6/16/2012 7:00 AM
By Joyce Zimmerman Southeastern Pa. Correspondent
LANCASTER, Pa. — Before a crowd of county dairy farmers, industry leaders, family members and friends, Carly Foose, the 16-year-old daughter of Wayne and Lorraine Foose, Quarryville, Pa., received the 2012-2013 Lancaster County dairy princess title at a pageant held at the Lancaster Farm and Home Center last Saturday evening.
After a competition the judges deemed “difficult and very close,” Joelle Smeltz, daughter of Paul and Jody Smeltz, Peach Bottom, Pa., received the alternate princess title. Both girls exemplified their dairy industry’s base of knowledge and public speaking skills. Judges for the event included Patti Hushon of York County and an organizer of the All-American Dairy Show; Lolly Lesher, Berks County dairy farmer; and Robert Zook, retired agricultural loan officer.
“I am really looking forward to meeting new people, spreading the message about dairy farming and dairy nutrition, and bonding with the rest of the girls on the dairy promotion team,” said Foose, a senior at Solanco High School and FFA member. In addition to school and other activities, Foose is a part-time employee at Hope Valley Farms, helping to milk the farm’s 400 dairy cows. “I always thought milking sounded like fun, and a way to get involved in the dairy industry,” she said.
Smeltz attends Solanco High School as well, where she is a FFA member and vice president of the Youth Education Foundation. She has many interests including the Solanco 4-H Community Club, reading and photography, and she enjoys feeding calves at a local dairy farm.
During the competition, both girls delivered a speech, performed a skit and answered an impromptu question. Foose’s speech, written for a non-farm audience, emphasized the work involved in taking care of a herd of dairy cows.
“Many people don’t understand how much work taking care of cows can be. Farmers work very hard to meet cows’ nutritional needs,” she said, also explaining cow comfort issues including temperature control, fans and misters, and drinking water requirements. “The veterinarian visits the farm regularly to give check-ups and vaccinations. Likewise, the hoof trimmer comes to trim hoofs and take care of the cows’ feet. Cows are like family, given names as well as numbers, and sometimes taken care of better than pets.”
In her skit, titled “Holly Holstein” and geared for a young audience, Foose dressed as a farmer and emphasized the importance of taking proper care of calves because they will be dairy cows when they grow up. She emphasized the nutritional value of milk and dairy products and encouraged everyone to get 3-a-day’ of dairy.
Helping promote dairy throughout the coming year will be 15 dairy ambassadors, maids and darlings, including Ellen Bowman, Madison Fiano, Victoria Grimm, Victoria Peila, Caroline Arrowsmith, Calla Ashley, Emily Beiler, Clara Neff, Megan Peila, Danae Ranck, Madison Weaver, Emily Kreig, Emma Peila, Faith Rohrer and Jenna Wetzel. During the festivities, two retiring ambassadors, Angela and Tiffany Weiler, daughters of John and Karen Weiler, Ephrata, Pa., received recognition for their years of service on the promotion team.
Donna Worley, eastern representative of the Pennsylvania Dairy Princess and Promotion Services and a special guest at the event, presented Jim Barnett with a certificate and gift card in honor of his 42 years of service (30 years as treasurer) to the county dairy promotion committee.
“I didn’t do this for this recognition,” Barnett humbly said. “I did this for so long because the dairy industry has given my family so much &tstr; this is a little in return.”
Barnett started his career as a laboratory worker at Lehigh Valley Farmers Cooperative, later advancing to fieldman. After a number of changes and mergers, Barnett retired in 2009 as director of member relations at Land O’ Lakes.
Barnett serves on the Dairy of Distinction committee and during the evening presented certificates and signs to this year’s Lancaster County dairy farm winners: Spring Meadows Farm, Peach Bottom, Pa., owned by Tom and Teresa Hannum, and Clay Farm, Lititz, Pa., owned by Bob and Ruthie Fox. Also receiving recognition for many years of service were Dale Smith, county committee chairperson, and Ginny Ranck, milk wagon coordinator.
Both the incoming dairy princess and alternate princess were crowned by retiring 2011-2012 Lancaster County Dairy Princess Deidra Bollinger, who is also the Pennsylvania first alternate dairy princess. During her farewell speech, Bollinger thanked everyone for their help and encouragement during the past year.
“Without a doubt, I couldn’t have done it without your help,” she said, especially thanking her parents. “Make each moment count,” she said, encouraging the incoming promotion team. “Cherish every moment.”
For an appearance by the dairy princess or other Lancaster County dairy royalty, contact Dale Smith, promotion chairperson, at 717-336-0553.