6/2/2012 7:00 AM
By Joyce Bupp Southeastern Pa. Correspondent
DELTA, Pa. — Brooke Keeney is York County’s new dairy princess, crowned as the highlight of the annual pageant, held May 12 at the New Covenant Community Church in Delta, Pa.
“I’ll do my best to accomplish as much as I can during the upcoming year,” Keeney said, looking ahead to a schedule of June Dairy Month activities. She will work closely with outgoing York County and current Pennsylvania Dairy Princess Gabrielle “Gabby” Murphy.
Brooke, 20, is the daughter of Annette and James Keeney, Airville, Pa., and a 2009 graduate of Red Lion Area High School. She is employed part-time at the Rutters’ Farm Store near Brogue, Pa., where she has become familiar with the retail side of dairy sales. One of Brooke’s favorite pastimes is riding her 11-year-old thoroughbred horse in hunter and jumper shows, and she also enjoys playing recreational softball.
For her skit at the pageant, Brooke highlighted chocolate milk with her “Chocolate With a Punch” presentation. In a discussion of current “hot topic” agriculture issues, the new princess argued against recent efforts to limit children under 16 from various types of farm work, as well as addressing raw milk consumption.
During stage judging, Brooke drew an impromptu question regarding how she would handle negative comments and share key messages when dealing with the public. She related that the dairy industry is always looking to do a better job with issues like the environment and animal care.
Named alternate dairy princess was Sarah Kilgore, 18, the daughter of Joanna and Allen Walker, Airville, Pa. Sarah will be a senior at Red Lion Area High School and is employed part-time at the Collinsville Drive-In. Her grandparents operate Kilgore Farms, where she helps with milking, feeding calves and putting away hay and straw.
Sarah’s skit detailed “How to Show a Cow,” and she walked potential consumers through the process that takes milk from cow to customer for her topic discussion. Among Sarah’s favorite interests are farming, horseback riding, line dancing and fishing.
The impromptu question drawn by Sarah related to her expectations of how the princess program will help her in everyday life. She answered that she anticipated it would help her become a better public speaker and that she hoped to be able to get kids excited about milk and the dairy industry.
Named dairy ambassador, Erin Perry has been a part of the county’s promotion team for several years. Erin, 15, is the daughter of Donna and Tom Perry, York, Pa., and will be a sophomore at Dallastown Area High School in the fall. Erin explained the processing facilities they operate at the family’s Perrydell Farm, specializing in sales of their own dairy products through their on-farm retail store.
Although it was not part of the princess judging, Erin also fielded an impromptu question regarding why becoming a princess or alternate was important to her. She related that it would give her the opportunity to help spread the dairy message, as well as helping to improve her public speaking skills.
Six young ladies were crowned dairy maids and will assist with selected area promotions. Janie Bickel, 7, and Kaleigh Bickel, 10, are the daughters of Randy Bickel. Both attend Clearview Elementary, where Janie will be in third grade and Kaleigh in fifth, next fall. For her audience presentation, Kaleigh explained her original poster depicting the six breeds of dairy cows. Janie recited a poem, “Milk is Yummy!”
Nine-year-old Anagrace Kennard is the daughter of Donna and Greg Kennard and will be in fourth grade at Clearview Elementary. Her audience presentation was about “Milk’s Magical Journey.” Lacy Kilgore, 9, also followed the milk trail by talking about the milk process “From Cow, To Store, To Your Home.” Lacy is the daughter of Tammi and Randy Kilgore, Airville, Pa., and will be in the third grade next fall.
Ashley Miller, 11, is the daughter of Tammy and Bronson Miller, New Park, Pa. She will be a sixth-grade student at Southeastern Middle School East. “How Milk Gets From the Cow to a Store Near You” was the topic presented by Ashley to the audience. Paige Snyder, 9, is the daughter of Penny and David Snyder, and will be in the third grade at Clearview Elementary. A poster of family dairy farming activities was Paige’s audience presentation.
Samra Bowser, 8, is the daughter of Chad and Judy Perry-Bowser, York, Pa. Her audience presentation was a poem about dairy. Elizabeth McGinn is 11 and the daugher of Allan and Carol McGinn, Delta, Pa.
Any organization wishing to contact the dairy promotion team for participation at an upcoming event should contact program coordinator Heather Myers at 717-891-1834 or booking chairman Donna Kennard at 717-862-3000.