Young Woman from York County Named 2011 Pennsylvania Dairy Princess

Sep 28, 2011, 09:38 ET from Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture

Two Alternates Named from Lancaster, Somerset Counties

HARRISBURG, Pa., Sept. 28, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Gabrielle Elizabeth Murphy, of Airville, York County, was crowned the 55th Pennsylvania Dairy Princess on Sept. 24 after a three-day competition among 33 county dairy princesses.

Murphy is the daughter of Donna and Greg Kennard, and Sheri and Patrick Murphy. She was crowned by outgoing Pennsylvania Dairy Princess Marissa Weidensaul of Union County.

Contestants were judged on public speaking skills, knowledge of the dairy industry, poise and personality. Each contestant prepared a speech, skit, radio spot and poster display promoting milk and dairy products, submitted a scrapbook of promotion activities, and participated in a personal interview with a panel of four judges.

Murphy was the speech winner and was an honorable-mention winner in the poster display contest.

A sophomore at Delaware Valley College, Murphy is studying livestock management and is active in the collegiate Dairy Society, FFA, Farm Bureau and the Block and Bridle Club. A 2010 graduate of Red Lion Area High School, she works part-time at Pennview Dairy Farm, helps on her grandparents' Alta Vista West dairy farm and plans to become a large animal veterinarian. Murphy is a Little League baseball umpire and a junior firefighter for the Airville Volunteer Fire Company.

Two alternates were chosen to support the new princess. The first alternate is Deidra Bollinger, of Manheim, Lancaster County. The daughter of Ruby and Darryl Bollinger, she is a senior at Elizabethtown Area High School where she is active in the FFA. Her family operates Darr-Lynn Holsteins, and she is a member of Lancaster County Milk Duds 4-H Dairy Club and Elizabethtown Grange, and enjoys showing cattle and playing the viola.

Bollinger, the runner-up speech and an honorable-mention radio spot winner, was crowned by outgoing first alternate Jesse Kline of Franklin County.

Chosen as second alternate, Somerset County's Courtney Brant is the 16-year-old daughter of Mark and Shannon Brant. Her grandparents operate Silver Valley Farms, were they milk nearly 300 Holsteins, of which Brant owns and shows four. Brant is involved with the Somerset County Fair and the Maple Festival and is a member of the Pennsylvania Junior Holstein Association. A junior at Meyersdale Area High School, she is on the varsity cross country and track and field teams.

Brant, an honorable-mention presentation winner, was crowned by outgoing second alternate Elizabeth Weber of Mercer County.

In addition to Murphy, Bollinger and Brant, four other finalists were chosen:

  • Samantha Bliss, Huntingdon County Dairy Princess, and daughter of Jacquita and Timothy Bliss was runner-up presentation winner;
  • Renee Grove, Franklin County Dairy Princess, and daughter of Jeff and Linda Grove;
  • Caitlyn Pool, Berks County Dairy Princess, and daughter of Martha and David Pool, was the presentation winner and an honorable-mention radio spot winner; and
  • Kelley Jay, Bedford County Dairy Princess, and daughter of Tammy and Bryan Jay, was voted "Miss Congeniality" by the other county princesses.

Michala Kuhlman of Bradford County was the scrapbook winner and honorable mention presentation winner. Amanda Sautner of Bucks County was the poster display winner and runner-up scrapbook winner.

Honorable-mention scrapbook awards went to Dawn Franck of SUN Area, Sydney Rasp of Butler County, Victoria Daubert of Schuylkill County and Macy Fisher of Mifflin County.

Fisher was the radio spot winner, Daubert was the runner-up and Rasp was honorable mention.

Rounding out the speech winners were honorable mention to Ashley Blair of Warren County, Gwen Anderson of Crawford County and Shawna Weller of Perry County.

Lebanon County's Jenna Krall was runner-up winner in the poster display contest. Indiana County's Christina Cohn was an honorable mention presentation winner, with honorable mention poster display awards going to Allison Keifer of Susquehanna County, and Butler County's Rasp.

Melissa DeHart of Butler County was named the Tina M. Shultz Award winner. Along with her county team, she completed 887 promotions and traveled 21,332 miles, reaching more than 13,000 school children. She is the daughter of William and Bonnie DeHart of Evans City.

The four overall judges were Shelly Mayer, Fond du Lac, Wis.; Walt Jones, Little York, N.Y.; Mary Creek, Hagerstown, Md.; and Scott Sink, Blacksburg, Va.

Presentation and poster display judges were Janet Archer, Pylesville, Md.; Christine Greig, Linesville, Crawford County; and Robert Pepple, Oxford, Chester County. Scrapbook and radio spot judges were Emily Caldwell, Harrisburg, Dauphin County; and Megan Gunning, Langhorne, Bucks County.

Kirk Sattazahn of Womelsdorf, Berks County, served as master of ceremonies.

For the next year, the new state royalty team will represent Pennsylvania's dairy industry and its 7,400 dairy farm families. The dairy industry is the state's top agriculture industry, contributing nearly $5 billion to the economy and 45,000 jobs across the state.

Media contact: Jean Kummer, 717-772-3510

Editor's note: Photos are available at, under "2011 Show Photos."

SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture