Ten young Jersey cattle owners will be recognized Saturday, November 3 in Louisville, Ky., for their accomplishments in the National Jersey Youth Achievement Contest.
The contest recognizes outstanding achievement by junior Jersey owners in four areas: work with Registered Jerseys™, related dairy activities, relative progress, and future goals. They were selected from 20 outstanding youth nominated by state Jersey associations, based on their cumulative record through December 31, 2017.
The American Jersey Cattle Association will present cash awards totaling $4,500, including $750 to the contest winner, at the Junior Banquet held in conjunction with The All American Junior Jersey Show.
The Top Three Honorees
Ranked first was Kaila N. Wussow of Cecil, Wis., the fifth generation in her family to be involved in the dairy business. Given a Jersey calf on her first birthday, she has developed a herd of 30 Registered Jerseys, the cows averaging 20,219 lbs. milk, 1,062 lbs. fat and 868 lbs. protein actual in 2017. Kaila was the national winner of the FFA Dairy Production-Entrepreneurship Proficiency Award in 2015. She placed first in the 2008 National Jersey Youth Production Contest, is a two-time winner of the Pot O’Gold Production Contest (2008 and 2011), and has a long list of top three placings in The All American Junior Jersey Show. Kaila was the first alternate National Jersey Queen in 2016 and a member of the fifth class of Jersey Youth Academy in 2017. Wed this past July to her high school sweetheart Joey Tauchen, Kaila will graduate next month from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls with a double major in dairy business and ag marketing communications.
McCalister Russell, Hilmar, Calif., placed second. A student at the University of California-Berkeley, McCalister received her first Jersey heifer at four years of age and now owns nearly 200 Registered Jerseys, with the milking cows averaging 22,962―1,128―835 m.e. in 2017. Three times her animals have placed in the top five of the Pot O’Gold Production Contest. She was exhibitor of the Junior All American Aged Cow and Premier Performance Cow of The All American Junior Jersey Show. McCalister was the 2016 California Jersey Queen.
Third place was awarded to Wesley Noble, the eighth generation to breed Jerseys on his family’s operation, Nobledale Farm, Gillett, Penna. He owns 56 Registered Jerseys, including 23 cows that averaged 20,503―963―738 m.e. in 2017. As the farm’s herdsman and reproductive manager, Wesley’s responsibilities include mating selections and A.I. breeding as well as registrations, genomic testing and making culling and sale decisions. His animals have placed among the top 10 of the Pennsylvania Youth Production Contest since 2014. Wesley was a member of the fifth class of Jersey Youth Academy.
Rounding Out The Top 10
Ranking fourth through tenth in the contest were:
Anneke Boer of Dalhart, Texas, an agricultural communications major at Texas Tech University who is responsible for her farm’s website and advertisements and who was a member of the fourth class of Jersey Youth Academy;
Catherine Savage, Dickerson, Md., a student at Virginia Tech who has earned many awards for dairy judging, fitting and showmanship, done Jersey promotional and advocacy outreach events, and was a member of the fifth class of Jersey Youth Academy;
Allison Foster, Portage, Wis., the first alternate in the 2017 National Jersey Queen Contest and a senior at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville majoring in dairy science with aspirations to advocate for and promote the Jersey breed in her future career;
Allison Schafer of Westphalia, Mich., a student at Michigan State University majoring in agribusiness management who has earned numerous awards in dairy management and dairy judging competitions and stays involved in the home operation by doing mating selections and registration;
Emma Olstad, Stoughton, Wis., who has developed and marketed a series of high-placing animals at The All American Junior Jersey Show and World Dairy Expo and now as a student at the University of Wisconsin-Madison is studying to work in calf and heifer nutrition;
Samantha Schuessler of Antigo, Wis., a student at California Polytechnic State University and member of the fifth class of Jersey Youth Academy who has received the state and national FFA Supervised Agricultural Experience (SAE) Grant for Dairy Production; and
Erin Leach, Linwood, Kans., also a member of the fifth Jersey Youth Academy class who has garnered top awards with her Jerseys at regional and national Jersey shows and is now a student at Oklahoma State University living and working at its Ferguson Family Dairy Center.
The National Jersey Youth Achievement Contest has been sponsored annually since 1957 by the American Jersey Cattle Association.