Kristen Kaste, representing Tillamook County, was crowned the 2012 Oregon Dairy Princess-Ambassador during ceremonies January 14, 2012 at the 53rd Annual Coronation Banquet hosted by the Oregon Dairy Women.
Kaste was crowned by outgoing 2011 Oregon Dairy Princess-Ambassador, Jessica Budge, to the theme “Main Street USA” amid over 300 guests and seven other Oregon County Princess-Ambassador finalists.
The finalists were evaluated by a three judge panel over the course of two days. In addition to Saturday evening’s onstage personal interview and 4 minute dairy related speech, the judges conducted personal interviews, evaluated an impromptu speech, creative commercial for a dairy product and a mock classroom presentation. Each finalist was awarded points based on communications and speaking ability, knowledge of the dairy industry, appearance and poise, and extracurricular activities and scholarship.
Kaste, 20, is a graduate of Tillamook High School and is currently attending Oregon State University, Class of 2014. She plans to obtain a degree in Agriculture, then pursue a Masters Degree in Education in order to get a job promoting the dairy industry or agriculture in general. Her parents are Nancy and Neal Kaste. She was raised on the family dairy farm, Hightide Holsteins, assisting with farm chores. While in high school, Kaste won many 4-H and FFA awards with her dairy animals.
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In addition, Ms. Kaste was a member of the National Honor Society, a member of the jazz, concert, pep and honor bands (lead trumpet in the band), concert and honor choir, vocal ensemble and varsity swim team. She has been active in volunteer activities for her community. At Oregon State University she is a member of the Dairy Club and Dairy Judging Team and is on the OSU College of Agriculture Deans List.
Kaste is looking forward to the opportunity to inform and educate the public about the dairy industry. She will spend the next year traveling statewide attending fairs, town meetings and public events as a representative of Oregon’s dairy farmers. She will spend much of her reign in Oregon elementary schools delivering educational presentations about life on a dairy farm and the nutritional benefits of consuming dairy products.
Upon being crowned, Kaste received more than $3000 in scholarships and will receive additional scholarships at the end of her reign. Outgoing 2011 ODPA, Jessica Budge, was awarded more than $14,000 total in scholarships for her year dedicated to the Oregon dairy industry, personally informing over 10,000 students of the benefits of dairy products and life on a dairy farm.
Kara Hansen, representing Lane County was named First Alternate Oregon Dairy Princess-Ambassador as well as being voted to receive the Congeniality Award by the other finalists. Other candidates for the 2012 competition were: Teri McGettigan representing Columbia County; Sadie Tempel representing Linn & Benton Counties; Madeleine Coleman representing Marion County; Bergen Rueck representing Multnomah County; Cheyanne Heesacker representing Washington County and Brittany Steele representing Yamhill County.
The Oregon Dairy Princess-Ambassador scholarship program is available to qualified young women applicants with a family background in dairy farming, dairy 4-H or FFA experience, employed in the dairy industry or has a parent with involvement in dairy support industries who are interested in promoting the benefits of dairy farming and dairy products. For more information regarding qualifications, please contact DairyPrincessBiz@aol.com.
—From Oregon Dairy Women news release