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Alice in Dairyland Travel Journal by Teyanna Loether

Alice in Dairyland Travel Journal by
Teyanna Loether


2811 Agriculture Dr. PO Box 8911
Madison WI 53708-8911
Phone (608) 224-5115
DATCPAlice@wisconsin.gov

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June Dairy to July Ice Cream
Jun. 30, 2015

I wrapped up June Dairy Month with three delicious and exciting breakfasts over the weekend. It was very special to attend the Racine County Breakfast on the Farm, for it had been 15 years since the county has last hosted a dairy breakfast! It was beautiful weather on a beautiful farm owned by the Noble Family, and you could feel the excitement and pride radiating from the community. There was live music, educational displays and booths at every corner, and a fantastic guided tour of the family's milking parlor. To see an event revived with such great success was really something special for Wisconsin agriculture.

On Sunday I attended the Fond du Lac Area Association of Commerce Agri-business Council Breakfast on the Farm and the Dodge County Dairy Brunch. Even though I was at three dairy breakfasts over the weekend, all were unique and different. Between the three farms I saw operations of 50 cows to 180 cows, and stanchion barns to milking parlors. However, one thing remained the same-- the dedication to Wisconsin dairy each family had for Wisconsin dairy. To keep our dairy industry $43.4 billion strong and producing more than 600 different varieties, types, and styles of cheese, it requires passion and dedication 365 days a year.

The end of my first month as Alice was bittersweet, as it signaled the end of our official celebration of Wisconsin dairy. But, the sweet part is that although June has now passed, we can continue to celebrate dairy in July with National Ice Cream Month. Be sure to find Alice in Dairyland's Facebook page and follow me on Twitter (@Alice_Dairyland) to see my adventures through the next sweetly unique month!


Introducing, Recipes from Alice
Jun. 26, 2015

Nothing brings people together quite like food and over the years my family has connected by sharing recipes. To share with you my love for cooking in Wisconsin, I bring you Recipes from Alice!

For each Recipe from Alice throughout the next year, I’ll be highlighting products and ingredients that are grown, processed, and produced right here in Wisconsin. Whether you’re buying fresh food from the grocery store, a farmer’s market, local farms, or organic farms, my goal is to help you learn more about the food on your plates and the people behind it. Along with the ingredients comes a story—perhaps of where the recipe came from, how the Wisconsin-made ingredients impact our economy, or the people and processes involved. My hope is that the recipes will find their way into a story of your own.

Wisconsin Cheddar, Apple, Bacon Quesadillas

No matter how you stack it, cheesemaking is the recipe for success in Wisconsin’s $43.4 billion dairy industry. What better way to celebrate June Dairy Month than with melty, gooey cheese? Aged Wisconsin cheddar is the star of this Recipe from Alice, with the perfect balance of sweet, salty, and spicy in each bite.

Ingredients:
Eight large tortillas
3 c. aged Wisconsin cheddar cheese, shredded
3 Granny smith apples, cored and sliced ¼ in. thick
1 lb. bacon, cooked and crumbled

Chipotle sauce:
1/4 c. plain yogurt
3/4 c. mayonnaise
2 tsp chipotle chiles in adobo sauce
Half of a lime, zest and juice

Directions:
To make chipotle sauce, blend together yogurt, mayo, chiles, lime zest and juice until smooth. Spice can be adjusted to desired level by adding more or less chiles. Refrigerate to thicken if needed.
On one half of the tortilla, layer cheddar, apple slices, and crumbled bacon. Drizzle with chipotle sauce. Fold over the tortilla and brush cooking surface with a small amount of butter. Cook in a panini press or skillet on medium until cheese is melted and outside begins to brown, approx. 5-7 minutes.

Create your own signature quesadilla with more than 600 varieties, types, and styles of Wisconsin cheese to choose from!


Agriculture is Everywhere!
Jun. 25, 2015

During my first few weeks as Alice, I've attended a wide range of events from dairy breakfasts to cycle races, and everything in between. One of my favorite aspects of being an agriculture ambassador is taking the message of Wisconsin's $88.3 billion agriculture industry into new and exciting places. The Jersey Street Music Festival and a Tour of America's Dairyland cycle race were fun and exciting events where I had great conversations about agriculture!

The Jersey Street Music festival took place over the weekend in Horicon. While at first glance it might seem like this event hardly had anything to do with agriculture, the reality is that agriculture is everywhere. Horicon is also home to a John Deere manufacturing plant, employing hundreds of people in town and providing equipment to farmers all throughout our state and nation. With one out of every nine jobs being rooted in Wisconsin agriculture nowadays, agriculture is incredibly important to each and every community. Horicon is also located in Dodge County, home to the 69th Alice in Dairyland final interviews. It was wonderful to bring awareness to this and the upcoming county dairy breakfast!

The Tour of America's Dairyland is an exciting event promoted by the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board. Although it's a professional cycling race, it has close ties with Wisconsin dairy. How would this be? Why, chocolate milk, of course! Each of the cyclists I spoke to said their #1 drink to refuel with after the race is chocolate milk. High in protein and containing nine essential nutrients, it's a great way to gear up for the next race. There are still races left to catch this week if you're in the Milwaukee area, and you can find a schedule of the next race at http://tourofamericasdairyland.com/


A Visit With Our Veterans
Jun. 20, 2015

No matter where I go to celebrate June Dairy Month, or how different the events are, a few elements remain the same: smiles, laughter, good friends, and yummy Wisconsin dairy products! The Tomah VA Medical Center Dairy Days was the perfect setting for all of these elements to come together and create a beautiful day.

