by Elizabeth A. Tomlin
Sixteen New York State county dairy princesses vied for the 2018-2019 NYS title at the 55th annual coronation in Liverpool, NY.
The young ladies were: Elizabeth Burrows, Allegany; Hailey Pipher, Chemung; Katarina Emerich, Clinton; Sonya Helms, Cortland; Brieannah Wheeler, Erie; Kathryn Bosley, Franklin; Connie Louise Frasier, Herkimer; Alexis Payne, Lewis; Laura Littrell, Montgomery; Abigail Wratten, Oneida; Zoie Skinner, Onondaga; Elizabeth Maslyn, Ontario; Megan Wilmot, Otsego; Grace Hanehan, Saratoga; Leah Ludwig, Tioga, and Natalie Vernon, Wayne County.
Competitions for the title of NY State Princess and her alternates included judging of a prepared adult speech, written exams, writing skills, product and dairy industry knowledge, personal interviews, observance of informal interactions, personality and communication skills, poise and an impromptu question.
In the adult speech, scholarships were awarded to Natalie Vernon, Hailey Pipher, and Alexis Payne.
For writing press releases, scholarship awards went to Hailey Pipher, Natalie Vernon and Connie Louise Frasier.
An award for congeniality went to Megan Wilmot.
Product knowledge scholarship awards went to Kathryn Bosley, Zoie Skinner and Hailey Pipher.
Orange Co Dairy Princess Sydney Parkin, 2016-2017, was awarded with the ‘Promoter of the Year Award’ for presenting 172 school programs, attending six farm meetings and having 10 newspaper articles published.
Finalists in this year’s pageant included Hailey Pipher, Sonya Helms, Alexis Payne, Abigail Wratten, Zoie Skinner, Elizabeth Maslyn and Natalie Vernon.
Finalists were asked to answer an impromptu question in front of the audience.
The question was, “Tell us what you would do to reverse the current trend of declining dairy consumption.”
Using social media was a clear avenue mentioned by some contestants.
Reaching consumers through social media had also been the topic of the winning speech prepared by Alexis Payne.
Judges Holly Pullis of Hollywood Enterprises & Roedale Farm, Davis Chlus, Senior Vice-President with Morgan Stanley, and Judi Dixon, International Sales, Dot Foods, had the difficult task of choosing the three new NY State princesses.
After some deliberation it was announced that First Alternate State Princess, and a $700 scholarship went to Alexis Payne. Second Alternate title and a $600 scholarship went to Zoie Skinner.
Finally, Hailey Pipher was announced as the new 2018-2019 NYS Dairy Princess.
Pipher is a junior at Cornell University and affiliated with Farm Bureau, FFA and CUDS. She plans on working with the USDA after completing college.
Pipher will receive a $1,200 scholarship will represent the American Dairy Association North East (ADANE) at events in the upcoming year.
National Dairy Council Chair Audrey Donahoe was in attendance at the event.
“The Dairy Princess program is an important part of Dairy Promotion,” said Donahoe. “The knowledge these girls have in promoting the importance of dairy and dairy products throughout New York State, is a huge benefit to dairy farmers. These young ladies interact with consumers of all ages, not only in promoting the benefits of dairy, but also sharing the positive story of how well farmers care for their animals and their land. They are truly a talented, gifted and beautiful group of young women.”
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