New Dairy Princess crowned, local farmers recognized
JAMESTOWN — A new year of dairy promotions has begun in Chautauqua County! On Friday, May 3, at the Bemus Point United Methodist Church, Sophie Woodis, 17, of Dewittville, was crowned the 2019-2020 Chautauqua County Dairy Princess. Tesika Kilmer, 16, of Kennedy, was crowned First Alternate Princess.
This new team began to set the tone for their year immediately. Stating the importance of demonstrating strong leadership to their court and community, Sophie and Tesika announced that they had selected an ambassador from their court to serve as Second Alternate. Autumn Gregory, 17, of Forestville, was brought forward to accept her sash and crown.
“We’ve learned so much from her,” Sophie stated as she and Tesika explained to the group their decision. “We all started together, and don’t want to be princess this year without her.”
Sophie is the daughter of Michael and Heather Woodis. She is a junior at Chautauqua Lake Central School and is active in Varsity volleyball and softball, and National Honor Society. Sophie is an acolyte and Eucharistic Minister in her church, and is active in the 4-H dairy project. The newly crowned princess is no stranger to dairy promotions. Sophie has been an ambassador in the Chautauqua County Dairy Promotions Program for five years, and served as the alternate princess for the county this past year. The Woodis family milks 750 registered Holsteins and Jerseys at Country Ayre Farms, LLC, located in Dewittville. The Dairy Princess Pageant is held in conjunction with the Dairy of Distinction Awards Ceremony, and Country Ayre Farms was recognized as a newly awarded Dairy of Distinction during the event.
Tesika Kilmer is the daughter of Aaron Kilmer of Springville, RoJan Kilmer and Andrew Ostrom of Kennedy. She is a junior at Falconer High School, and is active in softball, volleyball, National Honor Society, GAA, Envirothon, Math Club, SADD, musicals, student council, and is vice president of her class. She shows dairy cattle, pigs, goats and chickens through Chautauqua County 4-H, and is learning more about the dairy industry through the Cornell University Beginning Dairy Leaders program. This summer, Tesika will represent her school at the 2019 Empire Girls State at Brockport College. She is employed by Brehm Farms in Falconer.
Autumn Gregory is the daughter of David and Heather Gregory. She attends Silver Creek Central School, and is a member of FFA through Pine Valley Central School. Autumn is active in the dairy project and a member of the Cherry Creek Cornhuskers 4-H club, and the Junior Holstein Club. She enjoys working with and showing dairy cows alongside her grandfather, Howard Ivett.
When asked about her new title, Autumn said “I felt excited to receive second alternate dairy princess, and I think I am up to the responsibilities of my new title. I’d like to thank Sophie and Tesika for crowning me Second Alternate Dairy Princess. I feel so lucky!”
Katelyn Walley-Stoll, farmer and Farm Business Management Educator for Cornell Cooperative Extension of Chautauqua County, emceed the evening event. New York State Assemblyman Andrew Goodell assisted with the Dairy of Distinction presentations, and also honored the incoming dairy princess with a special certificate of recognition. Reegan Domagala, 2019-2020 NYS Dairy Princess spoke to the group, as well as Norm Gustafson of Frewsburg, who serves on the American Dairy Association NorthEast Board of Directors.
Lisa Kempisty, Dairy Educator with Cornell Cooperative Extension of Chautauqua County presented the Dairy of Distinction Awards, honoring local farm families for their efforts maintaining attractive dairy farms. The Dairy of Distinction Program recognizes attractive dairy farms which gives consumers greater confidence in the wholesomeness of milk, stimulates milk sales, and encourages public support for the dairy industry. 2019 Dairy of Distinction Awards were presented to: Country Ayre Farms, LLC of Dewittville, NY and Wall Street Dairy LLC, The Winton/Modica and Wolcott Families of Mayville, NY. Farms celebrating their Dairy of Distinction anniversary’s included 30 Year Farm — Leo & Craig McCray, McCray Farms, Clymer, NY; 10 Year Farm — Mark R. Mansfield, LLC, Cherry Creek, NY; and 10 Year Farm — Ormond Farm LLC, Kennedy, NY. These farms received a colorful Dairy of Distinction sign to display at their farmstead recognizing them for this honor.
The Dairy Princess Program is made possible through the support of the American Dairy Association North East: the local planning and management organization funded by dairy farmer check-off dollars.
Every county princess spends her year speaking to school classrooms, adult groups, sports enthusiasts, and other interested community members about dairy farming and the importance of including dairy products as part of a healthy nutrition plan. The Chautauqua County Court is the largest in the state, numbering 20 girls in all ages 4 to 17. For more information about the program, please call Heather Woodis, booking chairman, at 508-320-8570; or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. To follow the dairy princess and her court on their adventures, follow “Chautauqua County Dairy Promotions” on Facebook.