Agriculture Secretary George Greig congratulates the newly crowned state dairy royalty team at the 56th Pennsylvania Dairy Princess Coronation, Saturday, Sept. 22. From left to right: Greig, state princess Maria Jo Noble, first alternate Callie Curley and second alternate Heather Wasson. Sept. 26, 2012.
HARRISBURG, Pa. — Maria Jo Noble of Gillett, Bradford County, was crowned the 56th Pennsylvania Dairy Princess on Sept. 22, after a three-day competition with 30 county dairy princesses.
Noble is the 18-year-old daughter of Stuart and Elaine Noble. She was crowned by outgoing state princess Gabrielle Murphy of York County. Contestants were judged on speaking skills, dairy industry knowledge, poise and personality. Each contestant prepared a speech, skit, radio spot and poster display promoting milk and dairy products; submitted a scrapbook of promotion activities; took a dairy industry knowledge quiz; and participated in an interview with a panel of four judges.
Noble was the speech, skit and radio spot winner. She is a recent graduate of Troy High School and is taking classes at the State University of New York Empire State College. She plans to attend SUNY-Cobleskill in January to study agriculture business. A 4-H and FFA member, she participates in the New York State 4-H Junior Dairy Leader program.
Noble owns 10 Jersey cattle and is active in the Pennsylvania Junior Jersey Cattle Association. Two alternates were selected: Callie Curley of Montrose, Susquehanna County, first alternate.
She is the 16-year-old daughter of Benjamin and Amy Curley. A junior at Montrose Area High School, she is active in 4-H, serves as the secretary of the Susquehanna County Junior Holstein Club and is treasurer of the Pennsylvania Junior Holstein Executive Committee. She also participates in dairy quiz bowl and dairy judging.
Heather Wasson of State College, Centre County, was named second alternate. The 16-year-old daughter of Ronald and Candace Wasson is a junior at State College High School where she is a majorette and participates in track.
She is a member of FFA, the Pennsylvania Junior Holstein Association and volunteers for the Special Olympics and Kids with Cancer Geisinger Children’s Miracle Network. She also works on her family’s Wasson Farm Market and Dairy.
She was the runner-up skit winner and an honorable mention winner for speech and poster displays. In addition to Noble, Curley and Wasson, four other finalists were chosen: Leah Hershberger, Bedford County Dairy Princess, daughter of Ross and Yvonne Hershberger, was runner-up scrapbook and radio spot winner and honorable mention dairy knowledge and speech winner; Carly Foose, Lancaster County Dairy Princess, daughter of Wayne and Lorianne Foose, was honorable mention speech and poster display winner; Mackenna Bagley, Sullivan County Dairy Princess, daughter of Craig and Jamie Bagley, was scrapbook and runner-up speech winner; and Brianna Smarkusky, Wyoming-Lackawanna County Dairy Princess, daughter of William and Mary Smarkusky.
Other winners include Royell Bashore of Lebanon County: “Miss Congeniality” and honorable mention radio spot winner; Amber Gable of Perry County: Dairy knowledge winner and honorable mention skit winner; Darla Romberger of Schuylkill County: Runner-up in dairy knowledge and honorable mention in scrapbook and poster display; Kayci Johns of Berks County: Honorable mention in scrapbook and radio spots. Rounding out the category winners were:
Tiffany Pheasant of Blair County and Olivia Mullen of Cambria County, dairy knowledge honorable mention winners; Megan Alexander of Crawford County, skit honorable mention winner; Ashley Merkel of Cumberland County, scrapbook honorable mention winner; Reed Becze of Beaver County and runner-up Leanna Hornberger, Juniata County; poster display winner; and Amanda Fisher of Mifflin County, radio spot honorable mention winner.
Outgoing state princess Gabrielle Murphy was named the Tina M. Shultz Award winner. Along with her York County team, she logged 378 school promotions, 119 media opportunities, 47 booth displays, 37 non-dairy meetings, seven dairy meetings and seven special events, reaching 9,518 school children, 13,343 non-farm consumers and 866 farm-related consumers.
Her parents are Donna and Greg Kennard and Sheri and Patrick Murphy of Airville. The four overall judges were Jennifer Leech, Lexington, Va., Walt Jones, Little York, N.Y., April Hall Barczewski, Fair Hall, Md., and Burli Hopkins, Lewes, Del.