Support Us Button Widget

Celebrating National Dairy Month in Madison with Alice in Dairyland

Alice in Dairyland Ashley Hagenow is busy this time of year in the 608.

Two girls with a baby cow sit with Alice in Dairyland who holds a I Love Wisconsin Dairy Farmers sign.png

Alice in Dairyland Ashley Hagenow promotes the dairy industry throughout the state. | Photo via Alice in Dairyland

It’s National Dairy Month, and we take dairy pretty seriously. (Did you know that Wisconsin is home to nearly a quarter of the nation’s dairy farms?)

Alice in Dairyland is a program that started in 1934 to promote Wisconsin’s diverse agriculture industry, and is appointed by
the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection.

Ashley Hagenow is the 76th Alice in Dairyland. Hagenow grew up in Poynette and participated in 4-H and FFA before graduating from the University of Minnesota. We talked to Hagenow about her role, coming celebrations, and, well, dairy.

Why did you want to be Alice in Dairyland?
AH: I believe in the power that Alice has to connect with different audiences across the state on behalf of Wisconsin agriculture. There is great value in storytelling on behalf of Wisconsin’s farmers and processors and sharing more about where our food comes from. It is an honor to share those stories every day as Wisconsin’s official agricultural ambassador.

A young woman in a black dress wearing a sash and tiara stands next to a dairy cow.png

Alice in Dairyland Ashley Hagenow is a 24-year-old from Poynette. | Photo via Alice in Dairyland

What’s the best thing about being Alice?
AH: The ability to connect with audiences of all ages. I love how younger audience members look up to Alice and want to learn more about agriculture. In the same breath, I love connecting with older audience members to hear their stories about growing up on one of Wisconsin’s family-owned farms or their experiences in agriculture throughout their lifetime.

What are some interesting dairy facts our readers might not know?
AH: Wisconsin’s dairy industry contributes $45.6 billion annually to our state’s economy, which is more than the combined total of Florida citrus and Idaho potatoes.

How many jobs is that?
AH: 157,000, and every dollar generated by this industry produces another $1.73 in additional revenue for the state.

How much milk do Wisconsin’s cows produce?
AH: Every month, Wisconsin dairy cows produce 2.6 billion pounds of milk.

That must make for a lot of cheese...
AH: We produce approximately 25% of the world’s supply of specialty cheese, and our cheese production is double that of any other state in the country.

Are there any events you’ll be attending for National Dairy Month?
AH: I will attend the Dane County Breakfast on the Farm, Sauk County Dairy Breakfast, Walworth County Dairy Breakfast, Watertown Agri-Business Club’s Dairy Breakfast, and the Columbia County Moo-Day Brunch!

National Dairy Month events:

Saturday, June 8

Dane County Breakfast on the Farm | 7-11:30 a.m. | Blue Star Dairy Farms, 7502 Patton Rd., DeForest | $10 | Attendees can explore the farm, enjoy live entertainment, and participate in educational activities.
Sauk County Dairy Breakfast | 7-11:00 a.m. | United Dreams Dairy LLC, E8810 Zech Rd., North Freedom | $8 | Eat heartily while listening to music, seeing clog dancing, and taking a tour.

Saturday, June 15

Columbia County Moo-Day Brunch | 9 a.m.-1 p.m. | Fifth Generation Homestead
N1484 O’Connor Rd., Lodi | $9 | Activities include kid’s games, pedal pull, a petting zoo, music, clog dancing, and cheese sampling.
Walworth County Dairy Breakfast | 7-11:30 a.m. | Davis Family Farm, N999 County Road K, Sharon | $10 | Have a full community breakfast before taking a tour of the farm.

Saturday, June 15-Sunday, June 16

Watertown Agri-Business Club’s Dairy Breakfast | 7 a.m.-12:30 p.m. | Gudenkauf Farm, 8232 Little Coffee Rd., Watertown | $11 | The annual fundraiser supports local youth through scholarships and community projects.