2016 - 2017 PA State Dairy Princess Royalty

Halee Wasson of State College, Centre County, was crowned the 60th Pennsylvania Dairy Princess on Saturday, October 1, after a three-day competition with 26 county dairy princesses.

Halee, the 20-year-old daughter of Ronald and Candace Wasson, was crowned by outgoing state princess Savannah Zanic of Huntingdon, Huntingdon County.

 From (L to R):
 Brittany Haag (Berks County);  
Halee Wasson (Centre County);
 Katie Anderson
(Huntingdon County)

Contestants were judged on public speaking, dairy industry knowledge, and poise and personality. Each contestant prepared a speech, presentation, radio spot and poster display promoting milk and dairy products; submitted a scrapbook of promotion activities; took a dairy promotion knowledge quiz; and participated in an interview with a panel of four judges. New this year was a royal recipe contest, where Halee was runner-up.

Halee won the poster display and speech contests and received honorable mention in the dairy promotion knowledge, presentation, radio spot and scrapbook competitions.

A junior at Penn State majoring in Agricultural and Extension Education, Halee is treasurer of the Ag Student Council and liaison to the American Dairy Science Association for the Dairy Science Club. She is a junior member of the Pennsylvania Holstein Association, a member of the Victor Grange and attends Calvary Baptist Church. A 12-year veteran of her county promotion program, she works on the family’s 40-cow Wasson farm and helps with the family’s seasonal produce market. Halee joins her crown-winning sisters Nicole Wasson Dreibelbis, 2008 Pennsylvania Alternate Dairy Princess; Krystal Wasson, 2009 Pennsylvania Dairy Princess; and Heather Wasson, 2012 Pennsylvania Alternate Dairy Princess.

Two alternates were also selected during the evening festivities. First alternate is Berks County Dairy Princess Brittany Haag of Mohrsville. The 22-year-old daughter of Mary and David Haag, Brittany is a recent cum laude graduate of Delaware Valley University who was named Agribusiness Department Student of the Year. As a student, Brittany was involved with numerous agricultural clubs on campus. She is a dance instructor who, in addition to assisting on the family dairy farm, is active in her local grange and church.

Brittany won best traditional scrapbook, radio spot, presentation, and dairy promotion knowledge competition, and was honorable mention in the speech and poster competitions. She was crowned by outgoing first alternate Morgan Brymesser of Boiling Springs, Cumberland County.

Second alternate is Huntingdon County Dairy Princess Katie Anderson, 19, of Three Springs. The daughter of Wayne and Carrie Anderson, Katie raises sheep and works on a nearby dairy farm. Katie is majoring in business management at Pennsylvania Highlands Community College, with hopes to earn a position managing a local dairy farm after graduation. An active 4-H and FFA member who has served in leadership positions, Katie enjoys scrapbooking, sewing, showing livestock, milking cows and attending the Upper Path Valley Presbyterian Church.

Katie was runner-up in the dairy promotion knowledge competition and received honorable mention in the scrapbook, poster and speech competitions. She was crowned by outgoing second alternate Lydia Szymanski of Waterford, Erie County.

In addition to Halee, Brittany and Katie, the four other selected finalists were:

Twenty-year-old Elsie Jerzak, Bradford County Dairy Princess, from Millerton, who received runner-up in the radio spot and honorable mention in the dairy promotion knowledge categories. Her parents are Larry and Arlene Jerzak.

Sixteen-year-old Jessica Wolfe, Fayette County Dairy Princess, from Dunbar, who won the royal recipe contest and received honorable mention in the poster competition. Her parents are Glenn and Pamela Wolfe.

Sixteen-year-old Elizabeth Fluck, Sullivan County Dairy Princess, from Forksville, who received honorable mention in the presentation and speech categories. Her parents are Craig and Deneen Fluck.

Seventeen-year-old Brooke Marvin, Susquehanna County Dairy Princess, of Susquehanna, who was runner up in the presentation and speech competitions and received honorable mention in the poster and radio spot. Her parents are Earl and Sandra Marvin.

Lawrence County Dairy Princess Kara Yannesse, 17, of Edinburg, was voted “Miss Congeniality” by the other county princesses. She received the honor in memory of Cochranville, Chester County, dairy farmer and princess program supporter Horace Prange.

Franklin County Dairy Princess Selina Horst, 16, of Chambersburg, was recognized with best digital scrapbook. Mercer County Dairy Princess Josie Canon, 18, of West Middlesex, received honorable mention for her scrapbook, radio spot, and performance in the dairy promotion knowledge competition. Lancaster County Dairy Princess Hanna Welk received honorable mention for her presentation.

2015 Juniata County Dairy Princess Hannah Kauffman, 18, of Mifflintown, was honored with the Tina M. Shultz Award. The award recognizes the princess who has done the most effective job of serving her area as dairy princess. During her county reign, Hannah completed 779 promotions and logged 5,200 miles traveling across Juniata County. Her parents are James Kauffman and Jennifer Mahoney.

The award honors the legacy of 1985-86 Huntingdon County Dairy Princess Tina Marie Shultz, lauded for her outstanding job of promoting the dairy industry and its products under extremely difficult personal circumstances. Despite losing her left leg to cancer just three months before her county pageant, Tina seldom missed an engagement or opportunity to promote. The “Outstanding County Promoter Award” was rechristened for Shultz after her death in May 1986.

Zanic received the William C. Nichol Appreciation Award and $1,000 scholarship, which is awarded to the state dairy princess in recognition of her dairy promotion efforts throughout the year.

The pageant also featured a tribute to Charlene Ranck of Gap, Chester County, chairperson of the Pennsylvania Dairy Princess and Promotion Services, Inc., Board of Directors, who is stepping down from her position this year. She was recognized for two decades of service as southeast coordinator and manager of the dairy princess apparel sales.

The four overall judges were Jill Hoover, Washington, D.C.; Tess Zuber, Byron, N.Y.; Matt Lohr, Broadway, Va.; and George Andrew, Newark, N.Y.

Scrapbook and radio spot judges were Mary Foote of Harrisburg, Dauphin Co., and Mindy Criswell of Lewisburg, Union Co. Presentation and poster display judges were Andrea Semmel Lazarus, Schnecksville, Lehigh Co.; Nina Redding, Gettysburg, Adams Co.; and Samuel E. Hayes, Jr., Warriors Mark, Huntingdon Co.