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Meet the Candidates: Lauren Siemers; "Take the Road Less Traveled"

When you envision a road, you likely picture neatly paved highways or traffic lights. Perhaps there's a pothole or two along the way, a traffic jam, or a patch of ice in our long Wisconsin winters. However, when I reflect on a road, my mind wanders to the dirt and gravel paths that wind through my family's six-generation dairy farm in Newton, Wisconsin. Along these paths, I discovered the beauty of farm life; honed essential life skills such as time management, responsibility, compassion, and communication; and created memories while working alongside my family. 

These paths served as the backdrop for countless summer hours spent teaching young calves to lead - wearing out my rubber boots and learning the value of perseverance. Over time, these paths became bustling with activity as we hosted various events like local dairy judging practices, the Wisconsin Holstein Picnic, and even a National Holstein Convention tour. Walking from barn to barn, I rehearsed speeches for 4-H and FFA while my brothers tested my knowledge for various agricultural skills contests.


By age 13, I was ready to depart those rustic roads to travel across the state, country, and eventually internationally to compete in agricultural contests such as dairy judging, quiz bowl, speaking contests, and skill-a-thons. Later, I hit the road again as the 2019 Wisconsin Holstein Princess, traveling thousands of miles to champion our state's $45.6 billion dairy industry.


During this time, I had the privilege of engaging with diverse groups, whether at daycare centers, breakfast on the farm events, or assisted living facilities.

These opportunities allowed me to discover diversity in agriculture, from cheese factories in my hometown to sheep farms in Scotland. Everywhere I went, I created connections and cultivated a desire to learn more, broadening my horizons.


After graduating high school in 2020, it was time to take the road less traveled. I moved to the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh to pursue a degree in Marketing. Overnight, the urban rhythm of city streets replaced more familiar sounds like the feed truck delivering nutrients to our cows and the hum of our parlor whirring to life. I took comfort in sharing my story and plans to pursue a career in agricultural marketing with anyone who would listen. To my surprise, many of my peers were curious to learn more about my upbringing on one of Wisconsin's many family-owned dairy farms. I shared photos of my cows and barn cats from back home and took pride in this new way of advocating for agriculture.

I applied to be Wisconsin's 77th Alice in Dairyland because I want to create a roadmap of connection for our state's producers, processors, and consumers. From those humble dirt and gravel paths to promoting Wisconsin's $104.8 billion agriculture industry with Tassie, Alice’s ethanol-powered vehicle, I am ready to cross paths and create new ones to continue Alice in Dairyland's 77-year history as Wisconsin's designated agricultural ambassador.


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