City, state: Albany, Oregon
Reign year: 2021-22
Summary of yourself and your ag/dairy background:
As a sixth-generation dairy farmer, my passion for the industry is as natural to me as the air I breathe. My family owns and operates Royal Riverside Farm, a vertically integrated farmstead creamery where we milk 20 Jerseys and sell our milk in over 50 stores and coffee shops across the state of Oregon. Aside from the bottling business, I have actively shown Jersey dairy cows on local, state and national levels. As I look forward to a professional career, I am confident that I want to spend the rest of my days dedicated to advocating for the industry that built me.
How your reign started:
The two-day selection process was extensive and intense. Candidates answered impromptu questions, delivered extemporaneous speeches, presented a commercial and engaged with the judges in interviews. The evening of the second day was the coronation, where 60 dairy farmers, supporters and enthusiasts alike gathered for the formal event. On stage, I presented my prepared speech titled, “Not your grandfather’s dairy” and answered questions prompted by the host. Later that evening, I was crowned as the 2021-22 Oregon Dairy Princess Ambassador. Filled with emotion, I eagerly looked forward to my year of service.
Your promotion activities over the past year:
Since being crowned in May 2021, my days have been filled with presentations, conventions and expositions. Through classroom presentations, I have connected with students ranging in grade level from kindergarteners to seniors in high school. Reaching students from all four corners of Oregon, I have effectively shared the story of the hardworking men and women in the Oregon dairy industry and brought clarity to the process of how milk goes from the farm to the consumer’s table.
Specific promotion activity you are most proud of from your reign:
Throughout my year, I have been blessed with phenomenal interactions that have truly filled my cup; I have enjoyed every minute of this experience. Although it is challenging to pinpoint a single experience, I am a firm believer that every classroom presents an opportunity to educate and impact the next generation. I love connecting with students and am incredibly proud that through the dairy princess capacity, I can promote the Oregon dairy industry to students of all ages. Without a doubt, the student relationships have been a highlight of my year.
What you think it takes to be successful at promoting dairy:
To be successful at promoting the story of dairy, it takes a sincere level of authenticity. In a society where consumers receive their information from the internet – a place where anyone can post anything at any time – it is crucial that the story of dairy is based upon truth and transparency. Through my position as the Oregon Dairy Princess Ambassador, I have found that consumers genuinely want to know about the dairy industry and where their food comes from. As producers and enthusiasts alike, it is our job to foster that curiosity and promote our beloved industry in a raw, authentic manner.
PHOTO: Gracie Krahn leads a food demonstration at the Oregon State Fair. Attendees create a rainbow unicorn smoothie by pedaling a smoothie bike, which blends the mixture in the jar on the back of the bike. Photo by Emma Clark. Headshot photo provided by Gracie Krahn.
- Progressive Dairy
- Email Audrey Schmitz