As a part of the their Dairy Days celebration, each of the floors of the VA Medical Center painted a picture together with the theme of country living. I had the honor of giving awards to each of the paintings, and one was just as beautiful as the next! It was incredible to see the care and detail that came together in creating each painting, a true representation of not only the images of country living, but the way of life they depicted.

As I visited with the veterans, I shared stories of growing up on my family farm and they shared memories of how they remember agriculture. Some grew up on a farm and milked cows in a stanchion barn, carrying milk in cans on the cart back to the bulk tank before their farm had a pipeline. A few spent summers at their relatives farms and looked forward to it each year. Some people never had experience on a farm, but said they always enjoyed reading about agriculture in the news or hearing stories from their friends. No matter their background, they all had a wonderful time enjoying the farm animals that visited during their celebration that day, painting their idea of the best kind of country living, and of course, enjoying an ice cream sundae in the sunshine. Wisconsin agriculture and dairy can be enjoyed by everyone, anywhere, at any time!


I Believe in the Future of Agriculture...
Jun. 17, 2015

"I believe in the future of agriculture, with a faith born not of words but of deeds - achievements won by the present and past generations of agriculturists; in the promise of better days through better ways, even as the better things we now enjoy have come to us from the struggles of former years."

The FFA Creed has become a rite of passage, in its own way, within chapters around the nation. Most FFA members enter their chapters and memorize it by heart, with some participating in a speaking contest reciting it. While it is five paragraphs long, the first paragraph was most fitting for the group of 300 dedicated, passionate FFA members from chapters all over Wisconsin receiving their State Degrees at the 2015 Wisconsin FFA Convention.

I had the honor of speaking to this future generation of agriculturalists and offering a few pieces of advice. One out of every nine jobs in Wisconsin is rooted in agriculture. Modern careers in agriculture can encompass not only production and farming, but journalism, marketing, science and research, and medicine, just to name a few. But wherever their path may lead them, I encouraged them to keep the moment they knew they had a passion for agriculture in mind at all times. Memories of my own roots in agriculture are what drives me to advocate for Wisconsin each and every day!


The Days of Dairy Breakfasts
Jun. 13, 2015

Nothing says June Dairy Month quite like 7,000 scrambled eggs, milk drinking contests, and a fourth generation family dairy farm. This weekend began my tour of Wisconsin's dairy breakfasts with the Eau Claire Breakfast in the Valley and the Pepin County Dairy Breakfast. In between, I made a stop at the Eau Claire Children's Museum where families were able to learn more about where our milk comes from with hands-on exhibits, including milking Oreo the cow.

The 19th Eau Claire Breakfast brought dairy to the heart of the city with more than 3,200 attendees. This breakfast is known for their Culver's custard creation made with strawberries and cornflakes, and a celebrity milk drinking contest straight from a calf bottle. I tried my best to beat last year's winner, but to no avail!

The next day I moved just next door to Pepin County, where their breakfast was held on the Schlosser family farm. Nestled in a beautiful valley, they're celebrating 140 years of family dairy farming. Their farm has grown to 350 cows with a double 16 parlor and they take great pride in their land conservation efforts, ensuring their passion for dairy will continue even beyond the fourth generation that it is today. In Wisconsin, 99% of farms are family owned and operated. It was an honor to meet the Schlossers and share their story of Wisconsin dairy!


2015 Sheboygan County Fairest of the Fair Gala
Jun. 09, 2015

The Sheboygan County Fair is the second largest fair in Wisconsin, which means the official fair ambassador has quite a job to do promoting fair activities throughout the year. In Sheboygan County, the Fairest of the Fair serves as a public outreach figure, promoting all aspects of the fair in the media and at events. The four ladies I met at the 2015 Gala yesterday were certainly up to that task!

Earlier in the afternoon I gave a workshop for the candidates on working with the media as a public figure. We discussed how to develop talking points, bringing a story to your message to tie it all together, and the importance of follow-up after an interview. The most important tips I had though-- smile, be yourself, and soak up every moment.

The evening gala showcased the importance of agriculture to our county fairs. Each of the candidates shared stories of how their 4-H projects positively impacted their lives. What they were most proud of is how their fair teaches their entire community about agriculture and offers people of all ages the opportunity to enjoy the fair.

And finally, the moment we all waited for... your 2015 Sheboygan County Fairest of the Fair is... Elizabeth Widder! It was clear to me that she will be an excellent ambassador for her fair and the agriculture it showcases. Congratulations to all of the candidates on a wonderful gala!


Hello Wisconsin!
Jun. 05, 2015

I can't begin to fully describe how excited and honored I feel to begin my journey as your 68th Alice in Dairyland! While Monday was my official first day "on the job", this week has already been full of adventures in Ethyl the E-85 Tahoe.

My week began with various trainings on communications and writing at my office in the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection. Throughout the year I will work within the Division of Agricultural Development to educate audiences of both rural and urban backgrounds on the significance of our $88.3 billion agriculture industry here in Wisconsin. With an impact that large, there is plenty to discuss-- from cranberries to dairy to mink and more!

This week also began the celebrations of June Dairy Month and I was able to hit the ground running at events featuring our Wisconsin dairies. I attended the Timber Rattlers "Salute to Cows" night where I threw out the first pitch, and spoke at West Salem's June Dairy Days kick-off luncheon. There are many events coming up this month, and throughout all of summer, where you can experience Wisconsin dairy firsthand. Visit www.dairydaysofsummer.com to find a Breakfast on the Farm near you, or a dairy recipe to use for dinner tonight!


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Contact the Alice In Dairyland Program at:
2811 Agriculture Dr. PO Box 8911
Madison WI 53708-8911
Phone (608) 224-5115

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