5/31/2014 7:00 AM
By Charlene M. Shupp Espenshade Special Sections Editor
Charlene M. <\n>Shupp Espenshade
TUNKHANNOCK, Pa. — Last Saturday, Emma Loch went on the search for a “job” during her skit presentation at the Wyoming-Lackawanna Counties Dairy Princess Pageant. She was “hired” as the 2014-2015 dairy princess.
Loch acted out a dairy-themed skit as if she were searching for a job in the food industry and was intrigued by a job posting promising work “outside in the sunshine.” Acting surprised when arriving at “Farmer Brown’s barn,” she learned from a cow about life on the farm and what her duties would entail.
At the pageant, Loch also presented a speech focusing on the blessings of being a farmer’s daughter, based off the Paul Harvey speech, “So God Made a Farmer,” to the crowd of nearly 50 people in attendance.
“It’s not the easiest, most glamorous job, but it’s the most rewarding,” Loch said of life on her family’s dairy farm in Nicholson, Pa. “I know that someday this farm will be passed on to me and my brother.”
She talked about the challenges of balancing school and family life against the duties on the farm, focusing on the lessons and values she has gained. She also thanked her parents, Alan and Julie Loch, for their influence and how their passion for dairying has influenced her.
The family milks 70 cows and the herd consists of all of the major dairy breeds. The 15-year-old Loch owns 30 cows and heifers. She is a sophomore at Mountain View Junior Senior High School. She shows dairy cattle, dairy feeders, goats and beef through 4-H. In school, she is a member of the FBLA, band and envirothon.
Outgoing Dairy Princess Mary Beth Tranovich reflected on her past year in the role. She spoke of how she walked into the year “blind” and not knowing much about the program. But, after a year of service, she is grateful for the experiences and memories.
“This has been the best learning experience in my life,” she said before crowning Loch and the new dairy promotion court.
A team of five junior promoters will join Loch in promoting dairy across the two counties. Dairy Ambassadors Jeremy Rabe, 16, and Jonathon Rabe, 15, are the sons of Donna and Erick Traver of Evans Falls, Pa. Dairy Maid Sara Fetter, 14, is the daughter of Paul and Mary Fetter of Dalton, Pa. Dairy Maid RaeAnne Carpenter, 14, is the daughter of Ray and Charlotte Carpenter of Mill City, Pa. Rounding out the court is Dairy Miss Destiney Rabe, 12, of Evans Falls, Pa., and daughter of Donna and Erick Traver.
RaeAnne and Sara topped the Junior Dairy Promoter Speech contest, both earning a “movie pack” from the Dietrich Theater in Tunkhannock, Pa. RaeAnne’s winning speech was titled “Happy Cows Don’t Just Live in California,” and focused on how all farmers take care of their cows, making them “happy.” Sara’s winning speech focused on the high rate of osteoporosis in this country and how to incorporate more dairy in a person’s diet.
The Wyoming-Lackawanna Counties’ dairy princess committee also honored Herb Steele, a retired area sales representative from Taurus Service Inc. Steele, of Tunkhannock, has had a 60-year career in the local dairy industry starting with DHIA before working in the AI industry. Steele has also been a supporter of many dairy organizations. He helped to organize the dairy show at the Kiwanis Wyoming County Fair, serving as dairy show chair and co-chair for many years. He was also a part of the group that started the Northern Tier Holstein Championship show.
“Herb has always been a great asset to the dairy farmers in Wyoming and Lackawanna counties. The committee wanted to honor Herb for his leadership and passion for the dairy industry,” said chairperson Mary Fetter of his selection.