5/17/2014 7:00 AM
By Sue Bowman Southeastern Pa. Correspondent
LEBANON, Pa. — If you’re talking with Lebanon County’s dairy princess and li’l dairy miss, no need to worry about remembering their names — while spelled differently, their first names are the same. Dairy Princess McKenzy Keener and Li’l Dairy Miss MacKenzie Miller donned their crowns on the evening of May 10 in front of an crowd of nearly 150 dairy devotees attending the Mount Zion Road Church of the Brethren in Bethel Township, Lebanon County, Pa.
The evening was highlighted by Keener’s skit, a parody in which she sang her original lyrics, “Somethin’ Bout a Cow” to the tune of a hit country and western song popularized by singer Kip Moore.
The Diggin’ into Dairy dessert contest winners were announced during the event, with the entries then serving as the evening’s refreshments. The youth competition was won by Mark Showers’ peanut butter pie; his sister Melanie took second place, and third prize went to MacKenzie Miller. Retired dairy farmer Hilda Blatt took home first place in the adult dairy dessert division with her chocolate cream dessert. Kim Keener and Christina Williams took second and third places, respectively. Katie Shoener and Judy Martin served as judges for the dessert contests.
New Li’l Dairy Miss MacKenzie Miller lives on a Fredericksburg-area dairy farm with her parents, Troy and Amy Miller. Although only five years old, MacKenzie has already made a start on her own dairy herd as the owner of two Red and White Holsteins. She is in the K5 class at Blue Mountain Christian School and likes helping her dad around the farm and feeding cows with her grandpa.
McKenzy Keener is the kind of dairy princess who makes the perfect advertisement for the dairy products she’s promoting. A stand-out athlete and a top scholar, Keener is also a gal who literally drinks a glass of milk with every meal. The 17-year-old junior at Northern Lebanon High School is not only busy being the captain of her school’s field hockey team, vice-president of the Varsity Club, her FFA chapter’s reporter, a member of student council and Students Against Drunk Driving, she also sings in the chorus, participates in school musicals and plays, and is an active member of Christ Evangelical Free Church. As if her schedule isn’t busy enough, Keener works part-time at Chris-da-Will Farms, a 62-Holstein dairy located just a half mile from her home in Swatara Township, Lebanon County.
Keener admittedly used to be a “horse person,” but when she went looking for a job close to home, she discovered her love for cows at the nearby dairy farm of Christina and David Williams, where her favorite bovine is an unusual looking black, red and white registered Holstein named Cash; she also has a pet Khaki Campbell duck named “Killer” to keep her company around the farm. Keener works as a versatile farmhand, doing everything from feeding the heifers and cows and bedding their pens to moving fences and waterlines as part of the Williams’ rotational grazing system. As a result of her positive experience at Chris-da-Will, Keener’s future plans now include attending Penn State to study agricultural business or animal science — hopefully on a field hockey scholarship.