SYRACUSE, N.Y. – County Dairy Princesses from around New York State will participate in American Dairy Association North East’s (ADANE) 58th New York State Dairy Princess Pageant, which will take place on February 16. The event will be live-streamed on the ADANE Facebook page beginning at 6 p.m.

One New York State Dairy Princess will be crowned along with two alternates who will be selected to represent New York’s dairy farmers and serve as dairy industry ambassadors throughout the next year. Contestants have served as a county dairy princess since Spring 2020, promoting milk and dairy products in their communities.

The typical role of a dairy princess is to serve as a spokesperson and advocate for dairy farmers by engaging with and educating consumers on the nutritional benefits of milk and dairy foods, how farmers care for their cows and their land in order to produce a sustainable product and the importance of the dairy industry to the State’s economy. Dairy princesses also work with ADANE at a variety of special events including local dairy princess pageants, farmer meetings, state and county fairs, and sampling dairy products at grocery stores.

This year, due to COVID-19, many typical dairy princess responsibilities were altered. For instance, the pandemic severely increased the need for food assistance. As milk and dairy foods are some of the most nutrient-rich foods, ensuring those in need received dairy became a mission of the State’s dairy industry. Dairy princesses played an important role in promoting milk distribution events organized by ADANE and assisting and handing out milk and dairy foods at various local events.

The two-day pageant includes a personal interview, impromptu questions, a prepared adult speech, a product knowledge exam, writing skills, and informal interaction with others. Judges will evaluate the contestants on their communication skills, knowledge of the dairy industry, poise, and personality. This year’s competition is being conducted in accordance with New York State COVID-19 guidelines to ensure all candidates are able to participate safely.