Connor Erbsen of Lanark, Ill., is the 2019 recipient of the Holstein Association USA’s National Judi Collinsworth Outstanding Junior Exhibitor Award. The Collinsworth Award is presented annually in honor of the Association’s former Executive Director of Member and Industry Services, Judi Collinsworth.
The award recognizes youths’ work and involvement with Holstein cattle and dairy activities. Recipients are selected based on sportsmanship, herdsmanship, participation in Holstein and other agricultural activities, as well as an essay describing what they have learned while exhibiting Registered Holstein® cattle. The winners at each of the National Junior Holstein Shows receive a $250 cash prize and the overall winner receives an additional $500 scholarship.
Erbsen, 19, is a sophomore at Iowa State University studying agronomy alongside ag systems technology and animal science. He is active in the dairy science club, agronomy club, ag systems technology club and in the beginning farmers network. Representing Iowa State, Connor serves as the Midwest ADSA competitions committee member.
“Throughout my years as a Junior Holstein exhibitor, competition and sportsmanship have helped me grow as a person, and as a cattle exhibitor. I strive to set a good example of sportsmanship for the younger members exhibiting alongside me,” Erbsen said. “To me, the most important part of standing at the top is being humble and thankful for your success while standing at the bottom has taught me to take criticism in a constructive manner to improve my exhibition skills or the care of my animal.”
Erbsen has participated widely in his state and county Holstein organizations. As a member of the Illinois Junior Holstein Association, he was a 2015 Young Distinguished Junior Member finalist and has participated in Dairy Bowl on local, state and national levels, as well as Dairy Jeopardy and Dairy Judging. He was the captain of the winning 2015 National Junior Dairy Bowl team. Connor plans to work with and mentor young people both in and out of the showring to strengthen the dairy industry and the Holstein breed.
One Judi Collinsworth Award recipient is selected at each of the four National Junior Holstein Shows. Erbsen won the award at International National Junior Holstein Show. Other winners from 2019 National Junior Holstein Shows are Caitlin Cox, Ind., Grand National Junior Holstein Show; Zachary Paul, Ill., Southern Spring National Junior Holstein Show; and Taylor Wolf, Pa., Premier National Junior Holstein Show.
For more information on Holstein youth programs, contact Kelli Dunklee at 800.952.5200, ext. 4124 or by email.
Holstein Association USA, Inc., provides products and services to dairy producers to enhance genetics and improve profitability–ranging from registry processing to identification programs to consulting services. The Association, headquartered in Brattleboro, Vt., maintains the records for Registered Holsteins® and represents approximately 30,000 members throughout the United States.