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This Week’s LION: Dairy Maid Princess Katelyn Taylor

This Week’s LION: Dairy Maid Princess Katelyn Taylor

In a recent LION featuring the under-appreciated, one of those cited were farmers. A major story concerning farmers that happened this time last year somehow flew under the radar. Severe storms in Nebraska caused a massive hardship to farmers in that state that became so desperate the state authorities set up a livestock shelter at

In a recent LION featuring the under-appreciated, one of those cited were farmers. A major story concerning farmers that happened this time last year somehow flew under the radar. Severe storms in Nebraska caused a massive hardship to farmers in that state that became so desperate the state authorities set up a livestock shelter at the fairgrounds in Lincoln for their survival. But the animals needed food, and this is where the farmers from this area rose to the occasion.

The Pennsylvania Farm Bureau sent out an SOS, and the Lycoming County/Union County farmers accepted the challenge. Nine trailer loads of hay were contributed from farmers throughout the area, and volunteers offered to haul it to Nebraska. A local food manufacturer donated a 53-foot van filled with nutritional food. The event became such a big deal, a crowd assembled to send the caravan off, and a local pastor came to pray a blessing over the trip and the supplies. Others in the state joined in with this humanitarian mission, but the Lycoming County contribution was by far the largest in the state. This shipment was enthusiastically received in Nebraska, who were overwhelmed by the concern expressed by their fellow farmers back east.

What is amazing about this story is that it was organized and accomplished in just two weeks, spearheaded by Bret Taylor, a farmer in Washington Township, whose farm served as the storage sight and then the departure point for the aid to Nebraska. Mr. Taylor’s right-hand woman and tireless assistant for this activity was his sixteen-year-old daughter, Katelyn Taylor, otherwise known as the Dairy Maid Princess of Lycoming County.

Katelyn was featured in this column in 2019 for her stellar work in promoting dairy products. With fervent intensity, she did programs in daycare centers, senior citizens groups, public groups of all kinds, and even lobbied state representatives and senators in Harrisburg with milkshakes.

But, when the COVID crisis kicked in, the Dairy Maid could not do her work in person, so she decided to go virtual like others. On the Lycoming County Dairy Promotion website on Facebook, Katelyn now offers regular weekly virtual events. Monday is Mouth Watering Mondays, which is a dairy dinner entree. Saturday Savory Sweets involves a dessert that involves three dairy products. And now, in May, she has added a daily dairy trivia question. She currently has 305 followers, and they all must be well fed as well as entertained!

As Katelyn Taylor will be entering her senior year at Montgomery Area High School in the fall, her eyes are on the Pennsylvania State Dairy Maid contest to (hopefully) be held in Harrisburg in September. She will be competing against thirty other regional Dairy Maids like herself, and be asked to make a speech, a skit, a radio spot, and also display a scrapbook of her activities this past year, as well as a folding (tri-fold) display. Three of these young ladies will be chosen to travel throughout the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania for 2020-2021 to represent the Pennsylvania dairy industry as Dairy Maid Queens.

Katelyn has one more venture she hopes she can accomplish to help her gain the Diamond Level 4-H Award, which is the highest rank (equivalent to an Eagle Scout). She must host an event of community service. What Katelyn has been planning for months is a banquet on June 27th at the First United Methodist Church in Muncy for those in the dairy industry. The topic she has chosen is Mental Health and Farmer Awareness, as suicide has become a serious concern among farmers. Katelyn has lined up the food and a speaker who can share a message on this topic, but the one great variable is, of course, what events will be permitted at that time.

Even if Katelyn Taylor is not permitted to host her banquet, which would be a terrible shame not just for her sake but also for many area farmers, she should have all our support for the future. It is hard to imagine a better representative for dairy promotion than this incredibly dedicated, energetic, creative, and personable young lady. For those who wish to keep up with her endeavors, follow her on Facebook – Lycoming County Dairy Promotion page.

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