The time has come to say farewell to our New York State Dairy Promotions team. We wish our best to dairy promoters New York State Dairy Princess Shelby Benjamin, First Alternate Holly Niefergold and Second Alternate Elizabeth Hyman, our dairy industry representatives for the last year. And our dairy promoters did us proud!

Dairy promoters pictured from left to right: Holly Niefergold, Shelby Benjamin and Elizabeth Hyman.

A Rewarding Experience – Shelby Benjamin

“It’s been a rewarding experience,” says Shelby Benjamin, subsequently as she reflects on the year. “This year was about being a storyteller, a communicator, a liaison between consumers and the wonderful dairy producers of New York.”

For example, one of those experiences brought Benjamin to the Big Apple. There, she help promote milk and dairy products with Gen Z consumers, as part of American Dairy North East’s “Milk to Metro” campaign. During her visit with fourth graders in Manhattan, Benjamin led the students in several interactive dairy education activities.

“It was exciting to see how the school uses milk and milk products, and I really enjoyed hearing and answering the students’ questions about where their milk comes from,” said Benjamin.

The Honor is Mine – Holly Niefergold

Buffalo Summer Meals - Kids and Calf

Being able to represent her family farm and New York State dairy farmers has been a “great privilege” says Holly Neifergold. “This experience has made me a stronger, confident, fluent advocate and spokesperson.”

In addition, growing up on a dairy farm, the need for dairy promotion is not lost on Neifergold. “Advocating is important; it is one of the key elements to the success of the dairy industry.”

It’s one of the reasons Neifergold helped distribute milk and meals to children at a Summer Meals event in Buffalo, bringing along a calf from her family farm to help youngsters make the connection to where milk and dairy foods come from.

Reaching for the Stars – Elizabeth Hyman

Elizabeth Hyman, New York State Second Alternate Dairy Princess, interviews U.S. Olympic Gold Medalist English Gardner.

For Elizabeth Hyman, it has been a memorable year above all. “Although this year looked different than previous years together, Shelby and Holly and I were able to attend many in-person events and also continued to grow our social media presence.” For instance, she even had an opportunity to virtually meet and chat with U.S. Olympian English Gardner!

“Being able to meet with a U.S. Olympic Gold Medalist is certainly not something that happens every day. I enjoyed being able to get to know Gardner and how she has become successful. Her passion for the dairy industry was inspiring,” said Hyman.