As New York State Dairy Ambassadors, Gabriella Taylor, Katie Jasmin, and Annika Donlick will represent dairy farmers over the next year through face-to-face events, digital communications, and media interviews. That’s why one of their first tasks as a newly selected team was to complete a professional media training session.

New York State Dairy Ambassador Taylor, First Associate Dairy Ambassador Jasmin, and Second Associate Dairy Ambassador Donlick received training from a professional media trainer including practice sessions being interviewed in a casual “talk show” setting, as part of a farm tour, and via Zoom. Program sponsor American Dairy Association North East arranged the session.

“Confidently delivering the message you want the media to know, rather than being tied to the questions they ask, is a skill that can be learned and developed,” said Keith Kobland, a Syracuse-based media trainer. “I was very impressed with these young women–they’ll do an excellent job helping bridge the gap between dairy farmers and consumers.”

“It was great to get to practice and learn techniques for handling media interviews,” said Gabriella Taylor. “Katie, Annika, and I feel better prepared to represent New York’s dairy farmers!”

“The New York State Dairy Ambassador Program is an incredible educational opportunity for young people in New York’s agricultural industry,” said Rick Naczi, ADA North East CEO. “We’re looking forward to working with both this state team and all the local county promoters to develop new and powerful dairy advocates.”

The New York State Dairy Ambassador Program aims to build critical professional skills and confidence of young individuals who are passionate about the dairy industry. Ambassadors will be involved in statewide promotions and events. Individuals will gain experience collaborating with a team, knowledge of ADA North East promotion and marketing programs, and will participate in sessions led by experts in public speaking, social media, team building and leadership.

Last fall, ADA North East was asked to expand the dairy princess program to include both young men and women. The program changes will continue to roll out this spring, when young men will be able to compete for county Dairy Ambassador positions and ultimately for the state title. The core components of the program remain the same.