The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection has announced the selection of Rochelle Ripp of Lodi as Wisconsin's 65th Alice in Dairyland.
The announcement was made at the Finale Program in Grant County following three days of interviews, speeches, agri-business tours and an impromptu question and answer session. Ripp will begin her duties on June 4, succeeding Katie Wirkus, the 64th Alice in Dairyland.
"It is truly an honor to be selected as your 65th Alice in Dairyland at the University of Wisconsin – Platteville, where my Pioneer spirit was able to grow and thrive," said Ripp. "I look forward to the opportunity to be an ambassador for our state's $59 billion agriculture industry while showcasing Wisconsin's farmers and agriculture at its finest."
Ripp is an associate marketing executive at Filament Marketing in Madison. She utilizes strategic marketing and innovative communications to promote agricultural products, services and initiatives, such as the recently launched WhyAg campaign to build awareness of careers in agriculture. Raised on her family's dairy and cash crop farm, Ripp graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Platteville in 2009 with an agribusiness degree in communications. She chairs Dane County Farm Bureau's Ag Promotions Committee, planning events to educate urban and rural consumers about Wisconsin agriculture. Ripp also volunteers with Cows on the Concourse, the Lodi Agricultural Fair and coaches volleyball.
"From biking in heels at the Tour of America's Dairyland bike series to harvesting cranberries, this year has been an experience of a lifetime while promoting the diversity of Wisconsin agriculture," said Wirkus. "With less than two percent of the public involved in agriculture, I know that Rochelle will embrace the opportunity as our 65th Alice in Dairyland to be our ambassador and encourage consumers to buy Wisconsin-grown products to support local farmers, producers, communities and economies."
Other finalists for the 65th Alice in Dairyland position included: Ann Marie Ames, Janesville, Danielle Hammer, Beaver Dam, Sarah Holm, Elk Mound, and Amy Manske, Green Bay.
Alice in Dairyland is a one-year contractual position of DATCP. During her year, Alice in Dairyland serves as a public relations professional, traveling across the state to promote Wisconsin's agricultural industry in media interviews, community events and school presentations.
Ripp will receive a $40,000 salary and professional travel expenses. She will also be given a mink garment from the Kettle Moraine Mink Breeders Association to promote Wisconsin's fur industry.
Ripp will use a 14-karat gold and platinum brooch and tiara with citrines and amethysts, gems indigenous to Wisconsin, courtesy of the Wisconsin Jewelers Association. During her year she will attend over 400 events, travelling across the state in an E-85 flex-fuel Chevrolet Tahoe from the Wisconsin Corn Promotion Board.
To begin her year, Ripp will partner with the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board (WMMB) at June Dairy Month events. WMMB will work with the new Alice in Dairyland throughout her year to coordinate school visits to educate students about the importance of dairy to our diets and the economy.