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Dairy Princess duel

Two entrants vie for county title

Two entrants vie for county title

June 24, 2002|by KIMBERLY YAKOWSKI

kimy@herald-mail.com

For the first time in years the Washington County Dairy Princess contest was a race.

On Friday, two contestants - Sara Wiles, 15, and Katie Herbst, 20 - vied for the title in a competition at the Washington County Extension Service office. In recent years there has been only one contestant.

The contestants were judged on their appearance, interview skills, a dairy promotion skit each created and a random "fishbowl question" about the dairy industry, said organizer Dawn Stiles.

Last year's winner, Erin Shank, was on hand to crown Wiles the new princess after Wiles impressed judges with her involvement in dairy-related activities and used a cow hand puppet to show the benefits of drinking milk and eating dairy products.

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The goal of the contest was to "build a bridge between the farming and nonfarming community," Stiles said.

Stiles said she was pleased to have a contest for the title.

The Dairy Princess promotes the dairy industry at schools, community events, fairs and other venues, she said.

Wiles will go on to the 2002 Maryland State Dairy Princess pageant on July 23 in Frederick, Md.

Wiles, of Williamsport, described for the judges her experience raising heifers and her participation in the Washington County kindergarten farm tour in which she explained to children how a dairy farm operates. She is also active in the Salem Reformed Church choir.

Herbst, of Smithsburg, told the judges she showed rabbits and dairy cattle with 4-H and also participated in the Washington County kindergarten farm tour.

A Wilson College student, Herbst said she is pursuing a four-year degree as a veterinary medical technician. After graduating, she would like to return to her family's farm and work at a large animal practice.

A member of the Ringgold Church of Christ, Herbst said she likes to work with children and has brought farm animals in for demonstrations.

For her dairy skit, Wiles told the crowd she and her puppet, "Molly," had just returned from shopping and showed the dairy products they found.

As Molly whispered questions in her ear, Wiles explained which vitamins are found in dairy products and how milk is processed.

For her skit, Herbst dressed in a purple tutu and fuzzy sweater to depict the "dairy fairy," who shared her knowledge of the benefits of eating dairy products with two stuffed cows having a picnic.

Each of the contestants chose from a bowl containing three questions.

Wiles was asked: What do you see as the role of the dairy princess and what are her goals? She replied that the princess is expected to tell the public about the health benefits of dairy products and to stress that milk comes from animals before it ends up at the supermarket.

Herbst was asked: How do you explain the importance of milk and dairy products to the consumer? She explained that milk was a nearly perfect food filled with valuable vitamins.

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