Manitowoc County will host the 68th annual Alice in Dairyland Finals event in May 2015. Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) Secretary Ben Brancel made the announcement Saturday during the Finale event for the selection of the 67th Alice in Dairyland in Clark County.
"This is a great opportunity for Manitowoc County to showcase its contribution to Wisconsin agriculture, and we appreciate the county's enthusiasm for hosting the selection of the next Alice in Dairyland," Brancel said. "Hosting the finals will give people around the state a chance to see and learn about the farms, agribusinesses and the people who contribute more than one and a half billion dollars to county's economy every year."
Representatives from Manitowoc County are looking forward to next year's event.
"Manitowoc County is a well-diversified leader in Wisconsin agriculture and is proud to be the location for the 68th Alice in Dairyland Finals," said planning committee co-chairman Bill Eichelberg. The county is consistently ranked as a top milk producer in Wisconsin and in the nation, Eichelberg said.
Planning committee co-chairwoman Beth Kappelman agrees. "Manitowoc County is known for our outstanding dairy industry, but we also have large aquaculture and vegetable industries," Kappelman said. "It's our strength and variety that make us unique, and we are excited showcase that."
Agriculture provides 11 percent of the jobs in Manitowoc County, according to UW-Extension data. The county has 300 dairy herds and ranks in the top five Wisconsin in value of dairy production. Milk is the No. 1 commodity in Manitowoc County, valued at $191.3 million. Other top commodities include grains, cattle, vegetables and greenhouse/nursery plants.
Alice in Dairyland is a communications professional who works to educate the public about Wisconsin agriculture. Each year, a new Alice is selected from a group of finalists during a months-long public job interview, and, each year, a different county hosts the Finals. Zoey Brooks of Waupaca will start work June 2 as the 67th Alice.
DATCP is now accepting applicants for a county or counties to host Finals in 2016. To host the Finals, counties submit applications that explain why the county wants to host the event, what kinds of tours would be available for finalists, how well they could recruit volunteers and how well they could gather resources for the event.
The process includes a three-day Finals event in May, as well as a two-day briefing tour several weeks before Finals. These events include press conferences, agribusiness tours, interviews with local media, a Finalist Question and Answer event and the Finale event in which a new Alice is selected. Both events are open to the public and include opportunities to showcase local businesses and products.
Learn more or download a host county application at http://datcp.wi.gov/Business/Alice_in_Dairyland or by contacting Alice in Dairyland Manager Becky Paris at 608-224-5115 or Rebecca.firstname.lastname@example.org.
Proposals are due to Paris by June 30. Submitted proposals could be considered for 2017 and 2018 host county selection.