(WFRV) – The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) has announced the six top candidates to become the 76th Alice in Dairyland. The candidates are Ashley Hagenow, Shannon Lamb, Lydia Luebke, Jackie Rosenbush, Charitee Seebecker and Jodie Weyland.
Prior to being selected, the candidates completed an application and preliminary interview. Over the next several weeks, the six top candidates will prepare for the three-day Alice in Dairyland Finals, scheduled for May 11-13, 2023 in Walworth County. The three-day process includes agribusiness tours, media interviews, an impromptu question and answer session, individual interviews, and candidate presentations. The selection of the 76th Alice in Dairyland will be announced live during the program at the conclusion of the finals on May 13, 2023. The 76th Alice in Dairyland will begin her term on July 5, 2023.
Over the next two months, the six candidates will participate in a rigorous interview process that will allow them to showcase the communications and public relations skills required to be Alice in Dairyland. Although only one of the top candidates ultimately will be selected as the next Alice in Dairyland, the personal growth experienced by all the candidates as a result of the process will carry far into their future careers.
“While the goal of this process is to name the 76th Alice in Dairyland, the journey these six women will go on over the next two months is one they will all benefit from,” said Taylor Schaefer, 75th Alice in Dairyland. “One of these finalists will carry on the tradition of traveling the state to teach audiences of both urban and rural backgrounds about the importance of Wisconsin agriculture.”
Ashley Hagenow, Poynette, is a senior at the University of Minnesota and will graduate this May with a degree in agricultural communication and marketing with minors in animal science and agricultural and food business management. Growing up, she was very active in 4-H and FFA. During college, Hagenow was involved in Agriculture Future of America, the National Agri-Marketing Association, the Gopher Dairy Club, and the University of Minnesota dairy challenge and dairy judging teams. Hagenow held various internships throughout college, gaining experiences with CHS, Curious Plot marketing agency, CLUTCH marketing agency, Progressive Dairy, and World Dairy Expo.
Shannon Lamb, Dane, grew up on her family’s diversified production farm and was heavily involved in FFA and 4-H, which allowed her to show livestock throughout Wisconsin. Achieving a Bachelor of Science in Soil and Crop Science, Environmental Horticulture, and Animal Science with a minor in Biology from the University of Wisconsin–Platteville, Lamb currently attends the University of Missouri for her Master of Science in Biological Engineering. In 2021, she served as the Lodi Agricultural Fairest of the Fair, and in 2022 went on to be the Wisconsin Honey Queen. Lamb remains active on the family farm by feeding the calves each night.
Lydia Luebke, Kiel, grew up on her parents’ and grandparents’ 150-cow dairy farm, Kissinger’s Family Farms LLC, where the memories and experiences ignited her passion for the dairy industry. Luebke earned her Associate’s degree with an emphasis in Biology and Chemistry from the University of Wisconsin–Green Bay, Sheboygan Campus in 2019, then earned her Bachelor’s degree in Dairy Science with a minor in Agricultural Business from the University of Wisconsin–River Falls in 2021. She is currently employed at Sargento Foods, Inc. as a microbiology specialist. In her free time, she enjoys landscaping, gardening, painting, and helping on the family farm.
Jackie Rosenbush, Sarona, started her own flock of sheep in 2012 alongside her sister and parents. Today, her flock has grown to 100 head of purebred sheep. Rosenbush is a student at the University of Wisconsin–River Falls pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree in Agricultural Education and will graduate this May with honors. Rosenbush has been very involved in both 4-H and FFA, serving as a Wisconsin FFA State Officer in 2020-2021. Recently, Rosenbush served as the 2022 Wisconsin Fairest of the Fairs, traveling around the state to promote the opportunities fairs provide and connect consumers with producers through agricultural education.
Charitee Seebecker, Mauston, grew up on a family-owned dairy farm. After transitioning away from the farm, she turned to 4-H and FFA to ignite her passion for agriculture. Seebecker attended the University of Wisconsin–Platteville and currently works as a farm broadcaster at the Mid-West Farm Report. Serving as the official ambassador for Wisconsin’s farmers and processors would be a dream come true for Seebecker. Alice in Dairyland has been a role model for Seebecker since she was young, and she wants to be a role model for others by making it fun to learn about Wisconsin’s diverse agriculture industry.
Jodie Weyland, Neenah, grew up on her family dairy farm with her parents and three older siblings. Weyland was actively involved in FFA and other activities where she could share her farm story. Weyland decided to continue her agricultural interests by studying agronomy at Fox Valley Technical College. She is currently an associate consultant at Tilth Agronomy Group LLC. When Weyland is not scouting fields, she spends time working on her sister’s dairy farm. She enjoys volunteering in her free time including playing trumpet, line dancing, coordinating two local youth leadership programs, and serving as a county fair ambassador.