By Kris Leonhardt
SPENCER — As part of June Dairy Month, the Spencer branch of the Marathon County Public Library welcomed Crystal Siemers-Peterman, the newly crowned Alice in Dairyland, on June 27.
Siemers-Peterman, who is the 70th Alice in Dairyland, spoke with attendees on farming and the dairy industry and participated in a few activities with children.
Siemers-Peterman is a Wisconsin native, who is no stranger to the dairy and farming industries.
“I grew up on my family’s dairy and crop farm located in Cleveland, Wisconsin. … It’s located in Manitowoc County,” said Siemers-Peterman. “I am the sixth generation on my family’s dairy and crop farm, and that tradition really made me interested in applying for the Alice in Dairyland position as this position really has a unique way of connecting Wisconsinites and the nation to all aspects of Wisconsin’s diverse agriculture industry.
“This May I graduated from the University of Minnesota with a bachelor of science in agriculture and food business management and a minor in marketing. Prior to that I had lots of internships with agriculture companies in the areas of marketing, sales, public relations, and of course dairy foods, … so that interest really sparked my interest in the Alice in Dairyland program — because I felt ready to market Wisconsin agriculture.”
The Alice in Dairyland program was instituted in 1948 as a post-high school beauty program. Today, Alice in Dairyland is a public relations professional with four years of experience or education in agriculture. Siemers-Peterman had both.
“This interview process consisted of a radio interview, TV interview, making social media campaigns, and just really exploring all of the diverse aspects of Wisconsin agriculture,” recalled Siemers-Peterman.
Siemers-Peterman’s duties as the current Alice in Dairyland — a one-year, full-time public relations position with the state Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection — began on June 5. She will travel over 40,000 miles throughout the state promoting the agriculture industry.
“Going to different cities, going to different media outlets, and just spreading the news about Wisconsin’s agriculture impact and exploring the different commodities here within Wisconsin — from cows to cranberries from ginseng to vegetables,” Siemers-Peterman explained. “Knowing this is a one-year commitment, I am really just giving it my all because I know this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”