For the first time in two years, Wisconsin has a new official agricultural ambassador. Taylor Schaefer of Franksville was chosen as the 75th Alice in Dairyland during a ceremony at the Monona Terrace in Madison on Saturday evening. The finale was part of a three-day selection process, hosted this year by Dane County.
Schaefer grew up on her family’s beef and crop farm, where she served as a youth leader in the Racine County 4-H program. She is a recent graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she majored in animal sciences and life sciences communications and a certificate in digital studies.
While in college, Taylor was involved in the Association of Women in Agriculture, Badger Dairy Club, and the University of Wisconsin Marching Band. She has since joined the Animal and Dairy Sciences Department as a digital media intern and the Mid-West Farm Report as a farm assistant.
Other finalists in the running during the competition were Amber Cafferty, Amelia Hayden, Courtney Moser, Samantha Schuessler, and Charitee Seebecker.
Meanwhile, this year’s Alice, Julia Nunes of Chippwa Falls, thanked her many supporters for making her journey possible.
“To the people of Wisconsin, thank you for making me your Alice for the past two years and for welcoming me, both in person and virtually,” Nunes said in her retiring address. “Signing off, I’m your cheese loving, milk chugging, jump roping, two-timing 73rd and 74th Alice in Dairyland!”
And before giving up her title, Julia presented her Friend of Alice Awards to Ron Fruit of WRCO Radio in Richland Center and former Alice Nicole Barlass. She also gave recognition to her immediate-past predicessor Abigail Martin for her service during the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Also in the crowd on Saturday were 37 former Alices, including Margaret McGuire, who served as the state’s very first Alice in Dairyland in 1948-49. They were all there to help celebrate the program’s 75th anniversary.
Schaefer officially begins her duties as Alice in Dairyland in early July. Until then, Nunes will continue to make appearances at various events as her successor goes through a brief training process.
Alice in Dairyland is a full-time public relations professional employed by the state’s division of agricultural development. Each year, she travels more than 40,000 miles throughout the state and nation, promoting Wisconsin products to audiences of all ages and types.
Next year, the Alice in Dairyland finals will be held in Walworth County in May 2023.