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WA State Dairy Ambassador History




The Washington State Dairy Ambassador Program thrives through the dedication and commitment by members of the Washington State Dairy Women’s Organization and the concerted efforts of the local County Dairy Women units. The role of each County Dairy Women member and their Advisors is vital to the success of the Ambassador Program. The dedication, commitment, and selfless effort of all Dairy Women is acknowledged and greatly appreciated. Over 800 young women have gone through the Dairy Ambassador Program and gained valuable speaking, poise, and teaching skills.



The Washington State Dairy Ambassador Program is sponsored by the Washington State Dairy Women. It is the goal of the Dairy women to provide personal growth and educational opportunities for young women in the dairy industry. The program includes a college scholarship, statewide travel to make public and media appearances, communication training, and image consultation.

The Washington State Dairy Ambassador is a public relations representative for dairy products and the state’s dairy industry. She must reflect the health-giving benefits of dairy products and inform the urban population in Washington State about the dairy industry as a contemporary business vital to the local economy. She must act as the "dignitary" at all dairy industry events and is the role model for the industry’s future "Ambassadors for Milk."


November 15th, 1979

The year was 1955. It was the year of the first Washington State Dairy Princess Contest. Nothing like this had ever been tried by the Dairy Industry in Washington. But the new born Dairy Wives felt sure that a Dairy Princess could open a wide new spectrum for telling the Dairy Industry’s story to the consumers of our state. The American Dairy Association was to choose the first American Dairy Princess in October of 1955 and Dairy Wives were eager for one of Washington State’s 27,000 dairy families to be represented. The early 50’s were years of tremendous change in our industry. Shipping cream and milk in cans to local creameries was on its way out, and the cans were on their way to becoming antique collector items. Replacing the cans was a whole new world of shiny stainless steel in farm milk tanks and bulk tankers carrying milk to centrally located distribution points. Fluid milk was the product sell, and new ways to promote its sale were needed. The dairy families who were to survive this transition were being urged to help promote the sale of the huge quantities of milk accumulating in storage. Dairy Wives believed a Dairy Princess could be our spokesman and figurehead with the news media, carrying the story of our near-perfect product to the public.

Gaining support from the whole industry was needed if the Dairy Princess idea was to be really successful. The Dairy Products Commission was interested; however, they urged the Dairy Wives to wait until the following year to give more time for adequate preparation. But the first American Dairy Princess was to be chosen in 1955, not 1956, so the Dairy Wives voted to sponsor the contest themselves, as part of their June Dairy Month promotion. The Washington State Dairymen’s Association voted to co-sponsor and the contest was on its way. Dairy Wives went to work. With guidelines from the American Dairy Association, ground rules and score cards were prepared. All counties and farm organization in the state were invited to enter the contest. Qualification material and application were made available at Extension Offices. Dairy wives units in Clark, King, Kittitas, Snohomish, and Walla Walla counties held contests and selected candidates who were to become the five finalists in the Washington State Dairy Princess Contest. These finalists were: Rose Marie Rufener, Clark County; Marilyn Stendal, King County; Charlotte McQueen, Kittitas County; Marcia Gamble, Snohomish County; and Dorothy Weaver, Walla Walla County. On August 10, 1955 the first Washington State Dairy Princess Contest was held at the Antlers Hotel in Ellensburg. Judges were Representative Catherine May of Yakima, Russel Pfeiffer, Manager of Carnation Milk Farms, and Lester Lancaster, the President of the State Guernsey Cattle Club of Sequim. Charlotte McQueen of Ellensburg was selected as Washington State’s first Dairy Princess and was crowned by Fred Olsen, manager of the Washington State Dairy Products Commission. Marcia Gamble was chosen Alternate Princess. Princess Charlotte received the right to represent Washington at the American Dairy Princess contest held in Chicago at the International Dairy Show in October. Of the 13 candidates, she was the only one from the Northwest. Two Chicago papers used her picture for their front page coverage. Ruth Marie Peterson of Minnesota was to become the first American Dairy Princess. She visited Seattle on her way to represent us at the trade fair in Japan. Cameras were on hand when her plane rolled to a stop at SEATAC. You could not miss the plane. It had a big mild bottle painted on the side with the sign: American Dairy Princess Orient Special" (end of excerpt)




1955 State Princess Charlotte McQueen Peters, Orinda, Ca.

Alternate Marcia Gamble

1956 State Princess Jean Oestreich Galbraith, Yakima, WA.

Alternate Myrna Mantle

1957 State Princess Dana Noble Selin, Key Colony Beach, Fla.

Alternate Lois Camenzind Burkharlter

1958 State Princess Janet Anderson Hagen

1959 State Princess Marilyn Snydar Ryan

1960 State Princess Kathleen Sauter Williams, Williamsburg, Va.

Alternate Fran Leenders Wahl

1961 State Princess Sara (Saralee) Williams Kincaid, Deer Harbor, WA.

Alternate Charlotte Anderson Jensen

1962 State Princess Sandra Tibeau, Buckley, WA.

Alternate Judy Aker, Ferndale, WA.

