The Search for the 75th Alice in Dairyland Begins
For the past 74 years, the Alice in Dairyland program has brought agriculture education to communities across Wisconsin and beyond. As we step into the 75th year of the program, I am incredibly thankful to be a part of this Wisconsin tradition and historic year of the program.
Alice in Dairyland is a one-year, full-time public relations professional employed by the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection (DATCP). Each year, “Alice” travels more than 30,000 miles throughout the state, promoting Wisconsin agriculture to various audiences. Additionally, she conducts hundreds of media interviews, speeches, and school presentations.
While recruiting for new Alice applicants, I have enjoyed reflecting on my time as Alice. I have learned so much about Wisconsin agriculture, met some truly amazing people, and been to many unique places and events. When I applied to be the 73rd Alice in Dairyland in January 2020, I had no clue what this adventure would be like or that I would go on to be the first Alice to serve two consecutive terms.
The search for the next Alice in Dairyland is a job interview process beginning in January when applications become available. By early February, interested applicants must submit a resume, cover letter, references, and application form for DATCP staff to review. Then, qualified candidates will go through the initial interview process.
After these individual interviews, up to six candidates are selected and officially announced to the public at a press conference. These six candidates attend training and professional development seminars at DATCP where they receive several assignments to complete prior to the final interviews in May.
For me, the months leading up to the 73rd Alice in Dairyland finals were very rewarding. As a top candidate, I learned more about agriculture in Wisconsin and gained professional skills in public speaking, working with media, and online communications. The top candidate experience helped me get a taste for what being Alice in Dairyland would be like and shake off some of the nerves leading up to the finals event.
In early May, the candidates travel to the host county for the final step in determining the next Alice, a three-day finals event. At the finals, candidates take part in an interview process that includes press conferences, agribusiness tours, interviews with local media, and speeches over the course of several months. Based on the scores from a panel of three judges, the next Alice in Dairyland is selected and formally announced.
The beauty of being Alice in Dairyland is having the ability to share your passion, stories, and love for agriculture with the citizens of Wisconsin and bring fresh ideas to promote Wisconsin’s diverse agriculture industry. If this sounds like the position for you, I encourage you to apply for the 75th Alice in Dairyland position. Applications will be available on January 5, 2022, on DATCP's website.
Whether you are a candidate or just a fan of Alice, I invite you to the 75th Alice in Dairyland Finals, which will take place May 19-21, 2022 at the Monona Terrace in Madison. Some portions of the finals are open to the public, including the final selection ceremony. After being selected at the conclusion of the finals, the 75th Alice in Dairyland will begin her term on July 5, 2022. She will serve as a spokesperson providing public relations and communication services for DATCP from the Madison headquarters for the contract year.