Dairy princesses crowned and local farms recognized with Dairy of Distinction Awards
A new year of dairy promotions has begun in Chautauqua County! On Friday, May 3, 2019 at the Bemus Point United Methodist Church, Sophie Woodis, 17, of Dewittville, was crowned the 2019-2020 Chautauqua County Dairy Princess. Tesika Kilmer, 16, of Kennedy, was crowned First Alternate Princess.
“We’ve learned so much from her,” Sophie stated as she and Tesika explained to the group their decision. “We all started together, and don’t want to be princess this year without her.”
Sophie is the daughter of Michael and Heather Woodis. She is a junior at Chautauqua Lake Central School and is active in Varsity volleyball and softball, and National Honor Society. Sophie is an acolyte and Eucharistic Minister in her church, and is active in the 4-H dairy project. The newly crowned princess is no stranger to dairy promotions. Sophie has been an ambassador in the Chautauqua County Dairy Promotions Program for five years, and served as the alternate princess for the county this past year. The Woodis family milks 750 registered Holsteins and Jerseys at Country Ayre Farms, LLC, located in Dewittville. The Dairy Princess Pageant is held in conjunction with the Dairy of Distinction Awards Ceremony, and Country Ayre Farms was recognized as a newly awarded Dairy of Distinction during the event.
Tesika Kilmer is the daughter of Aaron Kilmer of Springville, RoJan Kilmer and Andrew Ostrom of Kennedy. She is a junior at Falconer High School, and is active in softball, volleyball, National Honor Society, GAA, Envirothon, Math Club, SADD, musicals, student council, and is vice president of her class. She shows dairy cattle, pigs, goats and chickens through Chautauqua County 4-H, and is learning more about the dairy industry through the Cornell University Beginning Dairy Leaders program. This summer, Tesika will represent her school at the 2019 Empire Girls State at Brockport College. She is employed by Brehm Farms in Falconer.
Autumn Gregory is the daughter of David and Heather Gregory. She attends Silver Creek Central School, and is a member of FFA through Pine Valley Central School. Autumn is active in the dairy project and a member of the Cherry Creek Cornhuskers 4-H club, and the Junior Holstein Club. She enjoys working with and showing dairy cows alongside her grandfather, Howard Ivett.
When asked about her new title, Autumn said “I felt excited to receive second alternate dairy princess, and I think I am up to the responsibilities of my new title. I’d like to thank Sophie and Tesika for crowning me Second Alternate Dairy Princess. I feel so lucky!”
Katelyn Walley-Stoll, farmer and Farm Business Management Educator for Cornell Cooperative Extension of Chautauqua County, emceed the evening event. New York State Assemblyman Andrew Goodell assisted with the Dairy of Distinction presentations, and also honored the incoming dairy princess with a special certificate of recognition. Reegan Domagala, 2019-2020 NYS Dairy Princess spoke to the group, as well as Norm Gustafson of Frewsburg, who serves on the American Dairy Association NorthEast Board of Directors.
Lisa Kempisty, Dairy Educator with Cornell Cooperative Extension of Chautauqua County presented the Dairy of Distinction Awards, honoring local farm families for their efforts maintaining attractive dairy farms. The Dairy of Distinction Program recognizes attractive dairy farms which gives consumers greater confidence in the wholesomeness of milk, stimulates milk sales, and encourages public support for the dairy industry. 2019 Dairy of Distinction Awards were presented to: Country Ayre Farms, LLC of Dewittville, NY and Wall Street Dairy LLC, The Winton/Modica and Wolcott Families of Mayville, NY. Farms celebrating their Dairy of Distinction anniversary’s included 30 Year Farm – Leo & Craig McCray, McCray Farms, Clymer, NY; 10 Year Farm – Mark R. Mansfield, LLC, Cherry Creek, NY; and 10 Year Farm – Ormond Farm LLC, Kennedy, NY. These farms received a colorful Dairy of Distinction sign to display at their farmstead recognizing them for this honor.
The Dairy Princess Program is made possible through the support of the American Dairy Association North East: the local planning and management organization funded by dairy farmer check-off dollars.
The Agriculture Program is one of many programs offered by Cornell Cooperative Extension of Chautauqua County (CCE-Chautauqua) in line with the County’s 20/20 Comprehensive Plan. CCE-Chautauqua is a community based educational organization, affiliated with Cornell University, Chautauqua County Government, the NYS SUNY system, and the federal government through the United States Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture. For more information, call 716-664-9502 or visit our website at www.cce.cornell.edu/chautauqua. Cornell University Cooperative Extension provides equal program and employment opportunities.