Alyssa Weigle

Alyssa Weigle (left) was crowned 2013-2014 Somerset County Dairy Princess by outgoing dairy princess Cheyenne Saumier during a coronation ceremony held Friday at Berlin Alliance Church. (Photo by Sandra Lepley / April 28, 2013)

BERLIN — Alyssa Weigle, 19, of Stonycreek Township was crowned 2012-2013 Somerset County Dairy Princess during a coronation ceremony at Berlin Alliance Church Friday.

She was crowned by Cheyenne Saumier, outgoing princess from Greenville Township.

Dr. Bill Croushore, a local veterinarian who has a weekly column in the Daily American, served as the master of ceremonies for the event, which was attended by more than 100 people representing all aspects of the dairy industry.

Weigle, who is a student at Penn Highlands College in Richland, did a promenade, presented her skit "The Cat in the Hat Who Knows About That" and spoke to the audience about "Milk, the Drink for Athletes" in her original speech.

She is the daughter of Richard and Sandy Weigle of Berlin. Her parents and grandparents, Sharon and Ken Weigle, operate Weigle's Buying Station along Route 31 in Stonycreek Township. Her father, Rick, is the fifth generation who has bought and sold cows and worked with dairy farmers throughout the years.

Upon her graduation in May, she plans to transfer to the University of Carlow at the Greensburg campus to earn a bachelor's degree in child development. She works at Trinity Lutheran Child Care and Learning Center in Somerset and hopes to operate her own licensed preschool some day.

"Dairy products, especially milk, play an important part of our everyday life and are rich in calcium and have always been a must-have in our diets," said Weigle in her speech, which will be presented at the state competition later this year. "It is important to get the three recommended servings every day, especially if you are physically active like athletes."

She explained that studies show that drinking milk, especially chocolate milk, restores hydration better than other sports drinks and also replaced nine essential nutrients. She continued that chocolate milk has found its way into many training centers and gyms throughout the U.S. as a "recovering routine" for many athletes.

She also discussed how milk builds and restore muscles and helps maintain a healthy weight.

"With Pennsylvania dairy farmers producing over 10.7 million pounds of milk every year and being that it is so affordable, there is no reason that everyone cannot get the three recommended servings of dairy products each day. So whether you run, kick, jump or slide, remember to choose smart and that 'Milk is the Drink for Athlete.'"

Weigle is an 11-year member of the Brotherton Belles and Beaus 4-H Club and in her 4-H club she held the offices of president, vice president and treasurer as well as being a four-year member of the Somerset County Council. She is a first-year leader of the Arts and Crafts Project for the Brotherton Belles and Beaus Club.

While in 4-H she earned the silver clover of the ladder of achievement and participated in square dancing. She was also a 4-H camp counselor and participated in the 4-H exchange trip program and traveled to Seattle, Wash., and attended the 4-H State Leadership Conference four times.

She was a five-time supreme showman contestant at the Somerset County Fair, an eight-time showmanship winner and a seven-time Master Fitter. When asked what she looked forward to most as dairy princess, she replied that going into elementary schools and educating students about dairy will be exciting.

Also during the evening, outgoing Dairy Princess Cheyenne Saumier, a senior at Meyersdale, gave her farewell speech and thanked her many family members and friends and dairy contacts for all their help.

"It has been a long but very exciting year and I met many new people along the way," said Saumier. "It was an honor to promote the dairy industry for Somerset County. Thank you, Somerset County dairy farmers, for giving the opportunity to promote the dairy industry in Somerset County."

Saumier shows dairy heifers through 4-H and she is a member of the Meyersdale FFA Chapter, where she serves as second vice president. She is the daughter of Lawrence and LeeAnn Deal of Greenville Township. This past year, Saumier did 35 school promotions, 25 booth promotions, 72 media outreaches, two non-dairy meetings, four dairy meetings; and nine special events.

Also during the evening, Dorothy Naugle, who is retiring from Allied Milk Producers, was honored with a special award for being the Outstanding Dairy Promoter, a new award given out by the Pennsylvania Dairy Princess and Promotions Services Inc. The award was presented by Janet Harding Ruslavage, a former executive director of the organization.

Eva Strang, a retired teacher from North Star School District, and Paige Friedline, a former dairy princess contestant whose family is very involved in the dairy industry, are the new staff members of Allied Milk Producers.

Junior promoters, little misses and their escorts, dairy misses and dairy maids also participated in the event.