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10 Questions With Penn State Student & Dairy Princess Mikayla Davis

With a former university name like “The Farmers High School,” it shouldn’t come as a surprise that a Penn State student has once again claimed the title of the Pennsylvania State dairy princess for the third year in a row. Mikayla Davis was crowned on September 25 at the Blair County Convention Center in Altoona, Pa.

Now, Davis will spend the next year traveling around Pennsylvania promoting the dairy industry while connecting with the farmers that make it all possible.

Davis took some time from her busy schedule to chat with the blog about what the year looks like ahead and, of course, her favorite Berkey Creamery flavor.

OS: What does the Pennsylvania State dairy princess role entail throughout her reign?

MD: A dairy princess is an advocate for the dairy industry. To be a successful dairy princess, you must love the dairy industry. Dairy princesses — both county and state royalty — are the ones who are out talking to the consumers and educating them on the dairy industry and the benefits of dairy products. You must be able to get up in front of a large crowd to give a speech, go to a farm tour to play with the calves, and you must be quick on your toes when a consumer asks you a question. Being a dairy princess is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity with so many responsibilities and countless memories. 

OS: How are you connected to the dairy industry?

MD: I grew up on a small dairy farm in Berks County. Unfortunately, we sold the milking cows in 2010, and now, we live on a small farmette where we raise Holstein heifers. I was a past member of the 4-H Dairy Club and Junior Holstein Club. I am extremely fortunate to be able to grow up within the dairy industry and have these opportunities.

OS: What inspired you to run for Pennsylvania State Dairy Princess?

MD: For me, it was not if I was going to run for dairy princess, but when was I going to run. Dairy promotion runs deep within my family with my mom being a past dairy princess 25 years ago. I also had the opportunity to be the Berks County Li’l Miss in 2006-07, Berks County alternate dairy princess 2018-19, and a dairy ambassador for several years. I have always wanted to be the Pennsylvania dairy princess, and I am so honored to finally have this opportunity. 

OS: What was the process and path like to becoming both a County Dairy Princess and the Pennsylvania State Dairy Princess?

MD: At the county level, to become a dairy princess, you need to prepare a speech or skit that you will present to the audience. You will also have an interview with the judges and an impromptu question. At the state pageant, each county princess is judged on a skit, speech, scrapbook, display board, radio spot, recipes, and dairy knowledge exam. There are three to four judges each year who will watch your interaction with the other girls as well as have an interview with them. On the night of the pageant, the top seven are picked, and these princesses will be asked an impromptu question up on stage. My nerves during the state pageant were high, but I will always remember that night for the rest of my life.

Courtesy of Mikayla Davis

OS: Switching gears for a moment, why did you decide to Penn State?

MD: I chose Penn State because it is such a large agriculture school. I started at the Berks campus, which I enjoyed because it had smaller classes and was closer to home. Now, I am taking my classes on World Campus so that I can be more flexible with my dairy princess duties and work.

OS: How do you handle being both a Penn State student and your responsibilities as Pennsylvania’s dairy princess

MD: As I said in the previous question, World Campus has been working out for me very well. I can plan my classes around both my job and dairy princess obligations.

OS: How do you plan on using your position to help advocate the dairy industry more to Penn State students?

MD: I want all Penn State students to know that anything is possible. Do not ever give up on something that you want. Penn State is such a large agriculture school, and it has so much to offer. The advice I have for other students is to get out there and put yourself in uncomfortable positions and learn from your mistakes. 

OS: Do you have a favorite Berkey Creamery flavor?

MD: I have had multiple flavors of ice cream from the Berkey Creamery, but I think my favorites might be Peachy Paterno and Death By Chocolate. It depends on my mood at the time, but I will never pass down the opportunity to get some Creamery ice cream! 

OS: What are you looking forward to most in your year as dairy princess?

MD: Being crowned the Pennsylvania State dairy princess obviously comes with great responsibilities and lots of traveling and planning. I am going to take every opportunity I receive this year and do everything with my entire heart. I think this year I am looking forward to the interactions and connections I will get to experience. I am also excited to grow as a young lady and become a strong leader and advocate for the dairy industry.

OS: Per Onward State tradition, if could be any dinosaur, which would you be and why?

MD: I am not up to date with my dinosaur facts, but if I had to choose, I would pick the Brachiosaurus. These large dinosaurs I feel like flowed through life very calmly and freely. I believe in taking life one step at a time and never passing up any opportunities, and I think Brachiosaurus fits that description.

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About the Author

Dana June Nunemacher

Dana is a redshirt sophomore, who is studying public relations. She is from the 570 and yes, she has watched The Office. Her passions in life include drinking unsweetened iced tea and spreading her love for agriculture (yee haw)! Send any cow pictures or complaints to [email protected]

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