Six Distinguished Junior Member Finalists Recognized at 2017 National Holstein Convention
BRATTLEBORO, Vt., July 6, 2017- Holstein Association USA announced six Distinguished Junior Member (DJM) finalists during the National Holstein Convention. The DJM recognition is the highest honor a Holstein Association USA Junior member can receive. The finalists receive annual renewed memberships to Holstein Association USA.
This year’s finalists are as followed:
Douglas Boop – Millmont, Pennsylvania
Douglas Boop is the 20-year-old son of Douglas and Jennifer Boop. He works at Heart & Soul Holsteins, his family’s dairy, where they milk 42 Registered Holsteins. Douglas enjoys showing cattle at state and national shows. He has received 16 Junior All-American nominations and won Reserve Junior All-American honors twice.
A Junior Holstein member for 13 years, Douglas loves participating in dairy bowl and dairy jeopardy contests. His senior team placed third in the 2016 National Holstein Dairy Bowl contest. “The most vital attribute I owe to the Holstein cow is the opportunity she has given me to be a part of the Junior Holstein Association. The awards, achievements, friendships and connections that I have made have been stepping stones which molded me into who I am today,” Douglas states. “I can reflect on my years as a Junior Holstein member knowing that I have been shaped by one of the world’s most prestigious breed associations.”
Douglas is a senior at the Pennsylvania State University, where he is majoring in animal science with a business option. He is active in the dairy science club, serving on the Nittany Lion Fall Classic Selection Committee. After graduation, he plans to return to their family farm and explore expanding the milking herd.
Emily Irwin – Belvidere, Illinois
Twenty-year-old Emily Irwin grew up on her family’s dairy, R-Vision Holsteins, where they milk 70 cows. Her parents are Mark and Melissa Irwin.
One of the most memorable parts of her Junior Holstein career was serving as the 2014 Illinois Holstein Dutchess. “Being Dutchess gave me an opportunity to be a role model for younger Illinois Holstein members,” she says. “I also love dairy judging and dairy jeopardy contests. Jeopardy is my favorite since you have to read the question fast and buzz in with the answer right away.” Emily has competed in many dairy bowl and dairy jeopardy competitions. Her senior team placed first in the 2015 National Holstein Dairy Bowl contest and she placed second in the 2016 National Holstein Senior Dairy Jeopardy contest.
Irwin received an Associate of Science degree from Kaskaskia College and currently attends Iowa State University majoring in dairy science. She is active in the dairy science club, Collegiate 4-H and a member of the dairy judging team that competed in the 2016 North American International Livestock Exposition. Emily is the teaching assistant for the Dairy Cattle Evaluation course where she organizes practice picture classes and listens to reasons. Upon graduation, she has plans to become a dairy herdsperson or pursue a career in reproduction.
Carley Krull – Lake Mills, Wisconsin
Carley Krull, 19, is the daughter of Cindy Krull-Begeman and the late Brian Krull. At Krull Farms, her family dairy, she is involved with making show heifer decisions and milking their herd of 45 Registered Holsteins.
With a special place in her heart for red and white Holsteins, Carley has been exhibiting at local, state and national shows for over 11 years. Her proudest moment came when she exhibited the Supreme Champion Bred and Owned cow at the Wisconsin Junior State Fair. She is involved in a variety of other Junior Holstein activities including dairy bowl, dairy jeopardy, photography and the Wisconsin Junior Activities Committee, currently serving as the committee’s secretary. “Junior Holstein activities provided me with knowledge of the industry, allowed me to create friendships with fellow dairy enthusiasts and has molded me into the person I am today,” expresses Carley.
Carley is a sophomore at Iowa State University majoring in dairy science. She is involved with dairy science club, pre-vet club, Ag Ed club and Collegiate FFA. She plans to pursue a career as an embryo transfer veterinarian and hopes to take over the farm and open her own practice one day.
Laura Lesher – Bernville, Pennsylvania
Twenty-year-old Laura Lesher, the daughter of William and Lolly Lesher, enjoys playing an active role on her family’s Way-Har Dairy. She works with the calves and heifers, but her favorite activity is managing herd health and making mating decisions, paying special attention to their showstring.
A member of the Pennsylvania Junior Holstein Association for 12 years, Laura was the 2016 vice president of the Junior Executive Committee. “The Junior Holstein Association has been an integral part of my life and introduced me to my passion for the dairy industry. Living on a farm, I was able to work with my family and care for those black and white beauties,” she says. Laura participated in dairy bowl, public speaking and dairy judging. Recently her collegiate dairy judging team placed fifth at World Dairy Expo.
A senior at the Pennsylvania State University, Laura is majoring in animal science with a minor in agribusiness management. She is actively involved with the dairy science and block and bridle clubs. During the Nittany Lion Fall Classic sale, she served on the sale selection and animal preparation committees. Upon graduation, she hopes to find a herdsperson position, ideally concentrating on genetics. Eventually she hopes to return to the family farm.
Tony Lopes – Gustine, California
Tony Lopes, 21, is the son of Paul and Darlene Lopes. He assists in all herd management decisions on his family’s dairy, P and D Dairies, where he and his siblings are the fourth generation. They milk 3,200 cows but he owns and operates Tony L. Lopes Dairy, a herd of 50 Registered Holsteins as a division of his family’s dairy. “Though I complete numerous tasks, my main job has been the selection of mating sires, a job I assumed at 12 years of age. Junior Holstein activities have provided me the opportunity to expand my education and learn things outside of my dairy farm classroom,” explains Tony.
Tony, a Junior Holstein member for 11 years, has held many leadership and committee positions. At the seven national Conventions he has attended, he has participated in dairy bowl, dairy jeopardy and public speaking contests. He has won all divisions of dairy jeopardy, both divisions of the dairy knowledge exam and led his team to victories in both the Junior and Senior divisions of dairy bowl.
A senior at California Polytechnic University, Tony is earning a bachelor’s degree in dairy science with a minor in agribusiness. He was a member of the 2015 Cal Poly dairy judging team and placed seventh individual at North American International Livestock Expo. He is exploring opportunities to pursue a master’s degree in business administration.
Austin Schmitt – Rice, Minnesota
Austin Schmitt, 20, is the son of Mark and Natalie Schmitt. He works on his family’s farm, Schmitt Dairy, where he and his siblings are the fifth generation, milking 100 head of Registered Holsteins. Austin enjoys working with calf nutrition and vaccination.
A Junior Holstein member for eight years, he is currently the president of the Minnesota Junior Holstein Association. Austin has been active in the dairy bowl and dairy jeopardy contests, placing third with his team in the 2013 National Dairy Bowl competition and enjoys showing at state and national levels.
A senior at University of Minnesota, Austin is majoring in animal science with an emphasis in dairy production and minors in agronomy and agriculture food business management. After graduation, Austin is interested in finding a career as a dairy nutritionist before returning to the family farm. “As I hone my skills in problem solving and nutritional management outside the family farm I am building a stronger foundation for my future,” states Austin. “It is my turn to continue the dairy farm tradition as I build my future from my foundation.”
The Distinguished Junior Member award honors Junior Holstein members, ages 17 to 21, who have excelled in their Junior project work, involvement on their farm, and in their communities. For more information about the DJM award, visit www.holsteinusa.com/juniors, or contact Kelli Dunklee at 800.952.5200, ext. 4124, or [email protected].