Ashley Hagenow selected as the 76th Alice in Dairyland

Outgoing Alice in Dairyland Taylor Schaefer, right, fastens the sash on Wisconsin's newly selected 76th Alice in Dairyland Ashley Hagenow at the Grand Geneva Resort in Walworth County on May 13, 2023.

Poynette native Ashley Hagenow was selected as Wisconsin's 76th Alice in Dairyland at the Grand Geneva Resort in Lake Geneva on May 13.

Beginning in July, Hagenow will work for the contract year as a full-time communications professional for the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP), educating the public about the importance of agriculture in Wisconsin.

The new Alice in Dairyland is a senior at the University of Minnesota and will graduate in May 2023 with a Bachelor’s degree in agricultural communication and marketing, with minors in animal science and agricultural and food business management.

Ashley Hagenow

Growing up, Hagenow was active in 4-H and FFA. Throughout college, she was involved in Agriculture Future of America, the National Agri-Marketing Association, the Gopher Dairy Club, and the University of Minnesota dairy challenge and dairy judging teams. Hagenow also held various internships, gaining experiences with CHS, Curious Plot marketing agency, CLUTCH marketing agency, Progressive Dairy, and World Dairy Expo.

"To serve in the role of Alice in Dairyland is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, as the official ambassador of Wisconsin's abundant and diverse agriculture industry,” said Hagenow. “I have always loved connecting with others about agriculture, and Alice has the ability to connect with a wide variety of consumers to share more about this dynamic industry and the hardworking individuals who make it possible."

Shortly after being crowned, Hagenow was officially introduced to the public on Alice in Dairyland's Facebook page.

"I'm so excited to connect with you all in the coming year to share more and to learn more about Wisconsin's abundant and diverse agricultural industry," Hagenow said with a smile and a wave.

Prior to the finale, the top six candiates were led on a whirlwind tour higlighting the diversity of Walworth County agriculture. Stops on the tour included a sod farm, winery, a business featuring embryo technology, full service livestock feed operation, a dairy farm/cheese shop and a dairy goat farm.

Top candiates for the 76th Alice in Dairyland Finals visit Loudenbeck Farms Dairy Goats LLC in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin. Owners Seth and Hannah Loudenbeck led a tour of their operation and even taught the young women how to milk a goat.

Hagenow will begin her term as the 76th Alice in Dairyland on July 5, 2023. She succeeds the 75th Alice in Dairyland, Taylor Schaefer of Franksville, who will continue her current term until the transition in July.

In her tearful goodbye address, Schaefer thanked her mentors, friends and family for their support.

"And to the people of Wisconsin, thank you for making me your Alice and for making this adventure of a lifetime possible," Schaefer said, wiping away tears. "I never felt more inspired and honored to be part of Wisconsin’s agricultural community. This past year in this role has forever impacted my life."

Colleen Kottke of the Wisconsin State Farmer contributed to this story