Ag ambassador visits Dupont Cheese
By Erik Buchinger
The 70th Alice in Dairyland visited with customers at Dupont Cheese in Marion on Friday, March 2.
Crystal Siemers-Peterman of Cleveland, Wisconsin, started her one-year contract as Alice in Dairyland in June 2017 and said she enjoyed meeting with the public in Marion.
“It’s great to be here at Dupont Cheese, really celebrating Wisconsin’s cheese industry, as Wisconsin’s dairy industry contributes $43.4 billion to the state’s economy annually,” Siemers-Peterman said. “We are known as cheese heads for a reason as we definitely have the most varieties, types and styles of cheeses – over 600, so it’s fun to see all these great neighbors and friends coming out to support this special event and getting to hear their stories too.”
Siemers-Peterman said her job is to be an ambassador to Wisconsin’s agriculture through TV and radio interviews, media campaigns and covering different aspects and industries of Wisconsin’s agriculture.
“I’m also able to go to lots of different events and promote not only Wisconsin agriculture, but also agri-businesses and really getting insight to tell those stories too,” Siemers-Peterman said. “Another big part of my job is social media, so I have a lot of content on Facebook and Instagram to generate different kinds of content and also bring attention to different businesses as well.”
Siemers-Peterman said being Alice in Dairyland was always one of her goals growing up.
“I remember telling my sixth grade teacher that one day I wanted to be Alice in Dairyland, so last year around this time I knew I wanted to be an advocate for Wisconsin agriculture and tell the story of farmers and agriculturalists,” Siemers-Peterman said. “This turned out to be the perfect opportunity to do so.”
Siemers-Peterman said being able to tell people’s stories is an important part of her job.
“My favorite part is that every day there is a new adventure,” Siemers-Peterman said. “I love meeting people from asking them their story or talking about agriculture to what their favorite cheese. Meeting all these great people, telling their story and being able to learn more each and every day is very humbling.”
Siemers-Peterman said she enjoys the job with new experiences daily.
“Every day there is a new opportunity around the corner,” Siemers-Peterman said. “Sometimes it’s early mornings going on lots of TV interviews, and other times it’s later at night to going to different banquets.”
Siemers-Peterman said she is excited to meet people and tell stories of different industries in agriculture.
“That’s one thing that I just find fascinating is Wisconsin’s diverse agriculture industry,” Siemers-Peterman said. “We’re known as America’s Dairyland, but we have a lot of diversity from being ranked No. 1 in green beans to milk goats too.”
As part of her job, Siemers-Peterman visits lots of fourth grade classrooms around the state.
“I am always surprised with the questions that fourth-graders are asking,” Siemers-Peterman said. “Right now I’m visiting with a lot of fourth grade classrooms because that’s when they’re starting to learn about the state of Wisconsin and its history, so those questions they throw at me, you never know what is going to come out of their mouths. Those kids say the darndest things.”
The 71st Alice in Dairyland finals will be held in Adams County in May. To become Alice in Dairyland, candidates must be 21 years or older with three years of marketing experience.
“This is a once in a lifetime opportunity,” Siemers-Peterman said. “You’re able to travel all across the state and throughout one year I’ll put on close to 35,000 miles just within Wisconsin. To become Alice in Dairyland, it is an intensive interview, but it is so worth it as the opportunity to promote something that’s so important for Wisconsin’s economy is unbelievable.”
Siemers-Peterman won the Alice in Dairyland finals the same weekend she graduated from the University of Minnesota Twin Cities in May 2017. Her last week on the job will be the first week of June before moving on to the next step in her career.
“My goal after completing this incredible year is to work in the dairy food industry,” Siemers-Peterman said. “I would like to do either international sales or domestic sales.”