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Who next wears the Dairyland crown?

This photo shows the official Alice in Dairyland crown, crafted by the Wisconsin Jeweler's Association, which is made of 14-karat gold. The center stone is a pear-shaped amethyst, the side stones are pear-shaped citrines, and 90 platinum-set diamonds adorn the tiara's center scallops. As a gift of appreciation, the program presents each year's Alice with the center-stone amethyst from the crown set as a necklace pendant. <i>Submitted photo</i>

The Department of Agriculture Trade and Consumer Protection encourages qualified young women to apply now for the 66th annual Alice in Dairyland competition.

Applications are due to the DATCP by 4:30 p.m. Jan. 11. The next representative will be chosen during the finalist selection May 8-10 in Calumet County.

The contest winner gets a one-year job acting as an ambassador for Wisconsin's agriculture and agribusiness. The DATCP called Alice a full-time public-relations specialist employed by the department under a one-year contract.

The position entails traveling across the state, educating media, communities, students and others about Wisconsin's agriculture industry.

"Serving as the 65th Alice in Dairyland has given me the opportunity to give back, make a difference and pay it forward to the agriculture community in so many ways," said Rochelle Ripp, the current Alice in Dairyland. "I encourage those interested to apply and experience this one-of-a-kind job, promoting Wisconsin's diverse and dynamic $59 billion agriculture industry. The people you meet, the places you see and the different types of agriculture you promote is truly unique and rewarding."

The position is based in Madison but entails traveling thousands of miles within Wisconsin to visit schools and community events as well as participating in media interviews and delivering speeches. After being selected at the May competition, Alice in Dairyland begins work June 3.

The selected Alice in Dairyland will receive a $40,000 annual salary as well as holiday, vacation and sick leave. Compensation for a health insurance premium up to $450 a month and reimbursement for professional travel expenses is also provided.

The final selection of the next "Alice" involves a three-day process in which the women conduct personal interviews, give mock radio and television interviews, complete writing exercises, participate in impromptu question-and-answer sessions, and give speeches.

Applicants must be female Wisconsin residents at least 21 years of age. They must have at least three years of education, training or experience in the communications, marketing and public relations fields to fulfill the professional demands of this position.

The application is online at the DATCP's web site:, click the business tab then on the Alice in Dairyland recruitment section. For more information, contact Alice in Dairyland Program Manager Becky Paris at 608-224-5115 or

Senior Communication Specialist Ashley Andre said the program would like to see more applicants from western Wisconsin.

Those interested can also watch a new-this-year five-minute video on YouTube that gives potential applicants insight into the selection process.