SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WWTI) — This week, the 2021 New York State Dairy Princess was crowned in Syracuse New York.

Shelby Benjamin, from Chenango County, was named Princess; Holly Niefergold, of Erie County was named first alternate; and Jefferson County’s Elizabeth Hyman was named 2nd alternate.

Elizabeth Hyman, a junior at Belleville Henderson Central School District has worked on her parents 600 acre dairy farm in Adams, New York since she was a child.

She shared her excitement, having the opportunity to represent dairy farmers statewide.

“Coming from a farm in upstate New York and being a part of the Jefferson County Dairy Promotion Program for multiple years, I’m definitely excited to represent them at the state level,” shared Elizabeth. “Growing up in the dairy industry, I’ve always seen how important it is and the community that’s within the dairy industry. It means a lot to me to be able to educate consumers about what happens on dairy farms and also advocate for the dairy farmers who are busy working and being dairy farmers.”

According to the American Dairy Association North East, Dairy Princesses have played an important role during the COVID-19 pandemic. They helped to promote milk distribution events organized by ADANE and assisted in handing out milk and dairy foods at various local events.

The 2021 competition had hosted 11 county dairy princesses. The competition included a personal interview, impromptu questions, a prepared adult speech, a product knowledge exam, writing skills test, and informal interaction with others.

Judges evaluated the contestants on their communication skills, knowledge of the dairy industry, poise and personality.

As being crowned second alternate, Elizabeth received a $600 scholarship and will assist the New York State Dairy Princess with training, appearances and other duties.