Chris Sorenson, President of the American Jersey Cattle Association (AJCA), announced the class for the fourth Jersey Youth Academy, July 19 to 24 in Columbus, Ohio.

“The 22 young people from 14 states selected for this class exemplify the many talented, interested Jersey youth across the United States that our organization wants to encourage to pursue careers in the Jersey dairy business,” Sorenson said.

“Building upon Jersey youth programs initiated over 50 years ago, the Jersey Youth Academy is an intensive educational program focused specifically on the Jersey cow and the many elements of the Jersey dairy business. Academy challenges participants to understand the long history and recent growth of the Jersey breed in this country and shows them the opportunities and challenges of the dairy business in the future.”

Participants in the fourth Jersey Youth Academy, with their current academic institution, are:

  • California: Regina Pozzi, Petaluma (University of California-Berkeley); Nicole Saunders, Hilmar (Turlock Christian High School); Rebecca Sanders, Hilmar (Hilmar High School).
  • Georgia: Matthew Holton, Dawsonville (Dawson County High School); Elizabeth Pereira, Snellville (Berry College).
  • Illinois: Jenna Preston, Taylor Ridge (Illinois Central College).
  • Kentucky: Katlyn Vencill, Nicholasville (Morehead State University).
  • Massachusetts: Toni Jacque, Sunderland (Frontier Regional High School).
  • Minnesota: Meghan Skiba, Cambridge (University of Wisconsin-Madison).
  • New York: Drew Hill, Cattaraugus (Morrisville State College).
  • Oklahoma: Logan Courtney, Chouteau (Home School); Blake Koehn, Meno (Home School).
  • Oregon: Austin Woods, Beaver (Tillamook Bay Community College).
  • South Carolina: Tyler French, Newberry (Newberry Academy).
  • Texas: Anneke Boer, Dalhart (Dalhart High School).
  • Vermont: Megan Hill, Bristol (Mount Abraham Union High School).
  • Washington: Emily Beebe, Monroe (Washington State University); Mandy Lagerwey, Bellingham (Meridian High School).
  • Wisconsin: Samantha Allen, Reedsburg (Reedsburg Area High School); Austin Nauman, Norwalk (Sparta High School); Julia Owens, Frederic (University of WisconsinRiver Falls); Kalan Randall, Soldiers Grove (North Crawford High School).

Selection was based on merit, motivation and preparation for the program as reflected in the written application and goal statement. Applications were reviewed by a committee appointed by Sorenson and chaired by AJCA Director Corey Lutz.

All program costs, including round-trip transportation for participants, are paid by the Academy. A highlight of the 2015 program will be the “Meet the Deans” session, where the young people will meet leaders from the Jersey community to gain their unique insights about the future of the dairy business with a specific focus on the Jersey cow.

The Jersey Youth Academy is a 501(c)(3) educational foundation administered by the American Jersey Cattle Association. Contributors represent a broad spectrum of Jersey breeder and dairy industry support. For more information, contact program coordinator Dr. Cherie L. Bayer at (614) 322-4456, or write Jersey Youth Academy, 6486 E. Main Street, Reynoldsburg, OH 43068-2362.