American Dairy Association North East Announces Winners of New York State Dairy Ambassador Competition

Syracuse, N.Y. – On Saturday, February 24, 2024, Evelyn Kersmanc from Otsego County was named the 2024-2025 New York State Dairy Ambassador during a ceremony at the Embassy Suites by Hilton Syracuse Destiny USA in Syracuse, N.Y. Kersmanc formerly served as the Otsego County Dairy Ambassador since spring of 2023.

As New York State Dairy Ambassador, Kersmanc will serve as a spokesperson and advocate for dairy farmers by attending special events to engage with and educate consumers on the nutritional benefits of milk and dairy foods, how farmers care for their cows and their land in order to produce a sustainable product, and the importance of the dairy industry to the New York State economy. Kersmanc will also receive a $2,000 scholarship and an internship opportunity with American Dairy Association North East (ADANE).

Olivia Maslyn from Ontario County was named first Associate Ambassador, and Justin Mesch from Erie County was selected as second Associate Ambassador. They will receive a $1,500 scholarship and $1,000 scholarship, respectively. Both individuals will assist the New York State Dairy Ambassador with training, appearances, and other duties.

The New York State Dairy Ambassador Program aims to build critical professional skills and confidence of young individuals who are passionate about the dairy industry. Ambassadors will be involved in statewide promotions and events. Individuals will gain experience collaborating with a team, knowledge of ADANE promotion and marketing programs, and will participate in sessions led by experts in public speaking, social media, team building and leadership.

Participants were judged on a personal interview, impromptu questions, a prepared speech, a product knowledge exam, writing skills, and informal interaction with others, and evaluated based on their communication skills and knowledge of the dairy industry.

Competition judges were Anna Richards CEO/Founder 2020 Consulting LLC, Skaneateles, N.Y.; Brittany Snyder, Dairy Excellence Foundation, Harrisburg, Pa.; and Jenni Tilton-Flood, dairy farmer and rural advocate, Clinton, Maine.

ADANE manages the New York State Dairy Ambassador program, and it sponsored the competition that completed the yearlong term of Arianna Aman of Tioga County.

About American Dairy Association North East (ADANE)

American Dairy Association North East (ADANE) is the local affiliate of the National Dairy Council® and the regional consolidation of three promotion organizations including the American Dairy Association and Dairy Council, Inc., Mid-Atlantic Dairy Association and Pennsylvania Dairy Promotion Program. Committed to nutrition education and research-based communications, ADANE provides science-based nutrition information to, and in collaboration with, a variety of stakeholders committed to fostering a healthier nation, including health professionals, educators, school nutrition directors, academia, industry, consumers and media. Funded by dairy checkoff dollars from nearly 8,500 dairy farm families in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, and northern Virginia, ADANE works closely with Dairy Management Inc.™ to bring a fully integrated promotion program to the North East region.

Photo Caption: The 2024 New York State Dairy Ambassador Team was selected on February 24. From left to right are: First Associate New York State Dairy Ambassador Olivia Maslyn from Ontario County; New York State Dairy Ambassador Evelyn Kersmanc from Otsego County; and Second Associate New York State Dairy Ambassador Justin Mesch from Erie County.