Wisconsin's 60th Alice in Dairyland will be crowned Saturday night. And have times changed.
Sixty years ago the criteria for the state's dairy and ag ambassador were quite different.
The Ag Department's Robin Engle says back then she was a beauty queen just out of high school. But today, the young lady chosen to represent the state's dairy industry is a public relations professional with four years experience or education in agriculture or communications.
Today's Alice must be well versed in agricultural issues, even the controversial ones. She makes numerous public appearances in the state and must be comfortable in front of a classroom full of elementary students or a group of farmers.
Sixty years ago, Alice and a chaperone logged one hundred and fifty thousand miles a year traveling the country. Today she drives the highways of Wisconsin accompanied by only her cell phone.
This year's Alice in Dairyland will be chosen Saturday night in Eau Claire after being judged on public speaking and their knowledge of the industry.
The five finalists are from Prairie du Sac, Athens, Rio, Muscoda and Fennimore.