Reflecting on My First Six Months as the 75th Alice in Dairyland
It is hard to believe it has already been more than six months since I started my term as the 75th Alice in Dairyland. This start to my term has been rewarding, challenging, and unforgettable. I have had the opportunity of a lifetime to travel to farms, interact with business owners, attend in-person events, visit schools, and so much more. Having six months under my belt, I wanted to reflect on some of the things I have experienced while promoting Wisconsin’s $104.8 billion agriculture industry.
After the 75th Alice in Dairyland finals took place in May, I was eager to begin my role as Alice in Dairyland. My term began in July, which allowed me to develop my skills before travelling, and will allow my year to end with the busiest promotion as Alice in Dairyland: June Dairy Month.
My first in-person event was the Kewaunee County Fair, which was followed by numerous fair visits, agribusiness tours, and farm-to-table dinners. As long-time 4-H member, I was so excited to visit fairs near and far from home as the Racine County Fair is where I first found my passion for sharing agriculture stories at a young age. Coupled with numerous farm tours, I had a great opportunity to explore diverse farms and learn from the farmers who care for much of Wisconsin’s land, animals, and resources.
From the beginning, I knew that I wanted to connect with Wisconsinites through social media. These platforms give me an opportunity to reach individuals in communities that Alice has never traveled to before, including out-of-state and international residents. I remember my great aunt who lives in Denver, Colorado was so excited to share my adventures with her friends, who enjoyed watching my live videos from the Wisconsin State Fair, World Dairy Expo, and other events across the state.
Sharing Wisconsin’s diverse agricultural products and programs with consumers on social media and through television and radio interviews has been the highlight of my year. I have learned that each agribusiness, farm, fair, and event each have a unique story to tell. My promotions so far have included making homemade ice cream to celebrate National Ice Cream Month, enjoying various dishes made with the Wisconsin ginseng for the Ginseng Mid-Autumn Festival, showcasing many different products in the Something Special from Wisconsin program, and most recently, crafting numerous butter-centered recipes to highlight holiday meals with Wisconsin dairy. I have also been working with the Wisconsin Potato Industry Board to bring potato education into schools, and look forward to kicking off fourth grade classroom visits at the beginning of 2023.