Suzanne Amaral, a young woman from the Sonoma Valley active in the 4-H and FFA programs, is the new District 3 Dairy Princess, becoming the goodwill ambassador for the North Bay dairy industry for the next year.
Suzanne was crowned Dairy Princess before a crowd of 600 dairy industry members, their families and friends, on April 14 at the Veterans Memorial Building in Petaluma.
Retiring Dairy Princess Amanda Moretti of Petaluma, an animal science major at Cornell University in New York, ended her reign by turning over the title to Suzanne, and wishing her well as she represents the California dairy industry throughout the coming year.
Suzanne will represent District 3, which includes Sonoma, Marin, Napa, Lake, Mendocino and Solano counties. As Dairy Princess, she will play an important role on the California Milk Advisory Board’s Communications Services team in meeting community relations objectives.
Suzanne is the daughter of John and Doreen Amaral of Sonoma. She is a senior at Sonoma Valley High School and will enroll at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo this fall to study agricultural education.
Michelle McClure, the daughter of dairy ranchers Bob and Ruth McClure of Inverness, is first alternate Dairy Princess. Michelle currently attends Petaluma High School but also plans to continue her agricultural education at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo.
Samantha Mass, the daughter of Dennis and Gayleen Maas of Petaluma, is second alternate dairy princess. Samantha, a student at Petaluma High School, will study agriculture business at Cal Poly this fall.
Michelle and Samantha will assist the new District 3 Dairy Princess in her duties, which include speaking on behalf of the California dairy industry at schools, service clubs, with the media, and at numerous public events throughout the year.
In addition, the Dairy Princess and her Alternates will attend a training session, including presentation skills, a Milk Advisory Board orientation, and a tour of a processing facility.
Along with the excitement of naming the new Dairy Princess, Suzanne was awarded the Isolena Maestretti “Miss Vitality” award as well as the Florence Gilardoni award.
Master of Ceremonies for the gala evening was Ralph Sartori of Petaluma. Contestants were judged on poise, personality, speaking ability, education and dairy background. Judges for the contest were Dr. Marit Arana from A.L. Gilbert Company, Carolina Evangelo from the Kings County Dairy Princess Committee, and Joe Macon from Northern California Farm Credit.
Dairy rancher Judy Buttke of Petaluma was the chairperson of the District 3 Dairy Princess contest and ball.
The dinner was catered by Jimmy’s Catering Company, with music by Goodtime DJ.
Milk production is a leading agricultural endeavor in Sonoma and Marin counties, where generations of families have operated family dairies for well over a century. In Sonoma County, milk is second only two wine grapes in farm value.
California is the nation’s leading milk producer. It also produces more butter, ice cream, yogurt and nonfat dry milk than any other state. Dairy products made with Real California milk can be identified by the Real California Milk seal, which certifies that the products are made exclusively with milk produced on California dairy farms. The state is the second-largest producer of cheese, which is available nationally under the Real California Cheese seal.