Spring time means it's time once again to place a crown on a new Dairy Princess.
The 57th annual Dairy Princess Contest & Ball "How Sweet It Is" takes place April 5 at the Petaluma Veterans Memorial Building.
Outgoing princess Francesca Gambonini will crown her successor at the event co-sponsored by the North Bay Dairy Women and the California Milk Advisory Board. The Dairy Princess is the spokesperson for the dairy industry and represents the local farmers and producers in Sonoma, Marin, Napa, Solano, Mendocino and Lake counties.
Julianna McCall Bibee
Tomales High School senior Julianna McCall Bibee, 17, has always considered it a privilege to be raised in and around agriculture. The daughter of Allen Bibee and Sheila McCall, She grew up on the dairy her great-grandfather started in northern Marin County. It was her grandfather and his brother who expanded the dairy from milking just a few cows to nearly 500 Holsteins. Julianna has seen many changes on the farm through the years. "I witnessed modernization and the use of technology for advancement in the production of milk on the McCall dairy," she said. "Now, we are currently milking 90 head of Holsteins and Jerseys producing organic milk."
In addition to working on the dairy, Julianna works as a cashier at Michael's in Petaluma. She participates in school sports and is a member of Future Farmers of America, Lake County Junior Horsemen and Lake Country Drill Team.
"Growing up I always held a high fondness for the girls who represented the dairies in our district," she said. "This high esteem was inspired by my mother, who was a part of the Dairy Princess court. I am honored to follow my mother's footsteps by running for Dairy Princess. I would be honored with the opportunity to represent District 2 dairies and educate the youth in our knowledge of the production of California milk."
For Penngrove resident Ellorine Carle, 17, becoming a Dairy Princess has been a dream of hers since she was 8 years old — even though she didn't know the difference between a dairy cow and a beef cow. Though she didn't grew up on a dairy, Ellorine received her first replacement heifer when she was 10 years old.
"From raising heifers, I gained first hand experience that can only be found on a farm," she said. "It's one thing to be able to talk about the industry, but another to actually explain it."
The daughter of Steve Carle and Heidi Dieffenbach-Carle, Ellorine is a senior at Casa Grande High School who is currently co-editor-in-chief of the school newspaper, The Gaucho Gazette. She has been a member of the Penngrove 4-H Club since 2003 and is the current president. Ellorine is a member of the Redwood Empire Jr. Holstein Association, the California State Holstein Association and has won a number of awards for showing dairy goats and cows. Ellorine has also participated in many Holstein Association activities, such as the Dairy Bowl, Cow Camp and Dairy Jeopardy.
"I want to advocate for an industry that has influenced and shaped me into the person I am today," said Ellorine of running for Dairy Princess. "I want to ensure its survival, especially in Sonoma County, for generations to come."
Raised on her grandmother's horse ranch in Arizona, Jeanette Downer-Lanatti, 17, enrolled in 4-H after moving to a Petaluma ranch and began raising all kinds of market animals from rabbits to steers.