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DeLaney McCann Is 2024 Delaware County Dairy Ambassador

Written By The Mountain Eagle on 6/7/24 | 6/7/24

By Liz Page

ANDES –  Acknowledging the hard work of dairy farmers in Delaware County is something Delaney McCann, a sophomore at Delaware Academy, pledges to do over the coming year, along with her dairy court. She and her new court were introduced during the 62nd annual dairy dinner at the Andes Hotel last Friday.

She is the daughter of Daniel McCann and Stephanie Trass, and is the second family member to work to promote the dairy industry as her older sister Meredith McCann goes off to college  after working with the promotions team as an ambassador for the past five years.

Delaney will have eight ambassadors to help her carry out promotions throughout the county and she and her team will jump right into it with the annual Dairy Fest in the town of Meredith on June 8 and 9.

June is Dairy Month and it is always a fitting time to welcome the new promotions team.

In her candid interview with Paige Burroughs, McCann said her favorite breed of cow is Holstein, her favorite color is blue, cheddar cheese is her favorite dairy product and she is looking forward to a trip to Seattle, Washington for the national convention of the  Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA), as a state officer.

She is also in Future Farmers of America and is a member of the Jazz and concert bands at Delaware Academy.  She plays basketball and softball and has been a member of the dairy promotions teams for the past four years. She has shown her cows at the Delaware County Fair in Walton for the past nine years.

One of her favorite events is 4-H camp where she said she enjoys "teaching all the kids about he importance of dairy farming in our community as well as the benefits of dairy products for your body". She has three Holstein cows, Aurora, Adelynn and Alyson and she is a member of the Delaware County Holstein Club and the South Kortright Calf Club.

"Let's talk about the real reason we are here and that is to promote the dairy industry and celebrate our dairy farmers and the very amazing product they produce - milk."

She went on to tell the audience about the healthy benefits of milk, with 13 essential nutrients that fuel your body and make it strong. Those nutrients include protein, calcium, potassium, vitamin D, vitamin B12, vitamin A, riboflavin, phosphorus, zinc, iodine and vitamin B5, she said.

"Without the dairy industry and dairy farmers, we would not have milk, and without milk, we would not be a able to enjoy other dairy products, such as yogurt, ice cream, cheese and butter.

She thanked the dairy framers for allowing her the opportunity to promote their industry and that she is looking forward to an exciting year of dairy promotions.

Helping her with her promotions will be Angela Cerosaletti, daughter of Amy and Paul Cerosaletti, of Davenport; Lillian and Madelyn Eklund,  daughters of Jim and Megan Eklund of Stamford; Amelia Groh, daughter of Lorah and Brian Groh, of Delhi; Madison Losie, of Davenport, daughter of Christine and Shannon Losie; Darbey  and Laney Mondore, of Andes, daughters of Jason and Amber Darling-Mondore; Jordan Odell, of Oneonta, daughter of Lance and Danielle Odell;  and Alexa Scofield, of Walton, daughter of Jason and Rebecca Scofield.

There will be milk punch receptions, presentations, handing out ribbons at dairy competitions, educating the public and school students and one of the favorites of almost all dairy promoters in Delaware County, the building and handing out of the giant ice cream sundae each year at the county fair in Walton.

Barb Hanselman, who chairs the Delaware County Dairy Promotion Committee, once again emceed this special event which is steeped in tradition. She welcomed state ambassador,  Evelyn Kersmanc, of Worcester, who will be charged with dairy promotions across the state and who said she has already logged  many miles since she was selected at the state pageant in February. She was recently recognized by Senator Richard Oberacker with a special resolution for her important role of attending special events to engage with and educate consumers n the nutritional benefits of milk and dairy foods, how farmers care for their cows and their land.  She has served as a dairy ambassador for Otsego County and said she is looking forward to working with the Delaware County Dairy Promotion Team over the coming year and thanked them for inviting her to dinner.

Hanselman spoke about her mother, Janice Smith, being honored at the state pageant with the Golden Cow Award, for her tireless promotion of the dairy industry. Smith has served county promotions for more than four decades in Delaware County. "She is the type of person who wants to see milk on every table and cheese in everybody's refrigerator," said Hanselman. She went on to say that Smith is best at helping others who may be new to dairy promotions, to gain confidence.

It provided a lead into the presentation of the annual Real Seal Award to Jill Coleman. "She was there to help us through a very challenging time and she has been with the promotions team since Jessica served as a crown bearer," said Hanselman. She pointed to the challenges over the past couple of years, coming off Covid, when there was no pageant and having a lapse in the age of eligible girls in the county to serve as ambassador. She also alluded to the changes in the program from dairy princess to the gender neutral ambassadors. Her daughter, Jessica Coleman, served two consecutive years as ambassador, through those times and Hanselman said Coleman, a teacher, often paid attention to the details. "She has been on the committee for the last couple of years and I don't know what we would have done without Jill and Jessica." 

Hanselman also explained that with the transition from a diary princess to a dairy ambassador, there was one dairy princess sash remaining, as she ordered in bulk to save money.. With Jessica stepping down, she said she was deserving of the sash which could never be awarded. She applauded the fact that she stepped up to carry on the dairy promotions, staying on to get them through the transition. 

Hanselman has been on the committee for 32 years and she said the most rewarding thing to see how the girls grow over their time in the program. "We can't call you a princess, but you we re always a lady, you were always kind and you were a cheerleader. We can't crown you, but we can give you the last sash. This still celebrates a princess." she said.

Jessica Coleman ends her second year as Delaware County Dairy Ambassador, with Gracie Deysenroth serving as the Associate Ambassador. However,  several of the same girls will be serving on the promotions team.

In her farewell, Gracie Deysenroth,  said that over the past year she and the dairy ambassadors attended the Dairy Fest in June, answered questions that people had about dairy and farming, presented their program at the Harpersfield Grange, made the giant sundae and handed out ribbons at the fair. She thanked all the farmers and dairy supporters for the opportunity to spread the work about the benefits of dairy and said she leaves with a heart full of gratitude for "Dairy is All You Need".

Coleman also said her farewell, saying that since she served as a crown bearer, she has  wanted to promote dairy and never dreamed she would become the Delaware County Alternate Dairy Princess. She said she enjoyed the school program, explaining the nutrition of dairy and reminding people how nutritious it is. She also enjoyed explaining that chocolate milk does not come from brown cows. She said she has made gallons of milk punch and went down the list of events she participated in. Her favorite, not surprisingly, was the giant ice cream sundae. She also enjoyed being part of the team. She thanked her parents and the farmers for the honor of being part of the county's dairy promotion team.

Among Friday's special guests, were Paul Cerosaletti, of the Cooperative Extension of Delaware County, who presented the annual Outstanding Young Farm Family Award (See separate story). He attended  along with James Romack, field representative and the interim CCE executive director, Nancy Grotevent: Duane Martin, of the New York Center for Agriculture Medicine and Health and Alyshia Korba of The Reporter and Liz Page from The Mountain Eagle.

Hanselman also thanked the members of the Dairy Committee, including Amy Cerosaletti, Meg Eklund, Stephanie McCann and Amber Darling Mondore. She also thanked Derek Curl and the staff at the Andes Hotel, Heather Magnan of the Watershed Ag Council, who helped with the program; Clark Farms for the milk; the Coleman family for the table decorations and  the promotions committee for the cookies and sundae fixings. She also thanked Huff Ice Cream fore donating the ice cream for the sundae at the fair.

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