The Journey to Becoming Wisconsin’s 71st Alice in Dairyland
It’s known as one of the most intensive and public job interview processes in Wisconsin - the road to becoming our state’s next agricultural ambassador. Six talented young women are currently in the midst of this journey with hopes of being selected as Wisconsin’s 68th Alice in Dairyland.
Their journey started back in February of this year with submitting an application meeting specific requirement criteria. To apply, one must be at least 21 years old, a female, and reside in Wisconsin. In addition, at least three years of experience in a communications, public relations, or marketing field is required, along with significant knowledge of Wisconsin agriculture. If these criteria are met, the applicant will be invited to a preliminary interview that takes place at the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection (DATCP). These interviews narrow the field from a diverse pool of applicants to a group of 4-6 top candidates.
After being named a top candidate, there are weeks of preparation leading up to the selection in May. The top candidates gather in March for a two-day briefing process that introduces them to the role of Alice in Dairyland, helps develop their communication skills, and formally introduces them to the public. The candidates spend a day at DATCP in Madison meeting the team behind the Alice in Dairyland program and learning from guest speakers in the industry. From there, they travel to that year’s host county, this year’s being Adams County, and meet the planning committee who has been hard at work for nearly two years planning the finals event. The second day entails official photographs, agri-business tours, and the much anticipated press conference announcing the top candidates for the position. This press conference is also the candidates’ first opportunity to speak to radio, TV, and print media as an Alice candidate and prepare for this integral portion of Alice’s job description.
The top candidates will stay busy these next few weeks preparing for the Final Interviews, taking place next week (May 17-19) in Adams County. The Final Interviews span the course of three days and evaluate the candidates on all aspects of Alice’s day-to-day activities. Three panelists, comprised of a representative from DATCP, a member from the Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin, and an individual from the agriculture industry at large, evaluate the candidates on each of these aspects. Candidates will first undergo radio and TV interviews similar to those done in the position of Alice. They will also sit down with the three-member selection panel for a personal interview and writing exercises conducted before and during the finals are critiqued throughout the process as well. The candidates will have the opportunity to test their on-the-spot thinking skills and knowledge on agriculture in front of an audience during the discussion meet. A finale event concludes the three days and includes speeches from the candidates, one on an agribusiness tour in Adams County and a last final speech before the panel makes their selection.
For many, this journey spans far beyond just four months and is years in the making. The choice to apply for Alice in Dairyland is a substantial decision and takes time and dedication throughout the process. You can support these six highly qualified top candidates during the Final Interviews by purchasing tickets to see the Discussion Meet on May 18th and the Finale Banquet on May 19th. Visit www.aliceindairyland.com to learn more and follow along on social media to keep up with the candidates as they prepare for the opportunity to serve as Wisconsin’s 71st Alice in Dairyland.