1963 State Princess Gretchen Veleke, Irvine, Ca.

Alternate Beverly Conrad

1964 State Princess Jannet Pearce Didelius, Walla Walla, WA.

Alternate Susan Mickelson Lindeman

1965 State Princess Valorie Weiderspohn Tresner, Gig Harbor, WA.

Alternate Eke DeHaan Petschl

1966 State Princess Susanne Hultgren Olson, Monroe, WA.

1967 State Princess Diana Tait Wallin, Zillah, WA.

Alternate Iris Newman

1968 State Princess Gail Hamilton Johnson, Olympia, WA.

1969 State Princess Marilyn Scharpf Powe, Chehalis, WA.

1970 State Princess Mary Anderson Myers

1971 State Princess Kathy Kaelin Martin, Sumner, WA.

1972 State Princess Twyla Boast Ostrander

1973 State Princess Deborah Gragory Nollan, Whitefish, Mt.

Alternate Florence Fakkema Dahlstedt

1974 State Princess Shirley Larson Silvernail

1975 State Princess Janet Noteboom Rutgers, Lynden, WA.

Alternate Cyndy Decker Jacobi

1976 State Princess Dorothy Crask Wilgus, Puyallup, WA.

Alternate Tammy Roberts

1977 State Princess Martha Guisti Songer

Alternate Jill Crawford Cigich

1978 State Princess Cindy Lancaster Plagerman, Everson, WA.

1979 State Princess Sara Sheilds Priddy, Lynden, Wa.

Alternate Jill Youngquist

1980 State Princess Rosie Bosma Haak, Outlook, Wa.

Alternate Heidi Lanting DeJong

1981 State Princess Gayle Schorno Duerr, Olympia, Wa.

Alternate Mary Golob Klarich

1982 State Princess Julie Youngquist McCann, Vancouver, Wa.

Alternate Lana DeHaan Bierlink

1983 State Princess Marie Wallace

Alternate Lucile Samwell Anderson

1984 State Princess Marike Boersma Nauta, Big Sandy, TX.

Alternate Lynette Lagerlund

1985 State Princess Zena Edwards, Olympia, Wa.

Alternate Kristin Ekstran

Alternate Teresa Rothlin

1986 State Princess Jennifer Bordon Anglin

Alternate Peggy Ueltschi Beaber

Alternate Kristi Walter Smith

1987 State Princess Syri Hollen Barsness, Cheney, Wa.

Alternate Susan Lanting Root

Alternate Melinda Flaig

1988 State Princess Keri Smalley Stewart, Paia, Maui, Hi.

Alternate Kirstie Felt Teeter

Alternate Tiffane Pomerory Hansen

1989 State Princess Shelley Flagg Erickson, Burlington, Wa.

Alternate Jami DeJong

Alternate Wendy Schilter Erbsen

1990 State Princess Christine Schultz King

Alternate Kendra Felt Meek

Alternate Suzanne Pickering

1991 State Princess Karen McKay Bevers, Bremerton, Wa.

Alternate Erin Woodside Uskoski

Alternate Tracy Barnes Mason

1992 State Princess Denise Ueltschi Nelson, Everett, Wa.

Alternate Tamara Boon Morris

Alternate Brenda VanDyken Love

1993 State Princess Sonya Strawder Stemkoski, Kalama, Wa.

Alternate Karen Rod Hanseth

Alternate Kendi Schilke Benson

1994 State Princess Lori Boon

Alternate Cheyenne Paul LaViolette

Alternate Katherine Fenn Humphrey

1995 State Princess Jada Feddema Trammell, Sedro Woolley, Wa.

Alternate Andrea VanDyk Feenstra

Alternate Liska Baldwin Stokes

1996 State Princess Lisa Watters

Alternate Kari Keach

Alternate Annie Bishop Barnett, Stanwood, Wa.

1997 State Princess Karen Olson

Alternate Christi Streuli Fast

Alternate Kristina Rasmussen

1998 State Princess Julie Haakenson

Alternate Amanda Miller Nelson

Alternate Becky Smith

1999 State Princess Jana Visser, Sumas, Wa.

Alternate Mari Annis

Alternate Caroline Deck Kinsman

2000 State Princess Corrine Koopmans George, Indiana

Alternate Kim Devris

Alternate Libby Goeres

2001 State Princess Kasee VanWieringen, Puyallup, Wa.

Alternate Allison Hurst Craig

Alternate Stephanie Roorda

2002 State Princess Jennifer Rohrer

Alternate Amy Moe

Alternate LeAnne Poier

2003 State Ambassador Amy Jemelka, Centralia, Wa.

Alternate Josie Hansen

Alternate Lisa Boon

2004 State Ambassador McKenzie Klein, Lynden, Wa.

Alternate Kristen Irving

Alternate Laura Nelson

2005 State Ambassador Heather Brannon

Alternate Megan Warner

Alternate Rikki Carter

2005 State Ambassador Megan Warner de Vries, Monroe, Wa.

Alternate Rikki Carter

Alternate Caitlin Gordon

2006 State Ambassador Trista Van Berkum

Alternate Melisa Lancaster

Alternate Debbie Branch

2007 State Ambassador Kalin Fohn, Mt. Vernon, Wa.

Alternate Tasha Daniel

Alternate Whitney Chamberlain

2008 State Ambassador Eryn Edwards, Olympia, Wa.

Alternate Adrienne Schoenbachler

Alternate Trisha Dykstra

2009 State Ambassador Melissa Cook, Snohomish, Wa.

Alternate Elizabeth Birklid

Alternate Shelby Hansen

2010 State Ambassador Kristen Mensonides, Mabton, Wa

Alternate Stephanie Van Beek

Alternate Kelsey Schubach

2011 State Ambassador Shannon Rodeffer, Snohomish, Wa.

Alternate Emily Neff

Alternate Laurel Bareman

Alternate Kristen Wiedam

2012 State Ambassador Abby Lohman, Bow, Wa.

Alternate Jennifer Callanan

Alternate Elizabeth Beck

2013 State Ambassador Erin Peek, Arlington, Wa.

Alternate Annie Birklid

Alternate Olivia Zurcher


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The artwork in the header is taken from the Original Oil Painting entitled "Spring Stroll" by Corrie Hofstra of Snohomish, Washington. The painting received First Prize & People’s Choice Award-National Holstein Association Art show 1995. The artist may be contacted at (360) 568-3690.