Thursday, April 16, 2015

Cows and Tiaras

It was 10 years ago this week that I was crowned Dairy Princess.

In 2005, this was one of the happiest days of my life so far
There are key experiences that are game changers for all of us and my reign was one of those times for me. There were a lot of things I wanted to be when I was growing up...a flight attendant, a lawyer, a senator, a journalist...but this experience uncovered my passion for sharing my love for the dairy industry with others. Because of this, I started college as a journalism major with dreams of writing for a top dairy publication. Soon after classes started, I discovered that the animal science classes were so much more fun and worked my way towards degrees in dairy management and agricultural communications.

Basically, my friends said it set me up to be a "professional dairy princess" and talk about cows all day. They weren't wrong; I just don't get to wear my crown to work anymore.

Back then, I was speaking to school children, senior centers, civic organizations and pretty much every other group you can imagine. For someone who used to be extremely shy, you definitely wouldn't have known it. Teaching people about dairy farming and the benefits of dairy products is awesome and so much fun!

That definitely hasn't changed. Most of my jobs since college have involved teaching people about dairy farming (and most recently, all types of livestock farms) and working with farmers to help them be more successful. It's awesome! I even got to testify to the Senate Ag Committee this year! The sky is the limit when you love what you do.

There are definitely the more "glamorous" moments sitting on the back of a convertible waving to the crowd during the parade, but lots of it involves a lot of work. It's worth it.

One of my favorite memories of my year as Dairy Princess was getting to know so many others throughout Washington State that are just as passionate about the dairy industry. It sure was a great way to make lots of new friends!

Handing out dairy promotional items at the state high school football game

Now I get to judge these contests! Yes, I'm SO EXCITED!!!!

Handing out ribbons/awards at the county and state fairs was always a blast!
This is so much more than a beauty contest, and if you call it that, most folks will correct you. It's great to look pretty in a dress and crown, but it's about making a difference in the industry and further developing confidence and communication skills. It can also change your life. Sounds cliche, but I say that because it changed mine.

For those fellow Dairy Princesses, breed queens and Dairy Ambassadors, what was your favorite part of your reign?

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