Award Description and Application

2023 HLLA applications accepted
October 1, 2023 – January 1, 2024!


The Hellenbrand Lasting Legacy Award (HLLA) will be 50% ownership in a calf, born from a recent World Dairy Expo breed champion. An aspiring and deserving high school student will have the opportunity to own, develop and show a valuable dairy calf. The award will conclude with the calf’s consignment to the World Classic Sale at World Dairy Expo. The awardee will receive half of the proceeds from the sale or, if the awardee chooses to retain the calf, the HLLA Board will help find a buyer willing to donate the calf back to the awardee. The 2024 HLLA will be a Brown Swiss calf out of Top Acres Supreme Wizard, the 2017 WDE Brown Swiss Grand Champion. Subsequent awards will be selected from other dairy breeds on a rotational basis.


To be eligible for the HLLA, an individual must be in high school at the time of the January 1 application submission deadline. An applicant may either be nominated and then apply or apply directly to be considered for this award. Eligible individuals will be from the United States, have enough dairy experience to demonstrate their potential, have ready access to the farm that will house the heifer calf and have a plan for showing the calf. To be considered for the award, an applicant must designate a suitable mentor. A letter from the designated mentor that indicates a willingness to support the applicant and that provides a detailed mentoring plan must accompany the application.


To continue the legacy of Mike Hellenbrand and honor the work of Mike and his wife, Linda. This award is meant to present an opportunity to an interested and motivated high school student that might not otherwise be available. By participating in the experience of raising a dairy calf from a previous World Dairy Expo champion, nurturing her genetic potential, and presenting her in the show ring, it is hoped that the winning individual will become a working partner in raising, showing, breeding and promoting an animal with valuable breed-leading genetics.


  • Enthusiasm, motivation, work ethic and potential for the HLLA to launch a future within the dairy industry
  • Evidence of initiative; 4-H, FFA or other related experience; age-appropriate volunteer or community work
  • Mentor selection, support and plan
  • Farm destination for the heifer calf that is accessible and supportive of the winning applicant and mentor and judged to be suitable for the care, growth and development of a high caliber show calf
  • Written and verbal communication skills.


  • Applications will be available year round
  • Completed applications will be accepted from October 1, 2023 through January 1, 2024
  • Application review and finalist interviews will be conducted in February and March, 2024
  • Candidate selection will be finalized late March or the first part of April, 2024
  • The winner will be announced in April, 2024