Crystal Siemers-Peterman, the 70th Alice in Dairyland, says she is enjoying the opportunity to promote Wisconsin’s $88 billion agriculture industry. Since being selected as Alice in May in Green Bay and officially taking over on June 5, she has been busy crisscrossing the state.
The 22-year-old grew up on her family’s 2,700-cow registered Holstein dairy farm near Cleveland. Siemers-Peterman was active in 4-H and the Manitowoc County Junior Holstein Association, and showed Holsteins at county, district, state and national shows. She participated in dairy judging and dairy quiz bowl.
The daughter of Sherry Siemers-Peterman and Jack Peterman of Cleveland, she majored in agricultural and food business management with a minor in marketing at University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, and graduated in May with a bachelor’s degree.
Since becoming Alice in Dairyland, Siemers-Peterman has attended several dairy breakfasts and Wisconsin Farm Technology Days in Kewaunee County. She has also been speaking about Wisconsin’s ag industry in a variety of television interviews. Later this year she will make visits to classrooms, agribusinesses and farms. She is writing regular features for several publications including Wisconsin Agriculturist, conducting media campaigns and using social media to promote Wisconsin agriculture.
Siemers-Peterman also started a program called Career Feature Friday. “There are more than 400 great careers in agriculture,” she says. “Each week I discuss a different ag career on social media.”
What does she like doing most?
“First and foremost, I enjoy the conversations I have with people,” Siemers-Peterman says. “Since becoming Alice, I have talked to a lot of farmers, but I have also talked to lots of people who aren’t farmers. We’ve talked about everything from their family farm history to what they are planning to make for supper.”
During July, Siemers-Peterman attended a couple of county fairs and launched a media campaign talking about backyard barbecues. She is using her various experiences, education and outgoing personality to deliver consistent messages about Wisconsin’s agriculture industry to diverse audiences.
She is making plans to attend each day of the Wisconsin State Fair, Aug. 3-13.
“I will be there all 11 days,” Siemers-Peterman says. “I will be giving milking demonstrations and making appearances each day in the House of Moo.”
Siemers-Peterman says so far she is “having a blast. I learn every single day — whether it is about Wisconsin agriculture or something with my job, I’m learning a lot.
“As Alice in Dairyland, I enjoy promoting positive messages about Wisconsin’s agricultural products to both rural and urban audiences,” she notes.
Through next June, Siemers-Peterman will travel about 40,000 miles to speak at events and give media interviews in a 2017 Ford Explorer SUV provided by the Wisconsin Corn Promotion Board.
“I even love all of the driving,” she says. “I’m used to driving long distances back and forth to Minnesota, where I went to college. You would be surprised at all of the people who beep at the Alice in Dairyland Ford Explorer.”