By: Beth Noel, 1st year agricultural science major, Teaching Pathway
“Thank you, your Highness.” A phrase I get quite often as I serve samples of Humboldt Creamery Ice Cream in Friendship Square at the Humboldt County Fair. I was wearing my attire of professional heels, a dress, sash, and crown on my head. I often get asked, “What is like being a dairy princess?” or “What do you even do as a dairy princess?”
I think of riding in convertibles down main street exercising the perfect princess wave on great American holidays like the Fourth of July. As a dairy princess, I serve as a representative of the dairy industry and promote and market Real California dairy products, like cheese, milk, butter and so much more. To become a dairy princess in my district, which includes Humboldt and Del Norte County, I filled out an application and had a day full of personal development. There were two rounds of interviews, a luncheon, mock presentation, and on-stage questions. It was during this process of running for dairy princess that I became truly thankful for agriculture.
When preparing for the process I was asked the question, “Who would you be representing if selected as a dairy princess?” I began to think of all the dairymen in my community, especially the owner of the farm where I spend my summers feeding calves. I thought of the 4 a.m. and 4 p.m. milking shifts. After all the animals are fed there are fences to be fixed, all paperwork to be done, and then it restarts all over again the next day. I look up to the men and women who work in production agriculture because it is not only their job but their livelihood.
As a dairy princess, I am able to appreciate agriculture marketers like those at California Milk Advisory Board, the association that sponsors the California Dairy Princess program. They work to understand the basics of agriculture to improve agricultural literacy. I am thankful for milk truck drivers who travel to collect milk every day, and for creamery workers for packaging and making milk into dairy products. I am grateful for regulations that ensure food is safe, and I am thankful for farmers who are consumers too. As I wear my heels and crown through county fairs, parades, classroom visits, and baseball games I am thankful for agriculture for feeding me and for being a progressive industry.