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Wisconsin Junior Holstein hosts 2024 Junior Convention

Baraboo, Wis. - January 5, 2023 -- The annual Wisconsin Junior Holstein Convention was hosted by the Fond du Lac County Junior Holstein Association in Fond du Lac, Wis., December 29-31, 2023. More than 450 Holstein members, chaperones, and volunteers were in attendance to help make the event a success.


Throughout the convention, junior members participated in numerous contests including speaking, arts and crafts, photography, Dairy Jeopardy and Dairy Bowl. The largest competition of the weekend was Dairy Bowl, in which 32 junior, 16 senior, and 9 rookie teams competed.


More than 40 volunteers helped coordinate Dairy Bowl matches, Dairy Jeopardy contests, and the speaking contest.


The Shawano County team took first place in the senior Dairy Bowl contest with Wood County coming in second place. The winner of the junior division was Brown County 1 with Shawano County taking second. Team members on the senior Shawano County team include Jacob and Logan Harbaugh, Sydney Gwidt, and Evan Jauquet. The Brown County 1 junior team consisted of Tristen Ostrom, Evan Brey, Ian Brick and Alivia Wiese. The Shawano and Brown County teams will represent Wisconsin at the National Holstein Convention in Salt Lake City, Utah in June 2024.


Rounding out the top five for the senior division were Sheboygan County, Iowa County and Marathon County Team 1, respectively. Finishing in third through fifth place in the junior division were Fond du Lac Team 1, Manitowoc/Calumet Team 1 and Polk County. This year, dairy bowl teams were seeded based on a knowledge exam. The top place in the junior division went to Cameron Ryan, Fond du Lac County, second was Dylan Ryan of Fond du Lac County and third was Madison Harbaugh of Shawano County. In the senior division, the top score went to Logan Harbaugh, Shawano County, followed by Maddy Hensel of Wood County, and Jacob Harbaugh, Shawano County.


All juniors at the convention had the chance to compete in the Dairy Jeopardy competition. The top competitor in each of three age brackets has the opportunity to compete at the national level. Winning the junior division was Evan Brey, Brown County, second went to Madison Sarbacker, Rock County, and Madison Harbaugh, Shawano County, took third. In the intermediate division, Logan Harbaugh of Shawano County topped the group with Cameron Ryan, Fond du Lac County, and Macie Abraham, Sheboygan County, placing second and third, respectively. Sam Mess of Fond du Lac County was the winning contestant in the senior division, with Garrett Ulness of Manitowoc/Calumet placing second and Chloe Breunig of Sheboygan County taking home third place.


In the speaking contest, Wisconsin can send up to three delegates in each division to compete at the National Convention. To compete, youth must prepare a speech on a topic related to the dairy industry at a length assigned to their specific age division. Heading to the National Convention this year in the junior division are Brady McConnell, Grant County, Alivia Wiese, Brown County and Winston Lichty, Dodge County. In the intermediate division, Cathryn Gunst of Waupaca-Waushara, took home top honors. Lilly Peterson of St. Croix County placed second and Adele Dittman of St. Croix County placed third. Lauren Breunig, Dane County, placed first, Madison Wiese, Brown County, placed second and Maddy Hensel of Wood County was third in the senior division.


On Saturday evening, the annual banquet was held to honor outstanding juniors in the association. Sam Mess of Fond du Lac County and Clarissa Ulness of Manitowoc/Calumet County claimed the most prestigious honor, being named Outstanding Holstein Boy and Girl, respectively. These individuals have excelled in their Holstein projects and have been an asset to the association and dairy industry as a whole. Also receiving honors were 11 other Distinguished Junior Members (DJM), 15 Young Distinguished Junior Member winners (YDJM), and 14 Twelve & Under Recognition winners, all of whom excelled in their Wisconsin Holstein activities in 2023.


In addition to Mess and Ulness, 2023 Distinguished Junior Members included Emma Bangart, Wood County; Ashley Brandel, Jefferson County; Sara Dorshorst, Wood County; Courtney Glenna, Polk County; Cathryn Gunst, Waupaca/Waushara County; Christopher Gunst, Waupaca-Waushara County; Jacob Harbaugh, Shawano County; Madeline Hensel, Wood County; Evan Jauquet, Shawano County; Ainsley Noble, Grant County; and Emily Stumpf, Fond du Lac County.


The Young Distinguished Junior Holstein Members included Macie Abraham, Sheboygan County; Justin Brandel, Jefferson County; Katie Brandel, Jefferson County; Kayla Buttles, Grant County; Gavin Carncross, District 5 Junior Holsteins; Alison Gartman, Sheboygan County; Madison Harbaugh, Shawano County; Vivian Lichty, Dodge County; Leah Mess, Fond du Lac County; Abby Meyer, Manitowoc/Calumet County; Brooke Mueller, Green County; Rebecca Murphy, District 5 Junior Holsteins; Ella Raatz, Clark County; Cameron Ryan, Fond du Lac County and Peyton Voegeli, District 5 Junior Holsteins.


