Dairy Princess and her court to promote milk and dairy products

by Lisa Kempisty, member of the Erie County Dairy Promotion Committee

SPRINGVILLE, NY — In celebration of June Dairy Month, the 2018-2019 Erie County Dairy Princess, Kristen Brown crowned the new 2019-2020 Erie County Dairy Princess and her Court at the Springville Agriculture/Dairy Festival held on June 8 in Springville, NY.

Congratulations to Brooke Gerhardt, the daughter of Dan and Carrie Gerhardt of G-C Acres Dairy Farm in Marilla, who was crowned the 2019-2020 Erie County Dairy Princess. Brooke is graduating from Iroquois High this June and plans to attend college for business management, to run an agricultural camp for kids in the future. Brooke has been a 4-H member for 11 years raising and showing sheep, goats, dairy, beef and hogs. She feeds calves and milks cows on the family dairy farm. In her free time, she works with 4-H animal leasing program kids helping them learn about the animal of their choice, how to care for it, grooming and showing the animal at numerous livestock shows, including the Erie County Fair.

Brooke looks forward to serving as the Erie County Dairy Princess this year because she is passionate for the dairy industry and wants to share her knowledge with people about dairy products and their benefits. Brooke feels that our hard working dairy farmers are such a great asset to our county and looks forward to meeting them and other amazing people along the way.

Two Alternate Dairy Princesses were also recognized for the upcoming promotion year to assist with public appearances and dairy promotion activities throughout Erie County.

Alternate Dairy Princess Rachel McNamara is the daughter of Karen and Daniel McNamara of Marilla. She is a senior at Iroquois High and is a member of the rifle and trap teams. She has been a member of the Clover Creators 4-H Club for nine years enjoying cooking, sewing, woodworking and a variety of craft projects. She shows beef, sheep, and dairy and leases from the Gerhardt family. She will be attending Nazareth College for occupational therapy, and plans to open her own animal-assisted therapy clinic. Rachel developed her interest in the dairy industry from her aunt and grandparents both of whom owned dairy farms. She loves everything about the dairy industry from the animals, farmers and dairy products, and enjoys promoting dairy products through the dairy princess program. She wants to put dairy products in a positive light, and clear up misconceptions about dairy products.

Alternate Dairy Princess Aubrey Gerhardt also of G-C Acres Dairy Farm in Marilla, attends Iroquois High. Aubrey loves playing the clarinet in many school bands and has been in Erie County Band/Orchestra, and Area All State for several years. She plays in the Southtowns Youth Orchestra, Greater Buffalo Youth Orchestra and has performed with the Orchard Park Symphony & BPO. She will be traveling to Europe this summer through American Music Abroad and will be playing concerts in France, Germany, Belgium, Switzerland and Austria. Aubrey has been a member of 4-H for nine years, raising and showing sheep, beef and hogs. She enjoys working with the lease kids that come to the farm. She looks forward to her eighth year in the Erie County Dairy Princess program helping promote the dairy industry with Brooke, Rachel and the entire court. She wants to help youth learn more about dairy products and the nutritional value to them.

Erie County’s outgoing Dairy Princess, Kristen Brown of Springville, made her final dairy promotion appearance and shared a farewell speech. Congratulations to Kristen on an outstanding job representing our dairy industry and continued success in the future.

This year’s dairy promotion court includes many ambassadors not yet old enough to compete for the dairy princess crown, but are eager to assist the dairy princess and her alternates in their efforts. The 2019-2020 Dairy Ambassadors also introduced themselves to the public attending the Dairy Princess crowning. This year’s Dairy Ambassadors are: Jocelyn Mesch of Collins; Emma Koch of Alden; Elizabeth, Isabelle, and Susie Lippert of Springville; Allison and Madeline Gabel; Ashley, Holly, Kelly, Heather and Jessica Niefergold all from Lawtons.

The Erie County Dairy Princess and her Court are spokespersons for the dairy industry, helping support our local dairy farmers by promoting the nutritional value of milk and dairy products at many events. They participate in radio and newspaper interviews, and visit classrooms at area elementary schools to teach children about dairy farming and the health benefits of eating dairy products. The Erie County Dairy Princess and her Court will be participating in upcoming activities throughout Erie County, including summer festivals and parades and the Erie County Fair in August.

The Erie County Dairy Princess program is made possible through the support of the American Dairy Association North East, the local planning and management organization funded by dairy farmer checkoff dollars and local dairy farms and agribusinesses.

Congratulations to our new Erie County Dairy Princess and her Court and best wishes with your dairy promotion activities throughout the upcoming year.

If anyone is interested in having the Dairy Princess and her Court participate in an upcoming community event to educate others about milk and dairy products, and the importance of our dairy industry, please contact Anita Richmond Dairy Promotion Committee Chair at 716.992.3876 or Carrie Gerhardt at 716.725.2750.