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Thorp woman among six 2020 Alice in Dairyland finalists

The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) last week announced the six top candidates for the 73rd Alice in Dairyland, moving one step closer to the selection of the next Alice.

Following an extensive interview process over the next eight weeks, the 73rd Alice in Dairyland will be selected from among the top candidates at the conclusion of the Alice in Dairyland Finals, scheduled for May 14-16 at various locations throughout Walworth County.

Alice in Dairyland is a full-time communications professional serving as Wisconsin’s agricultural ambassador. Each Alice is employed by DATCP for one year and travels thousands of miles across the state, presenting to students, completing media interviews and attending community events to promote the state’s agriculture industry. The 73rd Alice in Dairyland will begin serving June 1, 2020.

“The Alice in Dairyland selection process is unique in that it takes your communications and interpersonal skills to the next level and allows each candidate to showcase the public relations skills required for being Wisconsin’s agricultural ambassador,” said 72nd Alice in Dairyland Abigail Martin. “The personal growth the top candidates will experience just by being a part of the process will carry far into their future careers.”

The six top candidates are: Rachel Gerbitz of Milton, Erica Helmer of Plymouth, Stephanie Hoff of Thorp, Kaitlin Konder of Glenwood City, Julia Nunes of Chippewa Falls and Grace Schroeder of Cashton.

Stephanie Hoff is a Wisconsin girl through and through. She loves everything Wisconsin has to offer, including cheese of every type and flavor, a bitter cold winter, and the state’s sports teams. Hoff found her passion in agriculture by being involved in her FFA chapter, showing pigs at the Clark County Fair, and eating at countless dairy breakfasts. Wanting to give back to agriculture, she continued her involvement into college by becoming involved with the Association of Women in Agriculture. She’s interned with the Wisconsin Farms Oral History Project, the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, and the Babcock Hall Dairy Plant. She also had her own radio show where she featured women in STEM fields, including several agricultural segments. After graduating from UW-Madison with a degree in life sciences communication in December of 2019, she took a reporting position with WisBusiness and

Hoff said, “My job as Alice will be to use my skills in journalism, broadcasting and marketing to promote Wisconsin’s vastly diverse agriculture industry and educate the public about Wisconsin agriculture.”

In this highly visible and fast-paced position, Alice in Dairyland travels throughout the state teaching rural and urban audiences of all ages about Wisconsin’s extensive agricultural industry. In the position, Alice cultivates relationships with television, radio and print media outlets; writes and delivers speeches; and utilizes social media to tell the stories of Wisconsin agriculture. Additional duties include developing and executing marketing plans, delivering classroom presentations, and networking with industry professionals.

Each year, a different Wisconsin county hosts the Alice in Dairyland interview and finals activities, with Walworth County serving as the host county for 2020. For event information, visit