Applications are available to be the 67th Alice in Dairyland. The experiences gained as the state's agricultural ambassador provide a valuable foundation for whichever career path the applicant decides to follow.
Mary Hopkins-Best was the 26th Alice in Dairyland and is now a Dean at the University of Wisconsin-Stout. She recognizes that while the duties have changed since 1973, the essence of the position is the same to serve as a passionate, tireless and articulate advocate for all things related to Wisconsin agriculture and the economy.
"There are few duties I perform as Dean of the College of Education, Health and Human Services that aren't related to the knowledge and skills that I had the opportunity to develop during my year as 'Alice,'" said Mary Hopkins-Best. "It truly was a transformative experience in my life."
Alice in Dairyland is a public relations and communications professional who travels nearly 40,000 miles through the state promoting agriculture. In this one year contract position, Alice in Dairyland travels Wisconsin conducting media interviews, delivering speeches at community events and presenting in schools.
Cynthia Hesse still uses her experience working with students as Alice in Dairyland in her career as a Clinical Dietitian with Aurora Health Care. Hesse served as the 37th Alice in Dairyland.
"I still do school programs yearly, promoting healthy food choices and encouraging use of Wisconsin products," added Hesse. "My fondest memories of my year as 'Alice' are all the opportunities to meet so many people all over the great state of Wisconsin."
Alice in Dairyland applicants need to have at least three years of education or training in communications, experience in public speaking and the ability to execute a marketing campaign. Applicants should have considerable knowledge of Wisconsin agriculture and must be female, a Wisconsin resident and at least 21 years of age.
The 67th Alice in Dairyland will begin full-time on June 2, 2014. Alice in Dairyland is headquartered at the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection in Madison.
While Alice in Dairyland only serves one year, the benefits last a lifetime. Natalie (Parmentier) Killion was the 56th Alice in Dairyland and is now a high school counselor in the Green Bay School District.
"Professional networking opportunities abound in the role of Wisconsin's agricultural ambassador," explained Killion. "Being able to connect and build relationships with individuals passionate about the industry enhanced my life personally and professionally well beyond my one year of service."
The salary for Alice in Dairyland is $40,000. This position includes holiday, vacation and sick leave as well as use of a state-owned vehicle for official business. Reimbursement is provided for an individual health insurance premium up to $450 a month and professional travel expenses.
A cover letter, resume, three professional references and summary of qualifications must be submitted to DATCP by 4:30 p.m. on Monday, January 13, 2014 to be considered. Qualified applicants will be invited to a preliminary interview in February. The top finalists will be announced in March. The three day final selection will be hosted by Clark County on May 15-17, 2014.
Application materials are available at http://datcp.wi.gov/Business/Alice_in_Dairyland/Recruitment.
To learn more, contact Becky Paris, the Alice in Dairyland program manager, at 608-224-5115 or firstname.lastname@example.org.