Dairy women select ambassador

More than 170 dairy farmers and their friends and families gathered Saturday, April 19 to find out who would be their ambassador for the upcoming year.

The Snohomish County Dairy Women for the past 53 years have selected a young woman to promote dairy products and the dairy industry and this year they selected Melissa Cook, of Snohomish.

The Arlington candidate, Kalynn Morcom, and a 2006 graduate of Marysville-Pilchuck High School, Andrea Neff, and Katie Nickels, of Stanwood, will back up Cook as alternates for the year ahead.

"I've got the dairy genes," the winning candidate joked in her speech, "And it's not the jeans covered in manure."

Cook knew exactly what to say to win over the judges, including Arlington banker Nancy Holiman, along with Merritt Wolfkill and LeAnn Poier Marshall, a former dairy ambassador herself.

"It's a wonderful smell," Cook relayed her heartfelt feelings about cows to the receptive audience.

Her use of humor continued with her expectations of some of the questions she might have to answer as the ambassador, "Can the boy cows be milked?" and of course the standard cow joke, "Does chocolate milk come out of a brown cow?"

The program included the announcement of two new Dairy Shrine Honorees, Peter Van Soest, who died in 1988, and Elma Steffen, who has long been active in 4-H and dairy in Monroe. Their photographs will be added to the Dairy Shrine at the Evergreen Fair.

The dairy women also presented four scholarships, to this year's ambassador, Adrienne Schoenbachler, and ambassador alternate Liz Soler, and Chris Furer and Riley Youngren.

If Schoenbachler is a typical example of a dairy ambassador, Cook has a year of growth and change ahead.

In her farewell speech, Schoenbachler said she evolved a lot since March 2007.

"I wasn't interested in being a public speaker and I never liked dressing up fancy either," she told the crowd wearing a red satin gown.

"Being the county's dairy ambassador has helped me grow a lot."

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