The American Dairy Association North East named the winners of its annual New York State Dairy Ambassador competition on February 24, 2024.

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During a ceremony held on Saturday at the Embassy Suites by Hilton Syracuse Destiny USA in Syracuse, N.Y., Evelyn Kersmanc was named the 2024-2025 New York State Dairy Ambassador. Kersmanc is a resident of Worcester, Otsego County, N.Y. She has served as the Otsego County Dairy Ambassador since spring 2023.

In this role, Kersmanc will be speaking and advocating for dairy farmers. She will accomplish this through appearances at special events in an effort to engage and educate the public about topics such as the nutritional benefits of dairy products as well as how farmers care for their herds of milking cows and their land in terms of sustainability. The role will also teach people about the importance of dairy products in relation to New York's economy.

Kersmanc will also be receiving a $2,000 scholarship as well as an opportunity to intern with the American Dairy Association North East.

Winners also included Olivia Maslyn of Ontario County who was named first Associate Ambassador, and Justin Mesch of Erie County who was picked as second Associate Ambassador. They will receive a $1,500 and $1,000 scholarship respectively, and will assist the Dairy Ambassador with her duties.

According to a press release, the Dairy Ambassador program "aims to build critical professional skills and confidence of young individuals who are passionate about the dairy industry."

The candidates were judged via an interview, impromptu questions, a speech, an exam about product knowledge, writing skills, and interactions with others. They were evaluated based on communication skills and knowledge of the dairy industry.

The competition was the culmination of the year long term of Dairy Ambassador Arianna Aman of Tioga County.

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