September 5, 2017 at 3:32 p.m.
In the weeks leading up to Dairy Days, each of the eleven towns in Green County hosted their own local Dairy Queen crowing, with the winners able to compete for the position of Green County Dairy Queen and Princess at the crowning ceremony that was held on Sunday, June 22 at Legion Park in Brooklyn.
The ceremony included a roll call of all past Dairy Queens in attendance, final words and the de-crowning of the 2013-2014 Green County Dairy Queen and Princess, and some words of advice from the first ever Green County Dairy Queen, Doris Olson, who was crowned in 1958. The ceremony concluded with the crowning of the new royalty. Kelsey Cramer, of Juda Wis., was crowned the new 2014-2015 Green County Dairy Queen with Haley Reeson, of New Glarus Wis., becoming the Green County Dairy Princess.
"I think this experience is going to change me in a positive way," said Cramer. "I am really excited."
Though it is not a requirement to have an agriculture background to run for Dairy Queen, both Cramer and Reeson have been involved in agriculture from a young age. Cramer grew up on her family's registered Holstein dairy farm, RHC Holsteins, in Juda, Wis., where they are currently milking 50 cows and raising 50 youngstock. She is very involved on the home farm and shows her family's bred and owned animals at the local and state level. Outside the farm, Cramer is also involved in FFA and Junior Holstein Association, participating in dairy quiz bowl, dairy judging, and will be participating in the speaking contest and the National Junior Holstein Association convention.
"I honestly think that having an agriculture background will make my job as Queen a little bit easier, but I'm still going to learn so much this year that I didn't know before," said Cramer.
Reeson is also very passionate about the agriculture industry and is involved in her local 4-H and FFA clubs as well as Junior Holsteins. Though she does not own animals of her own, Reeson shows registered Holsteins from Gildale Holsteins, located in Hollendale, Wis. She has also shown her uncle's grade animals and is excited to be showing her first Swiss animal this year.
"I want to keep my agriculture roots strong," said Reeson. "It's an amazing industry, and I don't know where I'd be without it."
Over the next year, Cramer and Reeson, along with the 11 other local Dairy Queens, will be advocates for the agriculture industry, attending events throughout Green County and the state.
"This program promotes the industry that lots of people love and lots of people don't know about," said Reeson. "It's important to get the word out."
Some of the events the girls will be participating in include the House of Moo at the Wisconsin State Fair, working at the Green County Ag Chest ice-cream trailer, attending Dairy Breakfasts and waving in local parades.
"I want to be an advocate for our county and our industry," said Cramer. "It's a story worth telling."
Though their reign as Queen is over, 2013-2014 Green County Dairy Queen Mariah Martin, of Brooklyn Wis., and Dairy Princess Brooke Bidlingmaier, of Monticello Wis., had lots of advice for the new queens.
"Being in a crown and banner, many people feel more comfortable coming up to you and asking questions," said Bidlingmaier. "It's our duty to answer these questions. It's what makes this program so unique."
"Many people are surprised that we are high school students," said Martin. "They love to see the youth promoting the agriculture industry."
Both Bidlingmaier and Martin believe their time serving as Dairy Queen and Princess have impacted their futures.
"I found what I want to do with my life," said Martin. "I enjoyed talking to people and capturing the audience. I am now hoping to major in Life Sciences Communication."
"We were forced to do things on the spot and we learned so much about agriculture even though we came from agriculture backgrounds," said Bidlingmaier. "It really prepared me for life, and whatever we end up doing, this program is to thank."
Assisting Cramer and Reeson this year are the local Dairy Queens, which consists of Sayde McDermott, Albany; Liz Grady, Brooklyn; Cheyanna Becherer, Brodhead; Kallista Baebler, Monticello; Emma Peterson, Monroe; Jenna Langmeier, Argyle; Kyleah McKnight, Belleville; Ashley Shilling, Blanchardville; Amanda McDermott, Browntown; Crista Hale, Juda; and Rebecca Barr, New Glarus.
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