HONESDALE—The Wayne County Board of Commissioners were visited by the county Dairy Court last Thursday in celebration of June as Dairy Month and anticipation of July as Ice Cream Month.
Wayne County Dairy Princess, Allison Hardler, and her court consisting of Alternate Princess, Carmen Rutledge, Dairy Maid, Maddie Roberts, Dairy Miss, Kenley Roberts and Elektra Kehagias, and Lil Dairy Miss, Ashbee Gately and Emma Preble, brought a display of locally produced and sold dairy products to raise awareness of their prominence and necessity in the area.
On display were samples of raw milk produced from Hardler Farm, Gross Family Dairy and Fertile Valley Farm, as well as cheese from Calkins Creamery, ice cream from Yatsonsky Farm, and milk, flavored milk, ice cream and butter from Creamworks.
“We're all connected,” said Hardler of the dairy industry and community as a whole.
“You need your milk, you need your cheese, you need your farmers,” she added. “Knowing your local farmers, that's the healthiest way and the best way to get your products. It's the best thing for you. It keeps you healthy. It keeps you happy.”
Adding to this sentiment, Dairy Miss Elektra Kehagias stated “I believe that food security is national security. I think that Wayne County can help provide for America.”
According to the commissioners' proclamation, milk was named the official beverage of Pennsylvania in 1982.
Moreover, the proclamation states agriculture is the Commonwealth's “leading economic driver” with the dairy industry making up its largest component in producing 10.9 billion pounds of milk each year.
“Farms generate more tax money than they require in services and farm revenues exchange hands at least 2.5 times resulting in tremendous economic impact,” states the proclamation.
Commissioner Wendell Kay stated last Thursday, “I think we're all familiar … with the local products and how important it is not just to support our local industry but to support our own families in a healthful and nutritious way.”
The commissioner explained milk is “probably my favorite beverage” and has nutritional value for both youth and adults.
“For all you young athletes out there, we really are pushing milk, wether its strawberry milk, chocolate milk or regular milk, as your post work out, post game nutrition rather than some of the other commercially made products,” said Kay.
When buying products from local producers, Commissioner Joseph Adams stated, “We know that you're going to get it better, fresher, less chemicals, all of those types of things.”
Thanking the Dairy Court for their appearance and their service to Wayne County farmers, Board Chairman Brian Smith stated “Being an ambassador for farmers and the products that they make is an important job and it's something that we love to see you young ladies doing, particularly girls getting involved at this age.”
Dairy Princess Committee spokesperson Joan Schweighofer explained the group usually solicits interest in March.
The program is open to girls as young as four or as old as 24 who have an interest in promoting the local dairy industry.
“They do not have to have farm connection,” explained Schweighofer. “They just have to want to come out and support the dairy industry.”
Those looking for more information about the Wayne County Dairy Princess and Dairy Court or seeking to have them make an appearance at an event can call Tiffany Tyler at 570-493-8011 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.