Cazenovia teen Erin Curtis-Szalach was crowned the 2018-19 Madison County Dairy Princess on May 25. (courtesy Cornell Cooperative Extension)
Cazenovia teen Erin Curtis-Szalach recently was crowned the 2018-19 Madison County Dairy Princess. She will serve the dairy farmers of Madison County as their spokesperson county and state wide.
“I’m really excited,” Curtis-Szalach said. “I hope I can spread knowledge to kids as I do school programs and with consumers on facts about dairy and why it’s good for you.”
As Madison County Dairy Princess, Curtis-Szalach, 16, will promote the dairy industry and the health benefits of dairy products at school programs, farm meetings, and consumer meetings. She will represent the county dairy industry at parades, pageants and meetings at the county and state levels.
Before her selection this year as dairy princess, Curtis-Szalach was a county dairy ambassador for nine years – one of the members of the dairy princess’ court.
Curtis-Szalach, who just finished her sophomore year at Cazenovia High School, has been involved in the dairy industry for more than a decade — and is the eighth generation of the Curtis side of her family to be involved in the dairy business.
She has been around Ayrshire cattle her entire life and began showing cattle by the time she was five years old. Erin participates in the local 4-H Club, the Junior Ayrshire Club and attends the numerous dairy shows every year. She is a national Ayrshire youth book winner, member of the National Champion Ayrshire Quiz Bowl team and plans to pursue large animal veterinary studies at Cornell.
Curtis-Szalach was also recently elected president of the Cazenovia Aggies FFA Chapter.
Her champion cow, Colata (known officially as “Cedarcut Burdette Clove Colata,” which designates her farm, her sire, her mother and her own name) has won a vast number of state and national awards. Most recently, Colata took home her third title of Grand Champion of the International Junior Ayrshire Show in Madison, Wis., on October 3, 2017.
Jason Emerson is editor of the Cazenovia Republican and Eagle Bulletin newspapers.