Five agriculturally minded teens will compete for the title of Dairy Princess at the 56th annual District 3 Dairy Princess Contest & Ball on Saturday, April 13 at the Petaluma Veterans Memorial Building.
As a goodwill ambassador for the industry, the Dairy Princess speaks at schools, fairs and various community events, stressing the importance of dairy products.
Eighteen-year-old Makenzie Floyd is a senior at Sonoma Acadamy who has aspirations of becoming a large animal veterinarian. A resident of Sebastopol, she is the daughter of Linda and Robert Floyd.
An avid volleyball player, Makenzie is also an active volunteer who has successfully raised four companions for Guide Dogs for the Blind, and helped build a school in Ghana for at risk youth with the Disaster Volunteers of Ghana program.
Makenzie has served as 4-H president, vice president, treasurer, secretary and Sergeant at Arms. She won Supreme Senior Replacement Heifer Showman at the 2012 Sonoma County Fair, first place in livestock judging and swine showmanship and a gold pin in the interview skills competition at the state 4-H Field Day.
Though she didn't grow up on a dairy, Makenzie has been volunteering at Beretta Dairy to continue to educate herself and learn all she can about the industry.
"Not growing up on a dairy, the Replacement Heifer Committee allowed me to get to know the dairy industry and develop a love and passion for the animals and business, and for that I am very thankful," said Makenzie. "I wish I had been introduced in to the dairy world earlier and had the land and resources to have my own herd."
Makenzie feels she would be a strong representative for the dairy industry as District 3 Dairy Princess.
"My experience over the years provides me with the unique background to relate to and communicate on a variety of levels with a wide array of people," said Makenzie. "I am resourceful; when I don't know, I find out."
Jessie Peterson, 18, is a senior at Petaluma High School and is the daughter of Lew and Dodie Peterson. She plans to attend Santa Rosa Junior College after graduation, and later transfer to California State University, Chico to study animal science and agriculture. Her goal is to eventually become an agriculture teacher and an FFA advisor at a Sonoma County school. She currently works at Sonoma-Marin Veterinary as a back office assistant.
She has been very involved with Liberty 4-H for the past 13 years and is its current historian. She has served as past president and was named the 2011-2012 Sonoma County 4-H All Star. She is a four-year member of the Petaluma Future Farmers of America and serves as current vice president.
Jessie has always been involved with agriculture, having lived on a small farm all her life. She has raised more than 16 registered and grade Holtsteins.
She entered the Dairy Princess program because of a desire to educate the public about the importance and necessity of agriculture and the dairy industry.
"If selected Dairy Princess, my hope is to not only educate the public on how important the industry is, but to show them," said Jessie. "I hope to achieve this by attending as many events as possible and giving hands-on lessons to children as well as adults. I also want to be a liaison between the producer and consumers to that the consumer understands the importance of the farmers and ranchers."