Evelyn Kersmanc of Worcester, Otsego County, was named New York State Dairy Ambassador on Saturday, Feb. 24, at a competition coordinated by American Dairy Association North East that manages the state program. She is the daughter of Jennifer and Richard Kersmanc.

As New York State Dairy Ambassador, Kersmanc will serve as a spokesperson and advocate for dairy farmers by attending special events to engage with and educate consumers on the nutritional benefits of milk and dairy foods, how farmers care for their cows and their land in order to produce a sustainable product, and the importance of the dairy industry to the New York state economy. Kersmanc will also receive a $2,000 scholarship and an internship opportunity with ADA North East.

Olivia Maslyn of Farmington, Ontario County, was selected as First Associate State Dairy Ambassador. The daughter of Pete and Julie Maslyn, she will receive a $1,500 scholarship.

Justin Mesch from Collins, Erie County, and son of Jason and Lisa Mesch was named Second Associate State Dairy Ambassador. He receives a $1,000 scholarship.

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.

Participants were judged on a personal interview, impromptu questions, a prepared speech, a product knowledge exam, writing skills, and informal interaction with others, and evaluated based on their communication skills and knowledge of the dairy industry.

Competition judges were Anna Richards CEO/Founder 2020 Consulting LLC, Skaneateles, N.Y.; Brittany Snyder, Dairy Excellence Foundation, Harrisburg, Pa.; and Jenni Tilton-Flood, dairy farmer and rural advocate, Clinton, Maine.

The competition completed the yearlong term of Arianna Aman of Tioga County. Watch the livestream of the event.