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Pa. woman places in state princess pageant

September 27, 2005|BY BONNIE H. BRECHBILL

bonnieb@herald-mail.com

WAYNESBORO, Pa. - Amanda Koons, 18, had not finished her reign as Franklin County Fair Queen when she was named Franklin County Dairy Princess in June 2005.

Saturday evening, she added another royal title to her resume.

Competing with 26 other county dairy princesses, Koons was named first alternate in the 49th annual Pennsylvania Dairy Princess contest in Camp Hill, Pa.

She was "nervous and excited" going into the three-day contest, she said. "I had already met the other girls at a seminar we attended, and I was looking forward to spending a couple days with them."

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Being chosen as one of the seven finalists was a surprise, she said.

"We had a speech contest and a skit, and our scrapbooks were also judged. I didn't win awards for any of those, so I didn't think I'd be in the top seven," she said.

The scrapbook detailed her activities and promotions as Franklin County Dairy Princess.

For her skit, titled "Wow Now, Know a Cow," Koons wore an inflatable cow costume. The costume was blown up large at first, then, as she exercised and "ate" three servings a day of milk, cheese and yogurt, it slowly deflated.

"It showed the process of how you're supposed to eat your three (servings of dairy) a day and exercise to lose weight," she said.

The daughter of John and Candy Koons of Waynesboro, Amanda Koons is a freshman at Penn State Mont Alto, studying animal science with the option of business management.

With the state Dairy Princess, who is from Washington County, Pa., and the second alternate, Koons will represent the Pennsylvania dairy industry and its 9,000 dairy farms, while continuing to fulfill her responsibilities as Franklin County Dairy Princess.

The three will appear separately and together at banquets, farm meetings, cattle shows and in parades throughout the state to promote the dairy industry, and also educate school-aged children about the dairy industry, she said. All three will work at the Pennsylvania Farm Show for a week in January.

While Koons has been able to handle a full course load of 15 college credits while doing promotional activities in Franklin County, next semester will be different, she said.

"I'm either going to take off a semester or drop my credits down to 12. I still have to promote at the county level," she said.

Now that Koons has three royal titles, is she considering amassing more?

"Not right now. I've gotten comments about running for different beauty pageants, such as Miss Pennsylvania, but right now I don't see that happening," she said.

She is very sure about one thing - returning to work on her family's farm after college.

The farm has been in her family for four generations, she said. Her family milks 70 Holsteins.

"The pageant is a wonderful experience," she added.

Whether a girl is a dairy miss, a dairy ambassador or a dairy princess, the experience "helps the girls to mature and understand different aspects of agriculture," she said.

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