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On the Road - November

This November, I experienced so many firsts! Some firsts, past “Alices” have participated in annually for decades, while another first, was one no Alice has done for more than 25 years. Read on to look back on a memorable November with me!

Any guesses what either of those firsts were? One of those was the cutting of the first Christmas tree! “Alices” of the past have helped decorate community Christmas trees or even packed them up and hauled them around the state to teach Wisconsinites about local Christmas trees.

Since the partnership began in 1969, the Christmas tree cutting ceremony has often served as the unveiling of each Alice in Dairyland’s famous mink garment, courtesy of the Kettle Moraine Mink Breeders Association (KMMBA), and this year was no different! My soft and warm mink vest is from Zimbal Mink, a member of the KMMBA. In recent years, the host county of the upcoming Alice in Dairyland finals, this year Door County, selects the location of the Christmas tree cutting and unveils it at a community event. My tree cutting took place just outside of Sturgeon Bay at Krueger Tree Farm in Forestville. The team from WFRV Local 5 Green Bay joined us to share the fun with viewers at home as well!

The other big first from this month was the first international trip any Alice has taken since the 50th Alice, Courtney Ott. I celebrated the uniqueness of Wisconsin Ginseng at the International Wisconsin Ginseng Love (IWGF) Festival with the Ginseng Board of Wisconsin (GBW) The festival was held November 4-5 in Taipei, November 8 in Guangzhou, and November 10 in Hong Kong, and we visited all three!

Our Wisconsin delegation started our trip in Taipei, Taiwan, exploring the city, meeting with Wisconsin Ginseng distributors, engaging with media outlets, learning more about traditional Chinese medicine, enjoying delicious food, and making many memories. Our visit to Shanghai included discussing Wisconsin Ginseng production with local distributors at the Hongqiao Import Commodity Exhibition and Trading Center and sharing a delicious meal with friends. While in Guangzhou during the IWGF, we celebrated the quality and our love for Wisconsin Ginseng through press conferences and seminars, touring modern markets that offer herbs like Ginseng, meeting with experts in the industry, and more.

The final portion of the IWGF was spent in Hong Kong! Our trade promotion group engaged with several groups to celebrate Wisconsin Ginseng use. We visited The Peak for the best view of the city and ended our trip with an IWGF media event to build relationships with local influencers while highlighting Ginseng in various recipes. This trip to promote Wisconsin Ginseng and its hardworking producers was the experience of a lifetime! Thank you to the GBW Trade Promotion group for teaching me so much about Wisconsin’s Ginseng industry and for the hard work you put in every day for Wisconsin’s $104.8 billion agriculture industry!

From there, I jumped right into the Something Special from Wisconsin™ (SSfW) holiday campaign, an annual event where I travel the state to visit with local media, sharing products and companies featured in the SSfW program. SSfW is a trademarked marketing program, which provides members with a red and yellow logo that is a quick, reliable way to identify genuine Wisconsin products. To participate, companies must certify that at least 50% of a product's ingredients, production, or processing is located or completed in Wisconsin.

Member businesses participating in the campaign include Christine’s Kitchen, CJ’s Premium Spices, Author Corey Geiger, Crave Brothers Farmstead Cheese LLC, CTL Foods, Inc., Doorstep Peppers LLC, Emmanuel’s Mix LLC, Flavor Temptations, Franciscan Peacemakers, Grilled Cheese Life, Honestly Cranberry, Jolly Good Soda, Little Bull Falls Soap Works, Mister Burns, Moose Lake Mustard, Mrs. Beaster’s Biskits, Northleaf Winery, Oak Creek Hemp Company, Olympia Granola, Palo Popcorn, Pine River Cheese Spread, Pop’s Kettle Corn, Real Wisconsin Products, SEHR Essentials, Sheboygan Pasty Company, Stanton Legacy Acres, Sweet P’s Pantry, Tom & Ma’s Maple, White Jasmine LLC, White Winter Mead, Cider, Spirits, Widmer’s Cheese Cellars, and Wisconsin Candle Company.

As I visited different areas of the state for the campaign, I was able to make many wonderful stops along the way! One of my stops was the Food + Farm Exploration Center in Plover is a new facility in Wisconsin that’s designed to serve as a space where everyone can reconnect with their food and those who grow it. Whether looking for education, fun daily experiences, wholesome food, or anything else related to agriculture, there is something for everyone. Their goals are to promote agricultural literacy, to increase the understanding of the origins of our food, and to deepen the relationship between farmers and consumers.

To help me make all of those trips around the state, our newest vehicle arrived, wrapped, waxed, and ready to go! After carefully considering many fan submissions, the Alice in Dairyland and Wisconsin Corn Promotion Board (WCPB) decided on her name – Tassie! Tassie is a 2023 Flex Fuel Ford Explorer, powered by E88 fuel to support Wisconsin’s corn industry and producers. The WCPB has been partnering with the Alice in Dairyland program since 2005 to provide a vehicle that promotes the benefits of ethanol.

November is a month that celebrates gratitude and I have so much to be thankful for this year. I am thankful for the opportunity to serve as the 76th Alice in Dairyland and the DATCP team behind that, the friends and family that encourage me from wherever they are, all of our program partners: Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin, Kettle Moraine Mink Breeders Association, Wisconsin Corn Promotion Board, Midwest Jewelers Association, Wisconsin Potato Industry Board, Ginseng Board of Wisconsin, and the Wisconsin Beef Council, the media outlets that help me share more about Wisconsin’s $104.8 billion agriculture industry, and all of you, the programs biggest supporters year after year – we couldn’t do it without you all!


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