Annual event celebrates all things ‘ag’

Emma Loch, the 2019 Wyoming-Lackawanna County Dairy Princess, chats with Lori Raub, a 4-H leader of the Pigeon Poppers shotgun club, and Gary H. Groves, the state executive director for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Farm Service Agency at Friday’s annual Ag Day event at the Elk Lake High School. PHOTO BY REGGIE SHEFFIELD

Hundreds flocked to the Elk Lake High School last Friday for the 30th Anniversary of Ag Day to network with others over agricultural themed issues, sample different ice cream flavors and participate in the annual pie auction.

Wyoming-Lackawanna County Dairy Princess Emma Loch worked the crowd.

“It gives me the opportunity to go out and promote the dairy industry which I’m really passionate about.  I lived on my family’s dairy farm my entire life and it gives me an opportunity to talk to a lot more people,” said Loch, who grew up on her family’s Fieldsbrook Farm in Nicholson.

Asked what question she hears most, Loch, 20, a Mountain View High School graduate and current junior at Delaware Valley University majoring in Dairy Science, didn’t hesitate.

“I get ‘Does chocolate milk come from brown cows?’ a lot,” Loch said, smiling. 

Ag Day, formerly known as Dairy Day, is the annual one-day celebration of dairy, dairy farming and everything agricultural.  Sponsored by the Penn State Extension, in addition to the free ice cream, Ag Day features exhibitor displays by vendors from the agricultural sector with an obvious focus on dairy farming as well as free workshops on topics such as Everyday Wellness Habits, Funding for Farmers and Poisonous Plants.

Ag Day also serves as a meeting and greeting point for locals.  All three Susquehanna County commissioners running for reelection attended, as well as District Attorney Marion O’Malley.  Rep. Jonathan Fritz, a Republican representing parts of Susquehanna and Wayne counties, also attended.   Fritz, from Honesdale, was recently appointed the deputy House Majority Whip for the 2019-2020 session.   Officials from the state Boat and Fish and Game Commissions also had booths.

Dairy Princesses like Loch are a familiar sight at Ag Day and other annual events such as the Harford Fair.

The Dairy Princess program began in 1956 as the Miss Milk Maid program and was renamed the Dairy Princess Program after the Pennsylvania Holstein Association took the program over in 1968.  There are 28 dairy princesses and over 200 male and female junior representatives.

Those interested must come from farm background or have some relation to the dairy industry and that makes you eligible to compete in your county, Loch said.

Loch encouraged those interested to reach out to their local county 4-H program and see how to get into contact with your chairperson of the local dairy princess program.

The popular pie auction, held just before the close of Ag Day events, supports the Dairy Princess program. 

This year the 49 pies sold at the pie auction brought in a total of $8,435.  Half of that money will go to the Susquehanna County 4-H Program and half will go to the Susquehanna County Dairy Princess and Promotion, said county 4-H educator Julie Harvatine of the Penn State Extension.

Lois Siegfried’s Lemon Layer pie went for $325 and was purchased by Bill and Evie Goff, who were also the auction’s high volume buyers.

Also announced were winners of the annual Ag Day pie contest.

Youth winners were:

First – Vicki Clark with her Peanut Butter Brownie Pie.

Second – Olivia Voll with her Peanut Butter Cup Cheesecake.

Third – Ava Hughes with her Blueberry pie

Adult Winners were:

First – Chaney Houck with her Raspberry Ribbon Pie.

Second – Melinda Keeney with her French Apple Pie.

Third – Allison Quick with her Raspberry Pie.


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