SYRACUSE — Natalie Vernon from Wayne County was crowned the 2020-21 New York State Dairy Princess on Feb. 18 at the Holiday Inn in Liverpool. Having served as the Wayne County Dairy Princess since spring of 2019, Vernon will devote an additional year to promoting milk and dairy products with American Dairy Association North East (ADANE).
As state princess, she receives a $1,200 scholarship and will serve as a dairy industry ambassador and spokesperson, working with ADANE to represent dairy farmers at a variety of special events, including county dairy princess pageants, farmer meetings, fairs, and school visits. She will also play an integral role in the training and mentoring of new county dairy princesses.
Rachel Rouland from Monroe County was named first Alternate State Princess, and Erin Armitage from Washington County was selected as second Alternate State Princess.
They receive a $700 scholarship and $600 scholarship, respectively. Both young women will assist the New York State Dairy Princess with training, appearances and other duties.
Twenty-two county dairy princesses competed in the state pageant, which included a personal interview, impromptu questions, a prepared adult speech, a product knowledge exam, writing skills test, and informal interaction with others. Judges evaluated the contestants on their communication skills, knowledge of the dairy industry, poise and personality.
Pageant judges were: Tracy Smith, Warren County, N.J., Dairy Princess Coordinator & So-N-So Acres Farm; Mike Weimer, Classifier, Holstein Association USA; and Holly Pullis, Hollywood Enterprises & Roedale Farm.
Additionally, Heidi Kovalewski, Onondaga County Dairy Promotions chairwoman, was presented with the Golden Cow award, given annually to recognize outstanding service and dedication to local dairy promotion in New York state.
Sponsored by ADANE, the 57th annual coronation completed the yearlong reign of Reegan Domagala of Lewis County.
ADANE is the local affiliate of the National Dairy Council and the regional consolidation of three promotion organizations including the American Dairy Association and Dairy Council, Inc., Mid-Atlantic Dairy Association and Pennsylvania Dairy Promotion Program. Committed to nutrition education and research-based communications, ADANE provides science-based nutrition information to, and in collaboration with, a variety of stakeholders committed to fostering a healthier nation, including health professionals, educators, school nutrition directors, academia, industry, consumers and media. Funded by dairy checkoff dollars from more than 10,000 dairy farm families in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, and northern Virginia, ADANE works closely with Dairy Management Inc. to bring a fully integrated promotion program to the North East region. For more information, visit AmericanDairy.com.