SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WWTI) — New York is ending its Dairy Princess program to focus on bringing gender inclusivity to representing the dairy industry.

American Dairy Association North East has officially launched its Dairy Ambassador Program, moving away from Dairy Princesses to include youth across different genders.

According to ADANE, it was asked in the Fall of 2021 to expand the Dairy Princess Program to include both young men and women, which eventually formed the Ambassador Program.

ADANE said that the New York State Dairy Ambassador Program will aim to build critical professional skills and confidence in young individuals who show passion for the dairy industry.

Similar to the previous Dairy Princess Program, Ambassadors will be involved in statewide promotions and events. The program changes will continue to roll out this spring when young men will be able to compete for county Dairy Ambassador positions and ultimately for the state title next winter.

New York’s first Dairy Ambassadors were named in late February during a live-streamed ceremony in Syracuse, New York.

Wayne County’s Gabriella Taylor was given the title of New York State Dairy Ambassador, and Katie Jasmin from Madison County and Annika Donlick from Cortland County were named the first and second Associate Ambassador respectively.

Contestants in the February 2022 competitions were judged on a personal interview, impromptu questions, a prepared speech, a product knowledge exam, writing skills, and informal interactions with others.

New York Dairy Ambassador program changes will continue to roll out this spring when young men will be able to compete for county Dairy Ambassador positions and ultimately for the state title next winter.