Pennsylvania dairy royalty includes, left to right:
Chantal Guidice, Pa. Brown Swiss Miss, Beaver Co.
Sarah Weimer, Pa. Guernsey Queen, Venango Co.
Amanda Mitcheltree, Pa. Jersey Queen, Lawrence Co.
LeeAnn Kapanick, Pa. State Dairy Princess, Crawford Co.
Abigail Trotter, Pa. Alternate State Dairy Princess, Lawrence Co.
SALEM, Ohio — June Dairy Month began more than 70 years ago as “National Milk Month.” The 1937 campaign’s theme was “Keep Youthful — Drink Milk.”
Although the promotion name might have changed, the efforts continue today — especially through breed representatives and the dairy princess program across the nation.
Meet five young women — true farm girls — who are promoting and celebrating the dairy industry. All five hail from western Pennsylvania and represent the entire commonwealth.
New Brighton, Beaver County, native Chantal Guidice received the title of Pennsylvania Brown Swiss Miss at the All-American Dairy Show in September. An avid Brown Swiss breeder, Chantal helps with her family’s 70-cow herd of Brown Swiss and Holsteins. The Riverside High School graduate is attending Vet Tech Institute in Pittsburgh, with the hopes of becoming a veterinarian.
LeeAnn Kapanick was crowned the Pennsylvania State Dairy Princess in September 2008. The daughter of John and Stephanie Kapanick of Saegertown in Crawford County, LeeAnn is a recent graduate of Saegertown High School and plans to attend a four-year school for agricultural studies. LeeAnn raises dairy show cattle on her family’s 400-acre crop farm and works at a neighbor’s 65-cow dairy farm.
Longtime Jersey cattle owner Amanda Mitcheltree was crowned the Pennsylvania Jersey Queen at the state convention in April 2009. Amanda will compete in the national competition in Louisville, Ky., this November. In addition to her activities as a senior at Laurel Junior Senior High School, Amanda helps her parents, Scott and Marlene Mitcheltree of New Castle, Lawrence County, with their ice cream shop, Mandy Sue’s.
Abigail Trotter of Enon Valley in Lawrence County serves as an alternate Pennsylvania dairy princess, along with Centre County native Nicole Wasson. Abby just graduated from Mohawk High School and plans to attend Westminster College in New Wilmington, Pa. Her parents, Dave and Jill Trotter operate Trotacre Farm, milking 150 Holsteins and Guernseys.
Abby was crowned in September by last year’s alternate dairy princess and current Pennsylvania Guernsey Queen, Sarah Weimer. The daughter of Mike and Cindy Weimer of Emlenton in Venango County, Sarah is a sophomore at Penn State University, where she is studying animal science. She has shown for many years, owning and raising just about every breed of dairy cattle. Sarah will compete at the national queen competition in Texas next month.
Farm and Dairy asked these dairy ambassadors to provide answers for six fun, dairy-related questions.
What’s your all-time favorite dairy product?
Chantal: Strawberry yogurt
LeeAnn: Mozzarella cheese
Amanda: Ice cream
Abby: Chocolate milk
Your choices for a cool summertime treat are a milkshake, an ice cream sundae or an ice cream cone. Which do you choose and what flavor would you select?
Chantal: Chocolate milkshake
LeeAnn: Vanilla milkshake with caramel
Amanda: Chocolate coffee espresso milkshake
Abby: Hot fudge sundae
Sarah: Cookies ‘n cream milkshake
You have just been assigned to choose the next male “got milk?” celebrity. Will you choose President Barack Obama, Sidney Crosby of the Pittsburgh Penguins, or Robert Pattinson, the actor who plays Edward Cullen in the “Twilight” movies.
Chantal: Robert Pattinson
LeeAnn: Sidney Crosby
Amanda: Sidney Crosby, so he can show how drinking milk helps you win in sports — and may even get you to the Stanley Cup!
Abby: Definitely Sidney Crosby. Go Pens!
Sarah: Robert Pattinson. I’ve read all the books, and I’m a fan.
Of these common farm chores, which is your favorite: feeding calves, milking cows or driving the tractor for fieldwork?
Chantal: Milking cows
LeeAnn: Milking cows
Amanda: Milking cows, but feeding calves is a close second
Abby: Feeding calves
Sarah: Feeding calves
What has been your favorite event or the event you’re most looking forward to?
Chantal: Passing out ribbons and meeting new people at all the fairs.
LeeAnn: Pennsylvania Farm Show was great, and I was really excited to speak to the House and Senate June 23.
Amanda: The National Jersey Convention in New York this July as well as the national show and queen contest in Kentucky.
Abby: Pennsylvania Farm Show — we became closer as a team and were able to do so many different things.
Sarah: I will be helping with a giant ice cream sundae for the Northwest Guernsey breeders to celebrate June Dairy Month.
What incident, good or bad, will you remember from your reign?
Chantal: At one promotion, I spent about 20 minutes trying to convince a child that the Brown Swiss cow I had did not, in fact, produce chocolate milk. Since it was a dry cow, I couldn’t even prove it!
LeeAnn: I’ve done promotions at a school in my county where one of the teachers is the daughter of a dairy farmer. She has her class build structures out of milk cartons. They built an igloo out of gallon jugs and a log cabin out of chocolate milk cartons. I just love going to visit that school.
Amanda: I helped with the giant ice cream sundae on the Capitol Building steps in Harrisburg. It started raining, and all of us princesses were soaked. The security guards were laughing as we ran into the building in our heels and crowns with our make-up running. We weren’t as amused.
Abby: One of our first promotions as state royalty was in Philadelphia. I accidentally left my crown at home, so my mom had to overnight an entire suitcase to Philly.
Sarah: As the outgoing president, I was running the Pennsylvania Junior Guernsey Breeders program, so I had to introduce myself as Guernsey Queen. Luckily, they had someone else crown me. That might have been a little awkward if I crowned myself.