Current ‘Alice’ hails from Manitowoc County
As the 70th Alice in Dairyland, I have the unique opportunity to witness what goes on behind the scenes in Wisconsin agriculture. I tour farms of all types from dairies and ranches, to cranberry bogs and potato fields. I take what I learn from the farmers and then share those messages with Wisconsin citizens.
Through television and radio interviews, print media articles, blogging and social media platforms, I help consumers understand where their food is grown and processed. Throughout the year that I serve as “Alice,” I have multiple media campaigns that highlight unique aspects of Wisconsin agriculture.
The Alice in Dairyland program was established in 1948 to promote the Wisconsin Centennial Celebration and State Fair statewide. The program was so successful that Alice in Dairyland quickly turned into a fulltime position at the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection. “Alice” traveled across the United States promoting Wisconsin’s dairy industry. Over the last seven decades, “Alice” has evolved to speak broadly for Wisconsin’s agricultural industries.
Every January, women ages 21 and older from across the state apply to become the new “Alice.” The application process takes five months and includes numerous evaluated interviews, writing assignments and public appearances. Applicants must have at least three years of marketing experience and the knowledge to conduct a public relations campaign with a passion for agriculture.
My agriculture adventure has been incredible and unbelievable, and it has forever impacted my life. I grew up in Cleveland, Wisconsin, in Manitowoc County, and I am proud to be the sixth generation on my family’s dairy and crop farm. I’ve been incredibly fortunate to grow up beside other dedicated dairy farm families who strive each and every day to provide delicious and wholesome dairy products that continue to add recognition to our state’s claim to fame as America’s Dairyland. To even imagine where I’d be without the agriculture industry is nearly impossible.
Growing up as a farm kid, I had various responsibilities and experiences. My cousins and I would spend hours washing, feeding and caring for our family’s herd of Registered Holsteins. Working alongside our parents, grandparents and dedicated farm employees, we were fortunate to learn how to work as a team towards a common goal. Listening to stories from the “good old days” told by previous generations has been one of my most rewarding experiences.
Outside of the farm I was actively involved with the Manitowoc County Junior Holstein Association, Wisconsin Junior Holstein Association and Manitowoc County 4-H.
"My agriculture adventure
has been incredible and
unbelievable, and it has
forever impacted my life."
- Crystal Siemers-Peterman
I was fortunate to continue to grow and develop my strong desire for promoting agriculture by attaining my Bachelor of Science in agriculture and food business management and a minor in marketing at the University of Minnesota this May.
As “Alice,” I have the unique opportunity to attend events as Wisconsin’s Agriculture Ambassador. From interviewing various exhibitors and their animals at the Wisconsin State Fair to attending agricultural festivals like the Warrens Cranberry Festival, I’m able to interact with hundreds of thousands of people.
Traveling over 30,000 miles in Wisconsin during my year serving as “Alice” allows me to explore all of Wisconsin.
This past July, I traveled to Kewaunee County for the 2017 Wisconsin Farm Technology Days. This three-day event showcases the latest improvements in production agriculture. It’s the largest agricultural show in Wisconsin and one of the largest in the nation. Row after row you found vendors that traveled thousands of miles to the local residents who have called Kewaunee County home their entire life.
With almost 9,000 dairy farms in Wisconsin, we are lucky to have so many great families open their doors to host this event. This year’s host, Ebert Enterprises, held the event that drew thousands of people to this beautiful area.
Since 1983, the Something Special from Wisconsin™ program has been trademarked through the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection. As you shop the aisles for your holiday ingredients and gifts this year, keep an eye out for the yellow-and-red Something Special from Wisconsin™ sticker.
This sticker carries a very special meaning, because when you see it you can be assured that at least half of the product ingredients, production or processing has come from right here within our state. With almost 500 companies participating in this special program, there is bound to be something for everyone.
Follow my adventures in Wisconsin agriculture and the rest of this exciting year on my social media accounts including Facebook, Instagram and at www.aliceindairyland.com.