HONESDALE—Despite the bright sun shining Thursday morning, there was a slight sprinkling on the Courthouse steps as the Wayne County Commissioners and the Wayne County Dairy Court celebrated Ice Cream Month with their annual Sundae-building contest.

Racing head to head and against the melting might of the sun, the teams piled whipped cream, and chocolate syrup on top of Yatsonsky Farm ice cream in a flurry of sugary sweetness which ended with the Dairy Court defending their win from last year.

Scooping for the Court were Dairy Maids, Madison Roberts and Sydney Roberts, Lil' Dairy Misses Chloe Tyler, Eliza Miller and Emma Preble, coordinators Joan Schweighofer and Tiffany Tyler, and dairy mom Tammy Preble.

The Court was joined by Clarabell the Cow who entertained the crowd with zany antics.

Aside from a great reason to enjoy a refreshing cup of ice cream on a sunny summer day, the annual Sundae Competition serves to remind the public of the role dairy products play to local and statewide business.

Prior to the competition, at the Commissioners' weekly business meeting, the trio proclaimed July to be “Ice Cream Month” and June to be “Dairy Month” in Wayne County to raise awareness and support for the milk and milk product producers everywhere.

Dairy production is the largest component in Pennsylvania's agriculture industry, which ranks sixth highest in the nation and leads the Commonwealth's economy, according to the proclamation.

For Wayne County, the dairy industry was once a sizable portion of its agricultural landscape with over 1,200 farms county-wide.

Today, around 50 dairy farms operate in the county.

Those farms, however, contribute a great deal to the local economy.

According to the proclamation, “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.”

At the commissioners' meeting, Chairman Brian Smith stated, “The dairy industry has its challenges and we need people out there talking about dairy and dairy products. And we need people helping to educate folks on how healthy it is to have a couple of full helpings of dairy product a day.”

Diary Promotions coordinator, Tiffany Tyler noted at the meeting it is recommended consumers get their “three-a-day” servings of dairy.

These can be a glass of milk, or full portions of cheese, ice cream or yogurt, she explained.

Noting that he drinks a glass of ice cold milk every day, Commissioner Wendell Kay added that “We've always said, in one of my former activities as a coach, that it's the best recovery drink for any kind of athletic training or sports events.”

Commending the Dairy Court for all they do to promote the industry, Commissioner Joseph Adams stated, “We want to say thank you very much for all that you've done in promoting and providing opportunities for the girls along the way.”

What is the Dairy Court?

The Wayne County Dairy Court is a dedicated group of dairy promoters who volunteer their time to support the dairy industry.

Comprised of several tiers of service including Lil' Diary Misses, Dairy Maids, Dairy Ambassadors and the Dairy Princess, the Court visits many groups at the local and state level to talk about dairy and dairy products.

The group's next appearance will be at the Wayne County Fair.

“Our dairy promotion is also raising money for a campaign called, 'Fill a Glass With Hope',” said Tammy Preble, “which donates money to local food pantries to get fluid milk to families in need.

“So if anyone ever sees any court members out in public, you can feel free to make a donation to us at that time.”

Dairy Court members must be between ages four and 24, and unwed with no children.

They also, “have to be dedicated to promote in the dairy industry...,” said Tyler.

Those interested in join the Dairy Court can contact Joan Schweighofer at 570-224-4619.

More information about the Court is available on their Facebook page “Wayne County Dairy Promotions.”