Dairy ambassadors hold court in Enumclaw

With poster board in hand, Cherise Lanting stood before a small crowd of critics in the living room of her parents’ Enumclaw dairy farm home, explaining how milk gets from farm to table.

Her audience was a group of experts – the King-Pierce County Dairy Women. Lanting was looking for feedback from the group on the presentation she will make as she vies for the state Dairy Ambassador position in June.

Lanting, and current state Dairy Ambassador alternate Elizabeth Birklid, were on hand at the annual “princess tea” to advise King-Pierce County’s latest Dairy Ambassador Jennifer Callanan from Steilacoom. Callanan was scheduled to be welcomed into the position Tuesday night during the group’s 56th annual dinner at the Veterans of Foreign Wars hall in Enumclaw.

Dairy Ambassadors at the local and state level spread the dairy industry’s message through appearances at schools, workshops, the fairs, and during June, which is Dairy Month, welcoming the dairy baby, the first baby born in June at St. Elizabeth Hospital, and make appearances at local banks and the senior centers.

Dairy Ambassadors must have a connection to the industry and possess knowledge of it as part of the interviewing process.

A junior at Steilacoom, Callanan has shown dairy cattle since she was young with the Cowbelles and Beaus 4-H group, and is an active member today in FFA.

“I always looked up to the girls at the fairs that were doing it and always wanted to be one,” she said. “It’s an honor I’ve been with the dairy business all my life.”

Lanting, a 2010 Enumclaw High graduate now studying business at Green River Community College, will vie for the state crown with nine other girls in June. She will be working toward replacing Birklid, a 2009 EHS graduate, fourth generation Enumclaw dairy farmer and second generation dairy princess, who will now concentrate on her nursing studies at GRCC.