From Maid to Princess
MONTGOMERY-This year’s Lycoming County Dairy Princess is Katelyn Taylor, a 16-year-old from Allenwood who is a fourth-generation dairy farmer.
She is the daughter of Brett and Laura Taylor and will begin her senior year at Montgomery in the fall. Katelyn served as last year’s Dairy Maid, but on Monday, June 1 her title changed. She now has more responsibilities and opportunities with her new role.
Both of these posts are part of the Lycoming County Dairy Program, which is overseen by Pennsylvania Dairy Promotion.
Katelyn’s primary responsibilities are to represent county dairy farmers to the public, to educate people about the nutritional benefits of consuming dairy products, and the dairy industry.
Her post is one that requires many year-round events. The summer has always been especially busy because June is Dairy Month and July is Ice Cream Month. The COVID-19 virus has meant that many of her personal appearances have been canceled this year.
Katelyn turned to social media to fulfill her role, making daily posts on Facebook and Instagram with a different theme for each day of the week. Her posts can be found on Facebook at Lycoming County Dairy Promotion and on Instagram at Lycoming_Dairy_Promotion.
Social media can be a very useful medium for reaching people, but she’s hoping that she will be able to resume her usual duties in August if social distancing requirements are lifted.
Under normal circumstances she visits preschool and daycare facilities to read a book and do some activities such as bingo. She says the best approach for talking to young children is to start out by asking what they know to get them interested by allowing them to talk first. She said, “It’s important to get kids interested as soon as possible to impact them in the long run.”
During National Agriculture Week she visits kindergarten through third grade classrooms to read a book and activities. For working adults, it’s best to capture their attention by going to where they are and sharing educational information as quickly as possible. A trivia question on social media means they can learn something in as little as three seconds, or going to a grocery store and giving out brochures in the diary aisle is effective, too.
Katelyn also visits personal care homes, sharing with residents who love talking about growing up on farms and reminiscing about what their parents did around the farm. Katelyn enjoys hearing their stories and how the industry and farming techniques have changed over the last several decades. She also plays bingo with the residents and educates them on the importance of consuming dairy to help them to strengthen their bones.
During a time when there’s a lot of interest in supporting local, one of the best ways to help local dairy farmers is to look for a stamped code on the milk cartons.
“If you see the number 42 included, that means the milk comes from a Pennsylvania dairy farm. It’s the freshest option because the milk goes from farm to store in three days,” she said. It takes longer to truck in milk from other states; however Katelyn was quick to add that purchasing any extra dairy product helps farmers.