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Convention for Minnesota Junior Holstein Association offers opportunity for youth to connect

The Minnesota Junior Holstein Association Convention was held in Rochester earlier this month.

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The 2023 board members of the Minnesota Junior Holstein Association include president Kallie Frericks; vice president Alexis Hoefs; secretary Evelyn Scheffler; treasurer Rachel Visser; reporter Allison Foss; historian Tyler Peters; all-breeds liason Thad Schlauderaff; and directors Dan Frericks, Hailey Frericks and Tyler Ratka.
Contributed photo

ROCHESTER, Minn. โ€” More than 100 students interested in dairy farming convened in Rochester on March 17-18 for the Minnesota Junior Holstein Association Convention.

Hailey Frericks from Albany, Minnesota, served on the 2023 Minnesota Junior Holstein Association convention committee, which planned the event for the nearly 120 youth in Rochester

"Throughout the weekend, we had fun games for all the kids to interact in, such as Jeopardy, quizbowl, speech, a folding display contest and a photo contest," said Frericks. "As well as touring a farm and have some fun workshops, and then end the weekend off with a banquet and dance."

Frericks is a sophomore at South Dakota State University studying agricultural business, who's been involved with the Minnesota Junior Holstein association for seven years.

"I like getting the opportunity to connect with everybody that has the same passion as I throughout the state," said Frericks of the association. "It's a great way to meet new people and have some fun throughout the whole year."

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Frericks said the goal of the convention is to bring youth that are passionate about dairy together to meet and have fun together.

"There's not many times where these farm kids can get off the farm, so giving them the opportunity to come and spend a weekend with everybody is super rewarding," she said.

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The Minnesota Junior Holstein Association Convention was held in Rochester on March 17-18 at the Empire Events Center.
Noah Fish / Agweek

Frericks didn't grow up on a farm, but leased dairy cattle and showed them at county fairs and other shows across the state. She's hoping to have a career in agriculture, maybe serving farmers as a loan officer or financial adviser.

Taylor Fester from Grove City, Minnesota, also goes to SDSU, and serves on the committee that planned this year's convention.

"We milk 1,100 Holsteins, about 100 of them are registered and the rest of them are all just grade," said Fester of his family's farm.

Busy with school and work himself, Fester said it's always good to take time to attend things like the convention, which offer a lot of networking opportunities to youth interested in dairy farming.

"It's just good to come and do something that you want to be involved in," said Fester. "I like being involved with registered Holstein activities, which is good to get your name out farther, and help you meet more and more people."

Tracy Schaefer of Lafayette, Minnesota, has a son โ€” Jacob Schaefer โ€” who has one more year left in the Minnesota Junior Holstein Association.

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"He's been going to the junior convention, probably since he was about 12, and it's his favorite activity for the year," said Schaefer of his son. "It's the connections that you make, the people that you meet, and it's lifelong connections that they make with people that like the same stuff."

Noah Fish is a multimedia journalist who creates print, online and TV content for Agweek. He covers a wide range of farmers and agribusinesses throughout Minnesota and surrounding states. He can be reached at nfish@agweek.com

He reports out of Rochester, MN, where he lives with his wife, Kara, and their polite cat, Zena. He grew up in La Crosse, WI, and enjoys the talent from his home state like the 13-time World Champion Green Bay Packers and Grammy award-winning musicians Justin Vernon and Al Jarreau.
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