Abigail Shaw, Oxford, Mass., has been crowned the 61st National Jersey Queen.
Abby was presented the Charlene Nardone Crown by 2017 National Jersey Queen Lakaya Lyon on November 3, 2018 during the Jersey Junior Banquet in Louisville, Ky.
She will represent Jersey breeders for the next year with her participation in events such as the 151st Annual Meeting of the American Jersey Cattle Association, World Dairy Expo and The 67th All American Jersey Shows & Sales.
The National Jersey Queen contest lasted two days with nine outstanding young women from across the country competing for the coveted crown.
Abby is a sophomore attending Assumption College, Worcester, Mass., majoring in education. A decade of 4-H work has brought out her leadership skills, developed her abilities as a dairy cattle judge, and above all, been the showcase for her Registered Jerseys. “At this point in my show career,” she says, “I am exhibiting all bred and owned heifers and cows,” winning Supreme Champion two years in a row in Connecticut and the Grand Champion three consecutive years at the Massachusetts state 4-H show.
Abby has served as Massachusetts Jersey Princess for two years, giving her the opportunity to participate in meetings of the state dairy promotion board and to speak to a crucial audience—the consumer.
Her platform for the coming year is Jerseys and creating responsibility in youth. “Without Jerseys,” she says, “I would not know what it is to be responsible for the health and well-being of anyone other than myself. I would not know what it is to devote countless hours and make sacrifices to accomplish the goals I have set for myself. Jerseys help develop responsibility in young people because they require a great amount of attention, hard work, and patience. I believe that I can be an excellent spokesperson for the breed and an example of how Jerseys can create responsibility and diligence in youth as I enter adulthood.”
Allison Foster, Portage, Wis., was named first alternate in the contest. “Sharing the Jersey Story” is what Allison does every minute of every day, of every week throughout the year. “My love for Jerseys was inherited, but my passion for Jerseys grows the more I learn about them. There are things we know, both by experience and by research, that we must share with other producers to encourage them to give Jerseys a try, and to consumers so we can increase the demand for Jersey products.” Allison will graduate in December 2019 from the University of Wisconsin-Platteville with a degree in dairy science with long-term aims of a career either as a large-animal veterinarian or in dairy nutrition.
Willow Voegtlen, Beloit, Wis., was the second alternate. Willow hails from Bedford County, Pennsylvania, where she was part of its dairy princess program for 12 years doing more than a thousand promotions connecting dairy farmers with consumers. She graduated from the UW-Madison Farm and Industry Short Course program this year and is now full-time calf care lead and assistant herdsman at Barlass Jerseys LLC in Janesville, Wis.
The Queen and her court presented awards for the National Jersey Jug Futurity and The 66th All American Jersey Show, plus assisted with the clerking of The All American Jersey Sale.
The Charlene Nardone National Jersey Queen Fund provided scholarships of $500, $300 and $200 to the Queen and two alternates.
For more information, follow the National Jersey Queen program on Facebook@USJerseyQueen.
About the American Jersey Cattle Association
The American Jersey Cattle Association, organized in 1868, compiles and maintains animal identification and performance data on Jersey cattle and provides services that support genetic improvement and greater profitability through increasing the value of and demand for Registered Jersey™ cattle and genetics, and Jersey milk and milk products. For more information on the association’s complete line of services for dairy business owners, visit the website at www.USJersey.com or connect at Facebook.com/USJersey.