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Mariah Schmitt is Iowa Dairy Princess

By Jean Caspers-Simmet

Date Modified: 08/21/2013 7:55 AM

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DES MOINES —Mariah Schmitt's dream since she was a little girl was to be Iowa Dairy Princess. Her dream came true last week.

The Fort Atkinson 18-year-old was crowned the 60th Iowa Dairy Princess during an evening ceremony Aug. 7 on the state fairgrounds.

"This is a dream come true," Schmitt said. "I'm so excited to get out there and promote the dairy industry. It has made me the person that I am today."

Schmitt will be a goodwill ambassador for Iowa's dairy farmers. She will make public appearances to connect with consumers and help them understand the dedication of farm families to their cows and the land.

Schmitt's parents, Carl and Terry Schmitt, milk Holsteins and raise crops. Schmitt is responsible for feeding and caring for the calves and heifers and also assists with anything else that needs to be done. She is starting her own Guernsey herd.

Representing Winneshiek County, Schmitt was also named Miss Congeniality. She will attend Iowa State University this fall majoring in dairy science and public service and administration in agriculture.

In the hours just before the Dairy Princess Coronation, she and four other candidates participated in 4-H Dairy Judging at the fair.

Celina Young, 18, of Waverly, was named Alternate Iowa Dairy Princess. Young, the daughter of Jill Grabau and Greg Young, will share duties with the princess. She represents Bremer County and will also attend ISU this fall to study agriculture business and communications.

"I am so honored to be here," Young said. "One of my favorite things to do and what I want to do as a career path is agricultural communications. I love getting out in public and talking to people about this wonderful agricultural industry and especially the dairy industry. I have an awesome person to do this with."

Young, who doesn't live on a farm, began showing cattle for Cedar Spring Creek Dairy of Plainfield about eight years ago. She helps feed calves and milk cows among other chores. For the past three years, she has also been employed at Kuker Dairy.

Nicole Engelken, 18, daughter of Tom and Cherrie Engelken of Earlville, representing the Iowa Holstein Association, was the presentation winner.

Eleven princesses from throughout Iowa competed for the title. In addition to Schmitt, Young and Engelken, Catheryn Lang, 18, daughter of James and Theresa Lang of McGregor, representing Clayton County, and Brianna Lee, 19, daughter of Darrell and Rhonda Lee of West Union, representing Fayette County, were the top five.

The outgoing Iowa Dairy Princess is Logan Worden, daughter of Dennis and Joan Worden of Oelwein. The Alternate Princess is Karla Hageman, daughter of Alan and Ruth Hageman of Decorah.

Schmitt and Young will begin their duties on Sept. 1.