Five top candidates for the 72nd Alice in Dairyland were recently chosen, a key step in the process of selecting Wisconsin’s next agricultural ambassador.

Sarah Achenbach of Eastman, Wisconsin, grew up learning about difficult work and dedication. She helped her parents raise crops and livestock on their diversified farm and helped at her uncles’ dairy farms. Achenbach participated in her local 4-H and FFA clubs, where she held multiple leadership roles. She shared her love of Wisconsin agriculture as the 2010 and 2011 Senior Fairest of the Fair, and the 2014 Crawford County Fairest of the Fair. She graduated in 2018 from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse with a degree in therapeutic recreation with an emphasis in communication. While enrolled she held officer positions in Student Senate, Therapeutic Recreation Club, Tri Sigma and Gamma Sigma Sigma. With her degree she strives to connect individuals with disabilities to life on the farm.

Cassandra Krull of Lake Mills, Wisconsin, developed her work ethic and go-getter attitude from farming alongside her parents and siblings on the family dairy farm. Striving to be the fourth-generation farmer at Krull Farms, she completed her degree in animal science with a dairy emphasis from the University of Wisconsin-Platteville. Upon graduation she started her professional career with Cargill Animal Nutrition, working with customers on all phases of the farm to improve dairy-cow and farmer profitability. Currently she works for STgenetics as a call-center sales specialist, providing dairy farmers with different genetic opportunities throughout their herds. In her free time she gives back to the organizations that helped mold her into the individual she is today. She helps with Jefferson County Dairy Youth, coaching dairy quiz bowl and jeopardy, and teaching fitting and showmanship clinic. She also oversees dairy-youth exhibiting at the Wisconsin Junior State Fair.

Abigail Martin of Milton, Wisconsin, has a passion for all things Wisconsin — good cheese, the Wisconsin Badgers and her Wisconsin farm family. She’s a fourth-generation farmer on her family’s registered-Holstein farm. It was there she found a love for dairy cattle along with a love for long summer days at the county and state fairs. Her interest in agriculture led her to pursue a degree in dairy science at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. On campus she was involved in the Association of Women in Agriculture, the Badger Dairy Club, the Collegiate Farm Bureau and was on the intercollegiate dairy-judging team. She has held previous roles in marketing at the Rock County 4-H Fair, East Central-Select Sires and Babcock Hall Dairy Store. Upon graduation she accepted a role with DeLaval Inc. in its North American marketing and communications department.

Mariah Martin of Brooklyn, Wisconsin, is the seventh generation in her family to be involved in the agriculture industry. Her love for Wisconsin agriculture began with her involvement with the Brooklyn Mighty Mites 4-H club. Martin graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a bachelor’s degree in life-sciences communication and a certificate in agricultural business management. Her passion for agriculture has led her to work for and with farmers as an account associate at Osborn Barr+Paramore, an advertising agency with a focus in the rural and agricultural landscape. In her spare time she enjoys reading and her involvement with the Association of Women in Agriculture Benefit Corporation and the Farm Bureau.

Tess Zettle of Juda, Wisconsin, found her love for agriculture at a young age. Growing up on her family’s dairy farm she learned firsthand about the difficult work and dedication involved with farming. Zettle was an active member of 4-H, FFA and the Wisconsin Junior Holstein Association. She also served as her community’s Dairy Queen and Green County Fairest of the Fair. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Platteville with a degree in animal science with an emphasis in dairy and a minor in public relations. She currently is employed at Kuhn North America, an international innovator in agricultural forage and manure-handling implements. As product-management administrator she’s responsible for the creation of catalogs for domestic and export products. Zettle had the opportunity to travel to Kuhn’s home office in Saverne, France. While in France she tasted locally made cheeses, further driving her passion and love of all things cheese. This past fall she represented the dairy industry and Swiss heritage as the 2018 Cheese Days Ambassador.

Alice in Dairyland is a one-year full-time public-relations position with the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection. The start date for the 72nd Alice is June 3. Each top candidate completed an application and a preliminary interview. In a visible and fast-paced position Alice in Dairyland travels throughout the state teaching rural and urban audiences of all ages about Wisconsin’s extensive agricultural industry. Alice cultivates relationships with television, radio and print-media outlets, writes and delivers speeches, and utilizes social media to tell the stories of Wisconsin agriculture. Additional duties include developing and executing marketing plans, delivering classroom presentations and networking with industry professionals.

Each year a different Wisconsin county hosts the Alice in Dairyland interview and finals activities, with Green County serving as the host county this year. Following an extensive interview process, the 72nd Alice in Dairyland will be selected from among the five candidates at the conclusion of the Alice in Dairyland Finals Program.

The Candidate Discussion Panel will begin at 6 p.m. May 10 at the Albany Lions Club, 402 N. Cincinnati, Albany, Wisconsin. Cost is $15. The 72nd Alice in Dairyland candidates will take part in a discussion panel addressing agricultural topics.

The 72nd Alice in Dairyland Finale Program will begin at 5:30 p.m. May 11 with dinner in Monroe Turner Hall, 1217 17th Ave., Monroe, Wisconsin, and the finale program at Monroe Middle School Auditorium, 1510 13th St., Monroe. Cost is $30 for dinner and program, or $10 for program only. Visit aliceindairyland.com or contact 608-224-5115 or Ti.Gauger@wisconsin.gov for more information.