Waupaca County is now home to Alice in Dairyland.
Zoey Brooks, 22, was chosen Saturday, May 17, as Alice in Dairyland 2014 after besting five other finalist candidates.
The daughter of Ron Brooks and Terri Brooks, both of Waupaca, she grew up on her family’s sixth-generation dairy and grain farm on County Road A in the town of Lind.
Brooks was a high honors student, graduating this year with a degree in animal science. She has previously held internships with the Food Export Association of the Midwest and with UW-Extension.
She sacrificed attending her University of Wisconsin-Madison graduation Saturday afternoon to compete in the three-day Alice in Dairyland finals held all over Clark County.
Brooks was crowned by Alice in Dairyland 2013, Kristin Olson, a rural Fond du Lac native now of Windsor.
Olson will continue to serve as Alice until June 2, when Brooks will take over as Alice in Dairyland.
As Alice in Dairyland, Brooks will work as a communications specialist for the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection. She will travel to schools and events across the state, promoting agriculture for the next 12 months.
“Kristin and the 65 Alice winners before her have done such a tremendous job. I can’t wait to be part of this amazing legacy that they have created for so many years,” Brooks said moments after her victory at the El Norteno Banquet Hall in Curtiss, a small rural community in north central Wisconsin.
“Everyone here is an advocate for agriculture, whether they know it or not. You don’t need a sash and tiara to promote this industry – it lies on all of us.” Brooks said.
The last and only other Waupaca County woman to win the Alice position was Marsha Lindsay, of Manawa, in 1971.
Lindsay, the daughter of Kneale and Margaret Lindsay, currently lives in Madison, where she has operated a public relations firm for more than 30 years. She has also served on the Nature Conservancy of Wisconsin board for several years.
The Alice in Dairyland program began in 1948 with the selection of Margaret Jean McGuire of Highland. Previously, a Wisconsin Dairy Queen was chosen, usually at the Wisconsin State Fair in West Allis, from 1934 to 1947. The very first Dairy Queen was Virginia Kelly of Clintonville in 1934.