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By LeAnn R. Ralph
MENOMONIE — Dunn County has been selected to host the Alice in Dairyland finals in 2021.
Dunn County Board Supervisor James Anderson, chair of the community resources and tourism committee, made the announcement at the May 15 Dunn County Board meeting.
“Folks, it’s official. Dunn County will be host for the Alice in Dairyland finals in May of 2021,” Anderson said.
Walworth County will be the host for Alice in Dairyland in 2020, he said.
Abigail Martin of Milton, Rock County, was just selected as the state’s 72nd Alice in Dairyland, Anderson noted.
Alice in Dairyland is a one-year, full-time public relations professional employed by the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection.
According to the DATCP website, one Alice in Dairyland has been from Dunn County — Sylvia (Lee) Kafkas of Colfax in 1962.
The Alice in Dairyland “year” starts in June, so from June of this year until June of 2020, Walworth County will be recipient of monthly visits from Alice in Dairyland, Anderson said.
Beginning in June of 2020 until June of 2021, Alice in Dairyland will come to Dunn County for one or two visits per month, he said.
A committee will determine where Alice in Dairyland will visit when she comes to Dunn County, Anderson said.
In March of 2021, 16 to 18 candidates for Alice in Dairyland will come to Dunn County for the first round of competition. Five or six candidates will come back to Dunn County for the final selection in May of 2021 for the coronation of the 74th Alice in Dairyland, Anderson said.
When the 74th Alice in Dairyland is selected, about 30 of the previous Alice in Dairylands and their families will be here in Dunn County, too, he said.
Katie Wantoch, UW-Extension, will be heading up the Dunn County Alice in Dairyland steering committee, Anderson said.
“We are proud and happy to make the announcement,” he said.
According to background information included with the resolution approved by the Dunn County Board in April supporting the application for Dunn County to host the Alice in Dairyland competition, Dunn County ranks in the top 10 in the state for potato production and in the top 10 in the United States for dark red kidney beans. Milk sales in Dunn County also continue to be robust in conjunction with cattle sales.
During her year in the position, Alice in Dairyland travels more than 30,000 miles around the state promoting Wisconsin agriculture and conducts hundreds of media interviews, speeches and school presentations.
The application to host Alice in Dairyland was submitted by Extension Dunn County, the Menomonie Area Chamber of Commerce/Explore Menomonie, and the Dunn County Economic Development Corporation.