DES MOINES, Iowa – Rachel Grober, a 17-year-old from Ionia, was crowned the 64th Iowa Dairy Princess during an evening ceremony at the Iowa State Fairgrounds in Des Moines tonight. Grober, daughter of Todd and Sherry Grober, will spend the year serving as a goodwill ambassador for Iowa’s dairy farmers. Throughout her year-long reign she will make public appearances to connect with consumers and help them understand the dedication of dairy farm families to their cows, their land and the milk they produce.
Grober represents the Iowa Guernsey Breeders Association and will be a senior at New Hampton High School.
Josie Buddenberg, 18, of Decorah, was named Alternate Iowa Dairy Princess. Buddenberg, the daughter of Bruce and Julie Buddenberg, will share duties with the princess. She represents Winneshiek County and will be a freshman at Des Moines Area Community College in the fall where she will study agri-business.
Ally Bierschenk, 17, was named Miss Congeniality. She is the daughter of Cary and Jennifer Bierschenk of Van Horne and represents Benton County.
Cynthia Hamlett, 18, daughter of Mark and Jennifer Hamlett of Aurora, was recognized for her performance in the public speaking portion of the contest. She represents Fayette County.
Thirteen young women who are from dairy farms or closely linked to the dairy community competed for the Iowa Dairy Princess title, with the judging held August 8 and 9 in Ankeny. Winners were chosen on the basis of their knowledge of dairy farming and the dairy industry, public speaking skills and enthusiasm for representing Iowa’s dairy farm families.
From left are: Carmen Wille, Brittany Putz, Cynthia Hamlett, Grace Gadient, Ally Bierschenk, Brylie Volker, Lakaya Lyon, Josie Buddenberg, Jenna Chapman, Jordan Kalenske, Rachel Grober, Reba Gaul and Aubreigh Machande
The outgoing 2016-17 Iowa Dairy Princess is Katelyn Goldsmith, daughter of Jim and Kristi Goldsmith of Earlville, and the Alternate Princess is Shana Hilgerson, daughter of Scott and Suzy Hilgerson of Elkader. Their reigns will be completed at the end of the Iowa State Fair, and the new Princess and Alternate will begin their duties Sept. 1.