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Olson Reflects Back on Her Year as 'Alice'
Wisconsin Ag Connection - 05/02/2014

Serving as Wisconsin's 66th Alice in Dairyland has been 'a whirlwind of wonderful experiences.' That's how Kristin Olson begins to describe the opportunities she has had over the past 12 months reigning as the state's official agricultural ambassador.

"The people I met and the things I got to take part in will stick with me for the rest of my life," Olson told Wisconsin Ag Connection. "I have traveled in every region of the state and saw a lot of different types of landscape. I also got to learn a lot about our state's agriculture and believe me, there's a lot of things happening here that most people don't even know about."

Coming to realize the diversity of the state's farming sector is what Kristin found most fascinating about her job.

"I grew up on a dairy farm, and of course I knew that Wisconsin was much more than just milk and cheese," she said. "But it didn't take long for my eyes to become opened to how much more our state's farmers produce. It's incredible to see what all grows here and it was just as fun to take those lessons I learned and educate others about our industry."

It was for that very reason that she chose 'More Than Just America's Dairyland' as her common theme for the year. Kristin also helped spread that message through the 'Growing Healthy Wisconsin' program, which is supported by the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board and Wisconsin Department of Agriculture.

Spending 11 days at the Wisconsin State Fair was among the highlights for Olson this past year.

"When you have more than a million people in one place and you get the chance to bring urban and rural cultures together, there couldn't be a better opportunity to connect consumers with producers," said pointed out.

Kristin is on her way to putting 40,000 miles on the official 'Alice' Chevy Tahoe this year and has visited with over 10,000 fourth-grade students. She also conducted countless media interviews and delivered speeches all over the state.

With only two weeks left until the next Alice is selected, Kristin said she will spend the rest of her final month visiting school children and preparing for her farewell presentation. She will crown her successor on May 17 during the annual Alice in Dairyland Finals Ceremony, being held this year in Clark County. But she will continue to serve in her roll for several extra weeks while the new 'Alice' is being trained.

The finale program will also be Webcast live on Wisconsin Ag Connection, which is being sponsored by the WMMB, Foremost Farms USA and Badgerland Financial.

Olson, a native of the Fond du Lac area, is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a degree in life sciences communications. She says she would like nothing more than to take a job in the agricultural industry right here in her home state once her obligations as Alice are complete.

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