Evelyn Kersmanc was so nervous she was in disbelief when she heard her name announced as the newly titled 2024-2025 New York State Dairy Ambassador. “As soon as I heard my county, I immediately looked back to my parents, and I saw them jump up and I was overcome with so much joy!” says the dairy promoter representing Otsego County.

During a contest livestreamed on February 24 from Syracuse, New York, Evelyn was officially named as the State Dairy Ambassador for New York. Talk about a proud moment for Otsego County!

Evelyn says it’s a role she’s prepared for her entire life. “This has been a goal of mine since I was a little kid.” Evelyn, who grew up on a dairy farm, says she was about 10 years old when she convinced her parents to let her buy a show calf.  “And I bought the first-ever Jersey that’s been on our farm and I did my first show. I saw the dairy ambassadors around me and I was like, ‘I want to do that’.” Within a day, Evelyn says she had the paperwork and became a little ambassador. She’s been promoting dairy ever since.

2023 New York State Dairy Ambassador Arianna Aman of Tioga County congratulates her successor, Evelyn Kersmanc.

As the Otsego County Dairy Ambassador over the past year, Evelyn says she got to do a lot of amazing activities and enjoyed getting to speak with people of all ages. “Some of my favorites were talking with young children in my school. And then also speaking with the elderly. I worked at the Otsego County Senior Picnic and got to talk about the benefits of calcium for the elderly.”

In her new role as New York State Dairy Ambassador, Evelyn will be the voice of the 3,200 dairy farmers in New York State. She’s like the superhero of the dairy world, spreading awareness about the goodness of milk and dairy products.

“I hope to accomplish a lot and I really enjoy promoting the dairy industry and talking about the climate, and how good the dairy industry is for our environment, and I look forward to being at the State Fair and being part of the Butter Sculpture unveiling and Dairy Day,” Evelyn says.

Joining Evelyn on the State Dairy Ambassador team is Olivia Maslyn from Ontario County and Justin Mesch from Erie County, who have been named as the first and second Associate Ambassadors, respectively.  The trio will be out there, sharing nuggets of wisdom about the nutritional benefits of dairy, and how farmers care for their cows and their land—and speaking from first-hand experience.

Olivia Maslyn has been on a dairy farm all her life. Her family raises heifers and calves for Hemdale Farms, an all-robotic dairy in Seneca Castle, New York, which was featured in this episode of our “This American Dairy Farmer” series. Olivia sees her new role on the Ambassador Team as a tremendous opportunity, not only to promote dairy, but also as a stepping stone for her future. “I actually have a strong interest in photography and videography, mostly taking pictures of landscapes and animals, and I’m hoping that maybe being a dairy ambassador will help me in that pursuit.”

Justin Mesch lives in Collins, New York, on his family’s dairy farm. “I’ve grown up with my four sisters doing barn chores. Currently, I’m usually the one milking the cows and I can help out on the fields with the crops.” Justin says it’s great experience to have because “it helps teach you to work hard and to be dedicated to your work.” Justin plans to apply that attitude in his role on the Ambassador Team.

So there you have it! Evelyn Kersmanc, your new State Dairy Ambassador, is ready to take on the world (or at least New York State) one glass of milk at a time. Let’s raise a toast to her and the State Dairy Ambassador team, and all the amazing work they’ll do in promoting our favorite dairy delights!