Cheyenne Saumier says farewell to dairy princess title
Cheyenne Saumier, 17, of Greenville Township in the Meyersdale area, says farewell as her reign of Somerset County Dairy Princess comes to a close the end of May. (Photo by Sandra Lepley / May 29, 2013)
She handed her dairy princess crown to Alyssa Weigle of Stonycreek Township in a special coronation ceremony April 26 at Berlin Alliance Church.
Even though Cheyenne is fondly looking back at her reign, she looks ahead with plans to attend Allegheny College of Maryland later this year and eventually Mt. Aloysius College for pediatric oncology. She believes being dairy princess has broadened her horizons and showed her the meaning of promoting a cause.
"This past year I have learned so much," said Cheyenne. "The experience has taught me that there are not many children who are still being taught the importance of drinking milk (3-Every-Day). It is our responsibility to educate children about the importance of the dairy industry in Somerset County."
She is the daughter of Lawrence and LeeAnn Deal and her younger siblings are Cody Saumier, a freshman at Meyersdale; Cathleen Deal, 9, and William Deal, 6; and stepbrothers, Cory, 16, and Caleb Murray Deal, 14.
In addition to her senior year at Meyersdale and being dairy princess this year, Cheyenne is also an active member of the Meyersdale FFA Chapter, where she has held the offices of parliamentarian, student adviser and second vice president. In FFA, her Student Agricultural Experience (SAE) project is pleasure horse and her Career Development Events (CDE) are parliamentary procedure and horse judging.
Some of her FFA activities were parliamentary procedure team, horse judging and national convention. She is also the secretary of White Oak 4-H Club and a member of French Club, band and chorus.
Cheyenne's enthusiasm is contagious and her schedule this past year shows her energetic personality and commitment to the dairy princess title. This past year she was in three parades (Somerset County Fair, Berlin Block Party and Pennsylvania Maple Festival) with her very own float. She attended 35 school promotions, nine special events, four dairy meetings and two non-dairy meetings. She did 25 booth promotions and three state events. She also had a total of 73 articles published.
She also did Meyersdale's Relay For Life and delivered materials to the first June baby for dairy month.
"The position of dairy princess is very important because if we were not out there promoting the good wholesome product we love, kids would not be drinking it," she said. "Instead they would be drinking some other energy drink."
Cheyenne fondly remembers going to Camp PARC at Laurel Hill State Park in Somerset County with Dorothy Naugle of Allied Milk Producers. Naugle took Cheyenne there to serve milkshakes and it was a great experience for the dairy princess, who spent the day there and found everyone to be "so loving."
This past year, Cheyenne has worked alongside many people who believe in the tradition of farming and she herself has developed an even deeper sense of pride for the tradition of farming in Somerset County.
"I feel farmers deserve credit for what they do because farmers are not appreciated," she pointed out. "They work every day, even on holidays. They don't take vacations and they don't get to call in sick when they have a stuffy nose. They work very hard for the product they love."
April 26 Cheyenne gave her farewell speech. She admits that there are so many people to thank. She says she couldn't have been dairy princess without the support of her parents and family. She also thanks all of the committee members and her court. She appreciates David Deal for allowing her to borrow wagons and for pulling the wagons in the parades, and for George Cabel for walking beside the float so no little ones would accidentally fall off.
She appreciates Duane and Andrea Stoltzfus for allowing her to borrow a wagon and pulling a wagon in the Berlin Block Party parade.
While she knows it will be difficult to move on, she wishes the new dairy princess, Alyssa Weigle, a great year and the ability to make many good memories.
"This year will fly by so fast," said Cheyenne in giving advice to Alyssa. "Just enjoy it. You will meet so many new people and make new friends. It may take you out of your comfort zone but in the end it will be worth it. Have the time of your life. I know I did."