Hannah Van Dyk of Tulare Selected as District 9 Dairy Princess

New Dairy Princess Hannah Van Dyke (left) with First Alternate Baylee Cocagne
New Dairy Princess Hannah Van Dyke (left) with First Alternate Baylee Cocagne

Hannah Van Dyk of Tulare was selected as the 2014-2015 Dairy Princess for the California Milk Advisory Board’s (CMAB) District 9. The crowning took place before a crowd of approximately 225 dairy industry members and their families and friends, on June 20 at the Heritage Complex International Agri-Center in Tulare.

Retiring Dairy Princess Elyse Borba of Porterville ended her reign by turning over the title to Hannah, wishing her well as she represents the California dairy industry in the coming year.

Hannah will represent District 9, which includes Inyo, Mono and Tulare counties. As Dairy Princess, she will play an important role on the CMAB’s Communications Services team in meeting community relations objectives.

The daughter of Chris and Jolene Van Dyk, Hannah is currently attending Tulare Western High School.

First Alternate, Baylee Cocagne, is the daughter of Robert Cocagne and Diane Luiz of Tulare. Baylee, who attends Mission Oak High School, will assist the new District 9 Dairy Princess in her duties, which include speaking on behalf of the California dairy industry at schools, service clubs, with the media, and at numerous public events throughout the year.

In addition, both will attend a training session, including presentation skills, a CMAB orientation, and a tour of a processing facility.

Along with the excitement of naming the new Dairy Princess, Tulare County students received scholarships from the Tulare County Dairywomen committee for a total of $3,000. The recipients were Sydnie Sousa, Marisa Martin, Isabella Benedetti, Julia Schott, Octavio Martin and Craig Kampen.

In addition, Tulare County Dairy Women named David and Donna Ribero of Rib-Arrow Dairy in Tulare as Dairy Family of the Year for 2014. David, along with his father, Joe, started the dairy in 1994. Today, David and his wife, Donna, own and operate the family dairy with their children: Tyler and his wife, Jennifer; Cameron; and Gabrielle. The Ribero family has strong ties to the Tulare County community, including continued support of local 4-H and FFA programs as well as Tulare First Baptist Church, Antique Farm Equipment Show and the World Ag Expo.

The mistresses of ceremonies for the gala evening were Elyse Borba and Jessica Lawrence of Tulare. Contestants were judged on poise, personality, speaking ability, education and dairy background. Judges for the contest were Tom Barcellos of Porterville, Karen DeGroot of Pixley and Brian Medeiros of Hanford. The event chairpersons were Melissa Gomes, Kortnee Faria and Amie Pitigliano, and the dinner was catered by Happy Cookers Catering in Tulare.

California is the nation’s leading milk producer. It also produces more butter, ice cream, yogurt and nonfat dry milk than any other state. The state is the second-largest producer of cheese, which is available nationally under the Real California Cheese seal.

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