Lastly, Twelve & Under Recognition was awarded to Royce Booth, Sheboygan County; Evan Brey, Door County; Ian Brick, Brown County; Katelin Freson, Dodge County; Elise Gilbertson, Iowa County; Naydeen Gilbertson, Iowa County; Rubi Klinkner, Vernon County; Adella Loehr, Fond du Lac County, Lexi Metzler, Vernon County; Braelyn Sarbacker, Dane County; Madison Sarbacker, Rock County; Melanie Sarbacker, Rock County; Reagan Sarbacker, Dane County; and Chesney Speich, Rock County. 


Of the exceptional youth recognized, four representatives in the DJM and the YDJM categories were selected to submit award forms to the national level with hopes of being honored at the National Convention. Jacob Harbaugh, Clarissa Ulness, Courtney Glenna and Sam Mess were all chosen to represent Wisconsin as DJMs. The YDJM delegates include Ella Raatz, Katie Brandel, Cameron Ryan and Justin Brandel.


The 2024 Wisconsin Holstein Princess and Attendant were also crowned at the banquet on Saturday evening. This year, Lauren Breunig of Dane County will serve as the WHA Princess, and Madison Wiese of Brown County will join her as the WHA Princess Attendant.


The WHY Leadership Merit award recognizes youth who excel in leadership at a local level. They are nominated by an advisor or fellow junior member by means of an application on their behalf. This year’s award recipients include Ava Booth of Sheboygan County and Tessa Schmocker of Jefferson County.


The WHY (Wisconsin Holstein Youth) Friend award honors those who have gone above and beyond to help juniors. This year’s WHY Friend in the one to five years of leadership was awarded to Zach Tolzman, Jefferson County. In the more than six years of leadership category, the late Annette Ostrom of Brown County was honored with the award. Liz Matzke was also recognized as Friend of the JACs for her four years spent as a JAC advisor.


Wisconsin Holstein Foundation awarded $19,000 in scholarships this year, and an auction was held to raise funds for future awards. Donated items auctioned included:

Collector’s Football, donated by the Green Bay Packers

A stay at Dr. Daluge’s Ski House, donated by Rick and Peggy Daluge

Milwaukee Bucks Tickets donated by Joseta Halbur

UW-Madison Men’s Basketball tickets, donated by Midwest Farm Report

Photography session donated by Krista Ann Photography

Bonnie Mohr painting donated by John and Marci Walker


Funds from these items are put into the WHA scholarship fund, and close to $8,000 was added this year. High school seniors, and two and four-year college students that are members of WHA are all eligible for these scholarships.


Throughout the convention, youth were recognized for other outstanding achievements.


Those receiving Junior Progressive Breeder Awards include:

Jared and Macie Abraham, Sheboygan County

Ava and Campbell Booth, Sheboygan County

Lauren and Brayden Breunig, Dane County

Alison, Leo, and Brianna Gartman, Sheboygan County

Cathryn and Christopher Gunst, Waupaca-Waushara County

Jacob, Logan, & Madison Harbaugh, Shawano County

Reagan and Garrison Klinkner, Vernon County

Adella and Ainsley Loehr, Fond du Lac County

Dylan and Cameron Ryan, Fond du Lac County

Gracin and Chesney Speich, Rock County

Emily Stumpf, Fond du Lac County

Clarissa Ulness, Manitowoc County


Long Range Production recognizes owners of cows that have produced over 100,000 pounds in their lifetime. In the over 100,000 pounds category: 

Jared and Macie Abraham, Sheboygan County

Ava, Campbell, and Royce Booth of Sheboygan County

Kayla Buttles, Grant County

Alison Gartman, Sheboygan County

Matthew, Elizabeth, Cathryn, and Christopher Gunst, Dodge and Waupaca/Waushara Counties

Kaiden, Aspen and Paisley Hagen, Clark County

Adella and Ainsley Loehr, Fond du Lac County

Jacob, Logan, and Madison Harbaugh, Shawano County

Reagan and Garrison Klinkner, Vernon County

Samuel Mess, Fond du Lac County

Gracin and Chesney Speich, Rock County

Emily Stumpf, Fond du Lac County


In the over 150,000-pound category are:

Jared and Macie Abraham, Sheboygan County

Gracin and Chesney Speich, Rock County

Emily Stumpf, Fond du Lac County


The Junior Farm Trip is awarded to youth interested in learning more about the Wisconsin Holstein industry and spending time touring farms and agri-businesses on a two-day tour in the spring. This year’s trip recipients include: Christopher Gunst, Waupaca/Waushara County; Madison Wiese, Brown County; Ella Raatz, Clark County; Ashley Brandel, Jefferson County; Cathryn Gunst, Waupaca/Waushara County; Paige Sweatt, District 5 Junior Holsteins; and John Wackershauser, Grant County.


