Dairy Princess Will Welcome Veterans
By Rick Hiduk
The Bradford County Commissioners helped 2011-12 Dairy Princess Michala Kuhlman proclaim June 23 as Dairy Awareness Day. Michala, the daughter of Mark and Connie Kuhlman, wasted no time in sharing with the commissioners and those in attendance at the weekly meeting that she wants to reach out to returning military service personnel as her signature project with the Bradford County Dairy Promotion Board (BCDPB).
Michala, who will be a junior at Northeast Bradford High School in the fall, is the third member of her family to participate in the annual BCDPB pageant. Her sister, Abbie, previously served as an alternate dairy princess, and her sister, Erica, was the 2008-09 dairy princess.
Farming has always been a major component in Michala’s life, she explained. She became involved with BCDPB in 2003. For the June 4 pageant, which was held at Towanda High School, contestants had to develop a speech and a skit and prepare themselves to be interviewed by the judges, who posed a thought-provoking question to each of the girls.
Michala recalls that her favorite part of the competition was the skit, for which she donned a cow superhero costume. Michala admits that she “might have looked a little crazy, but I had fun with it.”
She looks forward to fulfilling her duties as dairy princess, which will include appearances at fairs, grocery stores, and schools. She takes seriously the responsibility imparted on her to promote the consumption of dairy products and to educate the public about the dairy industry. But her idea to use her position to bring attention to troops involved in conflicts overseas sets Michala apart from girls who have previously worn the BCDPB sash.
“When I became dairy princess, I wanted (to execute) a different promotion that no one had ever thought of,” she related. “I took my passion for supporting troops and mixed it with what I love about the dairy industry.”
Michala is collecting names of men and women serving overseas in hopes of presenting each of them with a gift basket filled with dairy-related products upon their return.
“There are many people in our area who have served in the military,” Michala stated. A close friend, whom she regards as a “brother,” was recently deployed to Afghanistan. “That’s what really made me want to do this promotion,” she remarked.
At the end of the June 23 commissioners’ meeting, Michala served cups of an orange-flavored milkshake that she had mixed up that morning. Attendance at the meeting was lighter than normal, so the commissioners helped her to move the punch bowl into the courthouse rotunda, where Michala was able to share her refreshing dairy treat with office employees and people doing business there.
Readers with names of military personnel actively serving in foreign countries may call Connie Kuhlman at 570-395-3667 with the information.