Serving as the Berks County Dairy Princess

Submitted photo Berks County Dairy Princess Jessica Duncan with Berks County Little Miss Dairy Princess Danica Rhoads.

In 2003, I was crowned as the Berks County Little Miss Dairy Princess, and that is where it all began. As a seven year old, I was exposed to so much that truly shaped who I am today. I traveled around Berks County, looking up to my “Big” Dairy Princesses, thinking that one-day I wanted to be just like them and do what they did. I never had a fear of public speaking and I believe this is partially due to my exposure to it at such a young age. I was also exposed to a wonderful thing called 4-H when I was handing out ribbons at the local county fairs. Now, ten years later, I am the 2013-2014 Berks County Dairy Princess and also an active member of the Western Berks 4-H Dairy Club. It is easy to say that the Dairy Princess program has drastically influenced my life throughout the past ten years.

Through the past couple months I have repeated many events that I did as Little Miss, as well as many new events too! I have also been given the opportunity to get to know my Little Miss, Danica Rhoads, and try to give her the experience that I was given when I was her age. Danica and I, along with our many Dairy Ambassadors, have attended events throughout the county including a wide variety of granges, meetings, fairs, festivals, schools, libraries, sporting events and we will even be visiting a zoo within the next couple weeks! We always have a wonderful time sharing our love for the dairy industry and reminding people to “always consume their 3 servings of dairy every day!”

I would love to share which promotion was my favorite for this year, but I honestly cannot just choose one. Starting my year out with the Bernville Memorial Parade definitely gave me an exciting start and lots of excitement for my year to come. Then throughout the year, just seeing the excited facial expressions on all of the children I came into contact with, made the year even more enjoyable. On top of those great memories, the fairs were also a very exciting part for my year promoting the dairy industry. I have been attending the fairs every year since I was the Little Miss and being able to hand out the ribbons to all of the kids I’ve grown up with really meant a lot to me.

The Berks County Dairy Princess Program is truly a program that helped me grow and learn so much about the dairy industry and even about myself. If you know anybody that is interested in getting involved in this wonderful experience you can contact Angie Davis at 610-926-6639 or mdavis114@aol.com by April 1st, 2014.

Also try this Blue Ribbon Cheesecake Recipe as one of your three daily servings of dairy!!!

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 55 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes

Ingredients:

•Crust:

•1-1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs (300 mL)

•1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted (50 mL)

Filling:

•4 packages (each 8 ounces/250 g) cream cheese, softened

•1-1/4 cups granulated sugar (300 mL)

•4 eggs

•3 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice (45 mL)

•1 teaspoon vanilla (5 mL)

•Topping:

•1/2 cup sour cream (125 mL)

•1/4 cup granulated sugar (50 mL)

•1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice (15 mL)

•1/2 teaspoon vanilla (2 mL)

•Decoration:

•2 cups fresh strawberries, sliced (500 mL)

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F./180 degrees C. Prepare pan: 9-inch (23 cm) cheesecake pan, ungreased, or springform pan with 3-inch (7.5 cm) sides, greased.

Crust:

In a medium bowl, combine graham cracker crumbs and butter. Press into bottom of cheesecake pan and freeze.

Filling:

In a large mixer bowl, beat cream cheese and sugar on medium-high speed for 3 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition. Stir in lemon juice and vanilla. Pour over frozen crust. Bake in preheated oven for 45 to 55 minutes or until the top is light brown and the center has a slight jiggle to it. Cool on the counter for 10 minutes (do not turn the oven off). The cheesecake will sink slightly.

Topping:

In a small bowl, combine sour cream, sugar, lemon juice, and vanilla. Pour into center of cooled cake and spread out to edges. Bake for 5 minutes more. Cool on a rack for 2 hours. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 6 hours before decorating.

Variation:

If fresh berries are not available, spread 1 cup (250 mL) strawberry preserves on top.

Yield: 10 to 12 servings