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New Franklin Co. dairy princess to be crowned

June 21, 2007|by DON AINES

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - Franklin County Dairy Princess Sarah Signore and about half of her 38 predecessors will be on hand Saturday night when the 40th dairy princess is crowned at the Kauffman Community Center.

Although dairy is the leading agricultural commodity in Franklin County, with 44,000 cows on about 500 commercial dairy farms producing 800 million pounds of milk per year, there is only one person vying for the crown this year, Stephanie Hykes of Greencastle, Pa.

"This is something we're getting concerned about, finding young ladies to represent the diary industry," said Joyce Nowell, a Franklin County Dairy Promotion Committee member.

In addition to princess, other opportunities exist for girls and young women up to the age of 21 to help represent the industry, Nowell said.

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"They can be dairy misses and ambassadors," she said.

Signore, who just graduated from Greencastle-Antrim High School, said she did not have an alternate during her yearlong reign, but eight misses and ambassadors helped preach the virtues and nutritional values of milk, butter, cheese, ice cream, yogurt and other dairy products.

"We have made more than 50 school visits, reaching thousands of kids," Signore said Tuesday to the Board of County Commissioners. Other events included the Greencastle-Antrim Apple Festival, the Franklin Fall Farm Fun Fest, Chambersburg IceFest, the Franklin County and Shippensburg (Pa.) fairs and holiday parades, she said.

It was a busy year, but Signore managed to find time for senior year academics, softball, field hockey, church and a part-time job. This fall, she will be attending St. Bonaventure University in Olean, N.Y., having earned both academic and athletic scholarships.

"I've learned a lot this past year. Anything from public speaking to people skills," Signore said. "I've learned a lot of life lessons that I'll be able to use over the years."

"I made a lot of friends, too, which is cool," she said.

In addition to the tiara and sash, the dairy princess gets a clothing allowance and three days of training at Lycoming College in Williamsport, Pa., Nowell said.

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