smith Sportsmanship awards are given to one team in each division who best exemplify the principles of courtesy, friendliness and team spirit throughout the competition. Each team receives a cash award and plaque. The Junior team receiving this award hailed from the state of Maryland, with team members Jordyn Griffin, Ryan Allen, Robert Hahn, and Jill Allen, coached by Laurie Savage. In the Senior division, the honor went to the Oregon team, consisting of Matt Ruby, Jake Ruby, Brooke Ruby, and Faith Wilson, coached by Michele Ruby.

Dairy Knowledge Exam

The Dairy Knowledge Exam is open to any youth attending the National Junior Holstein Convention who wants to put their brain to the test with a 25-question written test. Like Dairy Bowl, youth are divided into two groups by age. The top three individuals in each division for the Dairy Knowledge Exam were as follows.

Junior Division

1st: Jacob Fernandes, Calif.

2nd: Christine Putman, N.Y.

3rd: Hayley Fernandes, Calif.

Senior Division

1st: Elizabeth Endres, Wis.

2nd: Doug Boop, Pa.

3rd: Mackenzie Elmer, Calif.

For more information about Holstein Foundation youth programs, visit, or contact Kelli Dunklee, youth programs specialist, at 800.952.5200, ext. 4124, or

Prepared Public Speaking

Broken into three age divisions, 51 youth participated in the prepared public speaking competition. Following are the results from each division.

Junior (ages 9 through 13 years)

1st: Brianna Meyer, Wis., 'Goldwyn – Sire of Champions'

2nd: Kylie Konyn, Calif., 'Genomics'

3rd: Julia Heijkoop, Fla., 'Educating the Public on Organic versus Conventional Farming'

Intermediate (ages 14 through 17 years)

1st: Brock Irwin, Ill., 'The Real Truth About the Dairy Industry'

2nd: Cady McGehee, Fla., 'Conventional versus Organic Farming'

3rd: Kristin Johns, Pa., 'The 'EIEIO' of Farming'

Senior (ages 18 through 21 years)

1st: Stephanie McBath, N.Y., 'When in Rome, on an Italian Dairy Farm'

2nd: Halee Wasson, Pa., 'Dairy Sweetener'

3rd: Charlie Sasscer, Md., 'The Moo that Keeps on Giving (Sustainability)'

Folding Display Contest

Fifty-seven entries were submitted in this year's Folding Display competition. Participants create a free-standing display educating people about a dairy industry-related topic of their choice. Youth are divided into three age divisions, and each division has two categories – Scientific and Creative. Junior Holstein members are not required to attend the National Convention to enter a display and compete in this contest. Following are the results for each category.

Creative Division - Junior

1st: Whitney Dunklee, Vt., 'Dairy Around the World'

2nd: Danica Rupard, Wash., 'The Talents of a Cow's Tongue'

3rd: Sarah Craun, Va., 'Calf-a-Bunga'

Scientific Division - Junior

1st: Rachel Craun, Va., 'What's the Matter'

2nd: Shelby Sumner, Fl., 'Robotic Milkers – Risk vs Reward'

3rd: Gary Young, Wash., 'The Heritability of Red Genetics'

Creative Division - Intermediate

1st: Taylor Wolfe, Pa., 'FARM'

2nd: Gregory Norris, Ma., 'Expo through the Years'

3rd: Allie Goss, Pa., 'I'm Done, Now What? (Opportunities for Women)'

Scientific Division - Intermediate

1st: Katelyn Sowers, Pa., 'The Effects of Methane Production on the Environment'

2nd: Cole Verano, Fla., 'The Power of Poo'

3rd: Michael Fioretto, Fla., 'AI: Repro Anatomy'

Creative Division - Senior

1st: Daniel Kitchen, Pa., 'Milk and More'

2nd: Megan Rauen, Iowa, 'How to Connect with the Consumer'

3rd: Mary Ellen Sousa, N.J., 'The Veterinary Feed Directive'

Scientific Division - Senior

1st: Shannon Sears, N.Y., 'Hairy Heel Warts'

2nd: Marcy Bartelheimer, Wash., 'Why is She So Moody (Estrous Cycle)'

3rd: Halee Wasson, Pa., 'Can Lactose Hydrolysis be used to Replace Sugar in Dairy Products'

State Scrapbook

The state scrapbook contest gives each state the chance to tell the story of activities and events their Junior Holstein associations take part in each year. Nine states submitted traditional scrapbooks this year.

1st: Iowa

2nd: Illinois

3rd: Minnesota

4th: New England

5th: Pennsylvania

Digital State Scrapbook

The Digital Scrapbook division had nine entries submitted this year. This division is judged on the same criteria as a traditional scrapbook, but entries must be presented on a computer, DVD player, or other digital format.

1st: Illinois

2nd: Missouri

3rd: Washington

4th: New York

5th: Michigan

State Banner

The state banner competition allows states to creatively showcase their state pride, with nine entries submitted this year, displayed throughout the week at the Convention.

1st: Washington

2nd: New England

3rd: New York

NHWSO Awards Scholarships

The National Holstein Women's Scholarship Organization (NHWSO) presented a total of $8,000 in scholarships to three deserving Junior Holstein members. Recipients include Charlie Hamilton, Wis., Elizabeth Endres, Wis., and Jill Seiler, Kan.

New Representatives Elected to Junior Advisory Committee (JAC)

These youth members were elected to the Junior Advisory Committee. From Area II was Cady McGeehee, Fla.; Area IV was Alexandra Gambonini, Calif.; and at At-Large was Rachel Demmer, Iowa.