Holstein Association USA has named twelve semifinalists for the 2015 Distinguished Junior Member (DJM) awards. The Distinguished Junior Member recognition is the highest honor given to members of the National Junior Association ages 17 to 21 who demonstrate a lifetime of commitment to the Holstein breed and involvement in a variety of activities.

This year’s semifinalists are: Anna Culbertson, Pine Island, Minnesota; Hannah Douglas, Ilion, New York; Elizabeth Endres, Waunakee, Wisconsin; Amber Gabel, Newport, Pennsylvania; David Hardesty Jr., Berryville, Virginia; Kayla Krueger, Marion, Wisconsin; Kathryn Osborne, Millerstown, Pennsylvania; Caitlyn Pool, Robesonia, Pennsylvania; Jessica Pralle, Humbird, Wisconsin; Megan Rauen, Farley, Iowa; Andy Sell, Watertown, Wisconsin; and Jacob Shaffer, Beavertown, Pennsylvania.

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.

“My involvement with the Holstein cow has molded me into the driven young woman I am today,” said Megan Rauen of Farley, Iowa, in her Story of Junior Project Work. “The Holstein cow took me from shadowing my older siblings on the family farm and junior events at a young age, to being a leader in my community and a future professional in the dairy industry.”

“I can honestly say that I would not be the person I am today without my involvement in the dairy industry,” David Hardesty Jr., of Berryville, Virginia, wrote in his story. “I have met some extraordinary people, gone places I would have never been able to, and found a career that I am excited to pursue. I have learned the true meaning of hard work and responsibility, and have my family by my side in everything I do.”

The twelve semifinalists will interview at the National Holstein Convention, June 22-26 in St. Charles, Illinois, to be named one of six finalists. Finalists receive annual renewed memberships to Holstein Association USA. All Junior members of Holstein Association USA ages 17 to 21 are eligible to apply for the Distinguished Junior Member recognition.