The six top candidates for the 76th Alice in Dairyland have been announced by the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection (DATCP). Ashley Hagenow, Shannon Lamb, Lydia Luebke, Jackie Rosenbush, Charitee Seebecker, and Jodie Weyland are the candidates.
The candidates had to complete an application and a preliminary interview before being chosen. The six top candidates will spend the next few weeks preparing for the three-day Alice in Dairyland Finals, which will take place in Walworth County on May 11-13, 2023. Agribusiness tours, media interviews, an impromptu question and answer session, individual interviews, and candidate presentations are all part of the three-day process. The 76th Alice in Dairyland will be announced live during the programme on May 13, 2023, at the conclusion of the finals. On July 5, 2023, the 76th Alice in Dairyland will take office.
The six candidates will go through a rigorous interview process over the next two months to demonstrate the communications and public relations skills required to be Alice in Dairyland. Although only one of the top candidates will be chosen as the next Alice in Dairyland, the personal growth that all of the candidates will experience as a result of the process will last far into their future careers.
“While the goal of this process is to identify the 76th Alice in Dairyland, the journey these six women will take over the next two months will benefit them all,” said Taylor Schaefer, 75th Alice in Dairyland. “One of these finalists will continue the tradition of travelling the state to educate audiences from both urban and rural backgrounds on the importance of Wisconsin agriculture.”
Biographies of Candidates
Ashley Hagenow, Poynette, is a senior at the University of Minnesota, where she will graduate in May with a degree in agricultural communication and marketing, as well as minors in animal science and agricultural and food business management. She was very involved in 4-H and FFA when she was younger. Hagenow was a member of Agriculture Future of America, the National Agri-Marketing Association, the Gopher Dairy Club, and the University of Minnesota dairy challenge and dairy judging teams while in college. Throughout college, Hagenow held internships with CHS, Curious Plot marketing agency, CLUTCH marketing agency, Progressive Dairy, and World Dairy Expo.
Shannon Lamb, Dane, grew up on her family’s diversified production farm and was active in FFA and 4-H, allowing her to show livestock throughout Wisconsin. Lamb earned a Bachelor of Science in Soil and Crop Science, Environmental Horticulture, and Animal Science with a minor in Biology from the University of Wisconsin-Platteville and is now pursuing a Master of Science in Biological Engineering at the University of Missouri. She was the Lodi Agricultural Fairest of the Fair in 2021 and the Wisconsin Honey Queen in 2022. Lamb stays busy on the family farm by feeding the calves every night.
Lydia Luebke, Kiel, grew up on her parents’ and grandparents’ 150-cow dairy farm, Kissinger’s Family Farms LLC, where she gained an appreciation for the dairy industry through her memories and experiences. Luebke received her Associate’s degree in Dairy Science with a minor in Agricultural Business from the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, Sheboygan Campus in 2019, and her Bachelor’s degree in Dairy Science with a minor in Agricultural Business from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls in 2021. She is currently employed as a microbiology specialist at Sargento Foods, Inc. She enjoys landscaping, gardening, painting, and helping on the family farm in her spare time.
Sarona Jackie Rosenbush, along with her sister and parents, started her own flock of sheep in 2012. Her flock has grown to 100 purebred sheep today. Rosenbush is a University of Wisconsin-River Falls student pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree in Agricultural Education and will graduate with honours this May. Rosenbush has been active in 4-H and FFA, and will serve as a Wisconsin FFA State Officer in 2020-2021. Rosenbush recently served as the 2022 Wisconsin Fairest of the Fairs, touring the state to promote the opportunities fairs provide and to connect consumers with producers through agricultural education.
Charitee Seebecker, Mauston, grew up on a dairy farm owned by her family. After leaving the farm, she turned to 4-H and FFA to rekindle her interest in agriculture. Seebecker studied at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville and is now a farm broadcaster for the Mid-West Farm Report. Serving as the official ambassador for Wisconsin’s farmers and processors would be Seebecker’s dream come true. Seebecker has looked up to Alice in Dairyland since she was a child, and she wants to be a role model for others by making learning about Wisconsin’s diverse agriculture industry enjoyable.
Jodie Weyland grew up on her family’s dairy farm in Neenah with her parents and three older siblings. Weyland was active in FFA and other activities that allowed her to share her farm story. Weyland decided to pursue her agricultural interests further by enrolling in agronomy classes at Fox Valley Technical College. Tilth Agronomy Group LLC currently employs her as an associate consultant. Weyland spends her free time working on her sister’s dairy farm when she is not scouting fields. In her spare time, she enjoys playing the trumpet, line dancing, coordinating two local youth leadership programmes, and serving as a county fair ambassador.