FLEMINGTON, NJ - The new 2019 Hunterdon County Dairy Princess is Rachel Ewing of Franklin Township, a daughter of Michael and Colleen Ewing and incoming senior at North Hunterdon High School.
Her first major public appearance will be at the Hunterdon County 4-H and Agricultural Fair near Ringoes, which runs Wednesday through Sunday, Aug. 21 to Aug. 25.
Hunterdon has selected a dairy princess each year since 1965, one of just a handful of New Jersey counties crowning a princess annually for more than 50 years. They make appearances at fairs, events, meetings and supermarkets to encourage the use of milk and dairy products, mentioning the health benefits and other reasons.
While years ago most of the princesses were the daughters of dairy farmers and helped care for the cow herds, the decline in dairying in the Garden State has resulted in other young people taking the crown. Interest and knowledge of the milk production and dairy products are what counts.
Rachel is an example: she raises not cows but dairy goats. An active member of the Kick Butt Kids goat club and Hunterdon Deadeyes shooting sports club, both Hunterdon 4-H groups, she has been interested in the dairy industry for a long time. She’s raised dairy goats for seven years, and has learned to make cheese, ice cream and soap from the goat milk.
Some of Rachel’s other interests include camping, kayaking, shooting and working with animals. Her future plans include a career in either law enforcement or large animal veterinary studies.
As dairy princess, Rachel plans to help educate area youth of on “the importance of dairy products, dairy farmers and all others who work hard to maintain the dairy industry of Hunterdon County,” she said. She is supported by her court of Dairy Ambassadors, younger girls who assist in her duties. They sometimes go on to be a dairy princess; she was an ambassador in the past.
Rachel and her ambassadors will be helping out at the Hunterdon County 4-H and Ag Fair on Route 179. Be sure to stop by the Dairy Den on Friday, Aug. 23 at 2 p.m., when they will be making and giving away free ice cream sundaes. Other afternoons, samples of chocolate milk, yogurt and cheese will be given out.
For many years the new princess was chosen during June, Dairy Month. The promotion started out in 1937 as National Milk Month as a way to promote drinking milk. It was created to stabilize the dairy demand when production was at a surplus, but over time developed into an annual tradition that celebrates the contributions the dairy industry has made to the world.
After the National Dairy Council stepped in to promote the cause, the name was changed to Dairy Month and serves to both highlight the benefits of milk products and feature the hard-working dairy farmers.