The convention concluded Sunday morning with an awards breakfast and the annual business meeting, where four new Junior Activities Committee (JAC) members were elected. The JAC group is responsible for coordinating and overseeing all junior events within the Wisconsin Holstein Association. Elected to two-year terms included Kelsey Hardy, Iowa County, representing the Southwest District; Tessa Schmocker, Jefferson County, representing the Southeast District; Garrett Ulness, Manitowoc/Calumet County, representing the Northeast District; and Aspen Hagen, Clark County, representing the Northwest District. These members join second-year members Paige Sweatt, District 5 Junior Holsteins, Southwest District; Ashley Brandel, Jefferson County, Southeast District; Jacob Harbaugh, Shawano County, Northeast District; and Maddy Hensel, Wood County, Northwest District.


The contest room is an excellent way to show off projects completed by junior members throughout the year. Members participate in advertising, photography, arts and crafts, and folding display contests. New this year were sewing and quilting and scale model categories. Results are as follows:


Photography Contest

Junior Animal

First: Ruby Goede, Vernon County

Second: Callie Krohlow, District 5 Junior Holsteins

Third and People’s Choice: Lane Van Dyk, St. Croix County


Junior People

First and People’s Choice: Landon Van Dyk, St. Croix County

Second: Jacob Raatz, Clark County

Third: Adella Loehr, Fond du Lac County


Junior Farm Scene

First: Evy Linscheid, Iowa County

Second: Gavin Carncross, District 5 Junior Holsteins

Third: Evy Linscheid, Iowa County

People’s Choice: Max Klussendorf, Marathon County


Senior Animal

First: Hannah Hensel, Wood County

Second: Ella Raatz, Clark County

Third: Hannah Hensel, Wood County

People’s Choice: Christopher Gunst, Waupaca/Waushara County


Senior People

First: Emily Stumpf, Fond du Lac County

Second: Erin Torgerson, Vernon County

Third: Hannah Hensel, Wood County

People’s Choice: Ella Raatz, Clark County


Senior Farm Scene

First: Erin Torgerson, Vernon County

Second: Cathryn Gunst, Waupaca/Waushara County

Third and People’s Choice: Jared Jones, Vernon County


Advertising Contest


First and People’s Choice: Campbell Booth, Sheboygan County

Second: Madison Sarbacker, Rock County

Third: Ella Raatz, Clark County


Professionally Assisted

First and People’s Choice: Gavin Carncross, District 5 Junior Holsteins


Folding Display Contest


First and People’s Choice: Aubrey Behling, Marathon County

Second: Ella Raatz, Clark County

Third: Brianne Vandoske, Manitowoc/Calumet County


Arts and Crafts Contest


First: Lexi Metzler, Vernon County

Second: Lexi Metzler, Vernon County

Third and People’s Choice: Abby Withrow, Green County



First: Amelia Dittman, St. Croix County

Second: Katy Torgerson, Vernon County

Third: Erin Torgerson, Vernon County

People’s Choice: Hannah Hensel, Wood County


Quilting and Sewing


First and People’s Choice: Stella Schmocker, Jefferson County


Scale Models


First: Wyatt Gunn, Vernon County

Second and People’s Choce: Gavin Carncross, District 5 Junior Holsteins

Third: Winston Lichty, Dodge County


The annual essay contest encourages members to write about assigned topics relating to today's dairy industry. In the junior division, Erika Sleznikow of Clark County, placed first, Leah Mess of Fond du Lac County, was second and Stella Schmocker of Jefferson County placed third. Winning the senior division was Amelia Dittman, St. Croix County. Macie Abraham, Sheboygan County was second and Aubrey Behling of Marathon County was third.


One of the most coveted awards among juniors, based on participation throughout the year and enthusiasm, is the Premier County award which was won by Iowa County. The group also took home the win for the Bell-R-Ring contest.


Brady Gerhardt of Neillsville was this year’s winner of the grand prize in the calf raffle. Thank you to the Kamphuis family of Brandon for donating the Registered Holstein heifer for this year’s raffle. We would also like to thank the following businesses for their donations of additional prizes: ABS Global, Badger Dairy Club, Cowsmopolitan, Dairy Star, Fond du Lac County Junior Holsteins/Vets Plus, GenOvations, Hoard’s Dairyman, Jenlar Holsteins & Brown Swiss, Origin Reproduction Services, Sartori, Udder Tech, UW-River Falls Dairy Club, Wisconsin Holstein Association, World Dairy Expo and Zoetis.


The Wisconsin Holstein Association would like to commend the Fond du Lac County Junior Holstein Association members and chaperones and extend a special thank you to all volunteers that helped make the weekend a success! The 2025 Wisconsin Junior Holstein Convention will be hosted by the District 5 Junior Holstein Association in the Wisconsin Dells.


Photos of award winners and identification can be found here:


Additional contest photos available by request.


For more information visit the WHA website at or call the office at 1-800-223-4269.



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