Lycoming County Dairy princess crowned for the 1st time since 2005

MUNCY – After a seven-year lapse, Kaitlyn Vandine, of Muncy, was selected as the 2013 Lycoming County Dairy Princess Sunday at Sones Farm Museum.

“I think I made my grandfather proud,” Vandine said of her honor. Her grandfather is a dairy farmer.

Vandine, a Muncy High School sophomore, competed with Emmalyn Voneida, of Hughesville, for the honor. Voneida will serve as the alternate dairy princess for the county.

The contest is open to females between the ages of 16 and 24 years, who have a connection to the dairy industry. They must complete an interview, give a speech, perform a skit and answer impromptu questions for judges, explained Ashley Furman, Lycoming County Dairy Promotion Committee chairwoman, on the program’s requirements.

“They must have a love of the dairy industry and want to promote it,” Furman said.

Furman said she and the rest of the committee worked for two years to resurrect the program, which hadn’t selected a dairy princess since 2005.

“It was difficult,” Furman said on the process. “… It’s been a long two years, but a wonderful two years.”

Maria Noble, the 2012-13 state Dairy Princess, helped host the program and said that Vandine and Voneida should expect to be busy over the next year. She added that she’s enjoyed her time in her position.

“It’s a great honor,” she said. “… It’s a great experience getting to see all part of Pennsylvania promoting something I’m passionate about.”

Furman added that Vandine and Voneida will have the opportunity to present and speak to groups around the county in an assortment of settings promoting the industry.

“It’s going to be a busy year,” she said.

Vandine said that she’s excited for the opportunity to teach people about the dairy industry, especially the younger generation. She said she wants to “let them know the hard work that goes into their milk and cheese.” She added that other members of her family have held the position of dairy princess and she was happy to continue the legacy.

Furman hopes that with this year’s event, the competition will continue to grow in popularity and contestants. The more participation, Furman said, the better promotion of the dairy industry that can be done.

The night also recognized Amy Drick, of Allenwood, and Olivia Katzmaier, of Montoursville, as Dairy Maids. Katelyn Taylor, of Allenwood, was named a Dairy Miss. This group of younger participants also travel and promote the industry with the princess.

The tasks that await the participants will be valuable to them, Furman said. She added that skills learned and used throughout the process will be invaluable to them in each stage of their lives.