RARITAN TWP. - June is Dairy Month across the country and the local celebration includes the selection of the new county dairy princess.
The 2016-2017 Hunterdon County Dairy Princess is Amanda Wengryn, 19, of Ringoes. The alternate (runner-up) Dairy Princess is Skylar Delbeni, 17, also from Ringoes. She would serve in the absence of princess and the two also participate together in milk promotion events. They were recently crowned in an event at Thee Ice Cream Parlor here.
Hunterdon has chosen a dairy princess each year since 1965 and this makes it one of just a handful of counties in New Jersey which have crowned a princess annually for more than 50 years. They make various public appearances at fairs, events, meetings and supermarket to encourage the use of milk and dairy products, mentioning their health benefits. Wengryn’s name might be familiar because she also served as the 2014-2015 county princess.
Young ladies are allowed to seek the county title more than once, explained Sarah Phillips, chair of the county Dairy Princess Committee. Phillips, a West Amwell resident, was herself the 2010-2011 county princess and went on to be chosen the state princess.
Wengryn graduated from South Hunterdon High School in 2015 and is now a sophomore at Delaware Valley University in Doylestown, Pa., studying dairy science. At the school, she is an active member in the Dairy Society, western equestrian team, collegiate FFA and Sigma Alpha.
Outside of school, she is in her last year of 4-H in Hunterdon and serves as vice president of the New Jersey Jr. Holstein Association. She is the daughter of Janet and George Wengryn Jr. and the granddaughter of Joan and Charles Rogers and Beulah and George Wengryn. She is a fourth generation dairy farmer on her family dairy, the Rogers’ Penn-Breeze Farm.
Wengryn has gone to the National Holstein Convention, competing in the dairy bowl or dairy jeopardy contests since 2008. She was on the New Jersey State Dairy Judging team in 2013, which let her compete at the World Dairy Expo.
According to Phillips, she is very passionate about the dairy industry - which takes up a majority of her time - but enjoys bowling when she can fit it in.
Skylar Delbeni, the alternate, is a student at Hunterdon Central High School. The daughter of Kate Walker, she is in her sixth year as a member of the Mount Airy Dairy 4-H Club, currently serving as vice president. Skylar will be attending the World Dairy Expo this year as a member of the New Jersey State Dairy Judging Team. In her free time, she participates in the school choir and enjoys spending time with her cows, Basil, Bea and Jade.
Dairy Month started out as National Milk Month in 1937 as a way to promote drinking milk. It was initially 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.