Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Columbia County Teen Named New York Dairy Princess

Emily Ooms, NYS Dairy Princess
Emily Ooms, of Columbia County, was named New York State Dairy Princess Tuesday night.

Selected as first alternate was Jill DeBlock of Orange County, while April Gokey of Franklin County was named second alternate.

Miss Ooms, 17, is a senior at Chatham High School and the daughter of Timothy and Kristine Ooms. She is a member of 4-H, the Holstein Club, Junior Dairy Leaders and the National Honor Society.

The New York State Dairy Princess contest concluded Tuesday with the crowning after a two days of judging at the Holiday Inn in Salina, north of Syracuse. 

Jill DeBlock, first alternate
The girls in the competition — who already have won their county dairy princess contests — take tests to judge their dairy knowledge and writing skills, go through intensive interviews with the three judges, give both impromptu and prepared speeches and also are judged on their informal interaction with others.

Judges evaluate contestants on communication skills, knowledge of the dairy industry, poise and personality.

Miss Ooms, Miss DeBlock and Miss Gokey were winners of the speech contest and Miss DeBlock and Miss Gokey were winners for product knowledge. Winners for written communication were Jessica Skellie of Wayne County, Katie Bower of Cayuga County and Stephanie Treadwell of Herkimer County.

April Gokey, second alternate
About 30 teens competed for the title. Miss Ooms will serve as New York State Dairy Princess for one year and will promote dairy farmers and dairy products throughout the state in schools, industries, companies and at special events.

The big event for the dairy princess each year is the New York State Fair in Geddes, west of Syracuse. She and other county dairy princesses man the dairy princess booth inside the Dairy Products building and make special appearances throughout Dairy Day on the first Monday of the fair.

The new princess takes over for Stephanie McBath of Saratoga County, who was New York State Dairy Princess for 2015-16.

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