If you want one of the most visible jobs in Wisconsin agriculture, you need to go through one of the longest, most visible job interviews imaginable. Five Wisconsin women have agreed to take on that challenge.
The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection announced the five finalists for the job as Wisconsin's 68th Alice in Dairyland during a tour and press conference at Pine River Dairy, Manitowoc.
The finalists are Kristin Klossner of New Glarus, Teyanna Loether of Sauk City, Cassandra Mayer of Slinger, Stephanie Nagel of Valders and Dormie Roberts of Burlington. The interview process will conclude May 9 in Manitowoc when one of the five is selected as the next Alice.
"This interview process is unique in the fact that it takes your communication and interpersonal skills to the next level and gives you confidence to interview in the future," said 67th Alice in Dairyland Zoey Brooks. "The professional development gained from the final interviews will be an invaluable asset for these women to build upon throughout their careers."
Alice in Dairyland is Wisconsin's official agricultural ambassador. She travels the state to teach rural and urban audiences of all ages about Wisconsin's $88 billion agriculture industry. She gives media interviews, speaks to groups at community events, visits schools and uses social media to help consumers understand the diversity and economic impact of Wisconsin agriculture and the nutritional benefits of its agricultural products.
Each year, a different Wisconsin county hosts the Alice interview activities. Manitowoc County is this year's host. The public is invited to two events in Manitowoc County leading up to the selection of the 68th Alice.
A dinner and impromptu question and answer session at 6 p.m. Friday, May 8, at Fox Hills Resort, Mishicot. Tickets are $18.95. The finalists will be evaluated on their abilities to answer impromptu questions in front of the audience.
A banquet beginning with a 4:30 p.m. social hour will be on Saturday, May 9, at Holiday Inn, 4601 Calumet Ave., Manitowoc. The finale program will be at 7 p.m. at the Franciscan Center for Music Education, Silver Lake College, Manitowoc. The finalists will be evaluated on presentations to the audience. Tickets are $20 for the banquet and program; $10 for the program only.
Learn more and order tickets at aliceindairyland.com.
"In the few short weeks before the final interviews in May, these top candidates will keep busy preparing to be evaluated on their abilities to give radio, TV and personal interviews, complete writing exercises, and speak in public," Brooks said. "These are the everyday aspects of the job as Alice."
This year's finalists are:
? Kristin Klossner, New Glarus, is a substitute teacher in the Monticello School District. She is a graduate of University of Wisconsin-River Falls, where she majored in secondary education and minored in dairy science. She grew up on her family's farm raising dairy show heifers, beef steers and show rabbits. She volunteers at the Wisconsin State Fair and is a 4-H and Junior Holstein Association leader. Klossner has done mission work in Kentucky, Louisiana and Jamaica with local faith groups.
? Teyanna Loether of Sauk City will graduate this spring with a master's degree in animal sciences from UW-Madison, where she is studying reproductive physiology. She grew up on a dairy farm and showed horses, chickens, and swine at the Sauk County Fair, where she served as the 2010 Fairest of the Fair. During graduate school, she worked as a teaching assistant and tutor and is working toward a Delta Certificate in Research, Teaching, and Learning.
? Cassandra Mayer of Slinger is an inside sales representative at Animart for northwestern Wisconsin and east central Minnesota. She grew up on her family's dairy farm and hopes to return and continue the family's passion and tradition. Mayer graduated in May 2014 from UW-Madison with a degree in life sciences communication. As a student, she interned at Koepke Family Farms of Oconomowoc, Professional Dairy Producers of Wisconsin and at the public relations firm of Morgan and Myers.
? Stephanie Nagel grew up in Valders, where her parents owned and operated Nagels Home of Holsteins, where they milked 60 registered Holsteins until 2012. The family now raises steers, heifers, calves and crops on 250 acres. Nagel graduated from Valders High School in 2009 and in 2013 graduated from UW-Platteville with a degree in animal science with a dairy and business emphasis. She works at CP Feeds in Valders as a dairy nutritionist and consultant.
? Dormie Roberts of Burlington plans to graduate in May from UW-Platteville with a bachelor's degree in agriculture education – non teaching. Prior to college, Roberts was an active FFA member and YMCA camp counselor. She worked at UW-Extension Racine County as the 4-H youth development intern. She helped plan three youth camps, helped organize the county fair and worked with volunteers. She chaperoned at the 2014 Racine County Fairest of the Fair and is an active member of Professional Dairy Producers of Wisconsin.
Alice in Dairyland is a one-year contract employee for DATCP. The 68th Alice in Dairyland will begin work June 1. Learn more about the Alice program at datcp.wi.gov/Business/Alice_in_Dairyland.