SALEM — Kiara Single was chosen the 2017 Oregon Dairy Princess Ambassador at the 58th annual coronation event on Jan. 21 in Salem.
The 20-year-old Warren resident, representing Columbia County, was crowned from a field of four finalists. The event was sponsored by the Oregon Dairy Women.
Kortni Ragsdale, a 2015 Banks High School graduate now attending Portland Community College and who represented Washington County in the competition, was chosen the First Alternate.
Other finalists included Faith Wilson of Linn and Benton counties and Emma Coleman of Marion County.
Ragsdale also received the Miss Congeniality award.
After the crowning ceremony, Single was presented over $3,500 in scholarships.
Outgoing 2016 Oregon Dairy Princess Ambassador Sara Pierson received a total of $17,675 for her past year’s work.
Single is a student at Concordia University studying elementary education, and hopes to become a second-grade teacher. She is the daughter of John and Suzie Single, and her father is the production planner at the Kroger Swan Island milk processing plant.
Her speech at the banquet held in the Salem Convention Center was titled, “For the Love of Milk,” and centered on the health benefits of dairy products and “the journey of milk from farm to table.”
She now begins her year traveling statewide to make presentations at fairs, town meetings and public events representing Oregon’s dairy industry. A particular focus is on classroom presentations depicting life on a dairy farm and the nutritional benefits of dairy products.
The Oregon Dairy Women’s Dairy Princess Ambassador Program has served since 1959 as a prime advocate for the state’s dairy industry in collaboration with the Oregon Dairy Farmers Association and the Oregon Dairy Nutrition Council.
“We have expanded our program to include K-12 and civic presentations,” said Jessica Kliewer, Oregon Dairy Princess Ambassador program state director. “Since Kiara is planning on becoming an educator, we believe she will be a great asset in spreading the good news about dairy.”
The Oregon Dairy Women award scholarships, and provide financial support to 4-H and FFA programs, Agriculture in the Classroom, Ag Fest, Summer Ag Institute, Adopt-a-Farmer and judging teams.