They’ve spent several months honing the skills necessary to be crowned Oregon’s dairy princess, and on Jan. 18, one of three young women will earn the honor.
The next state princess, who will be crowned at the Oregon Dairy Women sponsored coronation banquet, will be either Araya Wilks, representing Tillamook County; Jamie Evers, representing Klamath County; or Taysha Veeman, representing Marion County.
“It’s anybody’s game at this time,” said Becky Droz-Albeke, state director of the Oregon Dairy Princess Ambassador Program.
“The girls have had a busy year,” Droz-Albeke added. “They’ve done a lot of work with kids pre-school through eighth grade talking about nutrition and animal care, what happens on a dairy, essentially explaining how milk gets from a dairy to the table.”
Droz-Albeke added that the young women “have done a great job.”
“They get close to 70 hours of intensive training on things like hot topics and social graces and fine-tuning their speech,” Droz-Albeke said. “They’ve done tours of dairy farms and dairy production plants, so they are getting a good basic awareness of each step of the process from farm to table. And that has really helped them as they have given their presentations.
“They are doing a great job. They learned a whole bunch this past year and they are very confident,” Droz-Albeke said. “I am excited about this year.”
Droz-Albeke, who took over as state director in April for Jessica Kliewer, knows something about the program. Droz-Albeke was Oregon state dairy princess in 1978. Being back in the industry has been rewarding and enjoyable, she said.
“It is good to be back involved in the dairy industry,” Droz-Albeke said.
Droz-Albeke noted that the Oregon State Dairy Princess Ambassador program can be intense and time-consuming, but it is well worth the commitment for the young women who participate.
“It is a great scholarship program and a really fun year,” she said.
The State Contest and Coronation Banquet will start at 5:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 18, at the Salem Convention Center. Tickets may be purchased by Jan. 6 at oregondairywomen.com/events.