Alice in Dairyland Engages Youth in Agriculture

Lizzy Schultz

wde-15-leother In an effort to educate audiences across Wisconsin about the importance and global impact of agriculture, the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection(DATCP) has created a secret weapon: they call her Alice, and the role she holds as an agricultural industry professional is making an incredible impact on Wisconsin youth.

Alice in Dairyland is a one year, full time position with Wisconsin DATCP. Each year’s titleholder serves as an ambassador for Wisconsin agriculture, traveling over 40,000 miles throughout the state and reaching out to different audiences through educational presentations, classroom appearances, and media campaigns that provide consumers with engaging dialogue on the impact of Wisconsin’s $88 billion agriculture industry.

2016 marks the 68th year that Alice has reached out a hand to bring agriculture into the lives of Wisconsin’s consumers, and this year’s title belongs to Teyanna Loether.

Loether grew up on a dairy farm in Sauk City, Wisconsin that later transitioned to a hog and beef operation, and also grows both row crops and vineyards for local wineries. She pursued higher education in the acclaimed College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and in 2015 she received a Masters degree in Animal Science. Her childhood exposure to so many types of production is reflected in her passion for the diversity of Wisconsin agriculture.

“The diversity of the industry is something I certainly take with me into the position,” she said in an interview at the 2015 World Dairy Expo, “Wisconsin ranks first in the nation for the production of cheese, but we also rank number one in the nation for the production of cranberries, ginseng, snap beans, and milk goats; Wisconsin agriculture is incredibly diverse.”

Her presence at this year’s World Dairy Expo is widespread, but a large portion of her time will be spent with fourth graders from across the state, giving engaging educational presentations on the health benefits of milk and its nine essential nutrients. Her focus is truly centered on impacting Wisconsin youth, keeping them interested and involved in food production, and the importance of delivering the message of agriculture to them.

“The interesting thing about the population today is that people are becoming farther and farther removed from farming operations,” she said, “It’s become increasingly important to deliver the message of where our food comes from and how consumers can benefit from the nutrients and health behind it every day.”

Listen to my interview with Teyanna here:Interview with Teyanna Loether, 68th Alice in Dairyland

View and download photos from the event here: 2015 World Dairy Expo Photo Album

Coverage of World Dairy Expo is sponsored by
Coverage of World Dairy Expo is sponsored by New Holland
Ag Group, Agribusiness, Audio, Communications, Dairy, Education, World Dairy Expo, Youth