Meet the 2021-2022 Dairy Ambassadors!

Each year at ADAI, five students are selected ranging from high school seniors to college undergraduates to serve as Indiana Dairy Ambassadors for a one-year term. These students use their abilities to communicate with the general public about dairy farming, dairy nutrition, and modern agricultural practices. Traveling around the state, they develop public speaking and leadership skills to become leaders in the dairy community. Our Dairy Ambassadors have been hard at work this summer promoting milk, cheese, yogurt and more at many events across the state. They continue their responsibilities on campus this school year, sharing their dairy stories with fellow students and their communities. Get to know our Dairy Ambassadors below!

Brieanna Slonaker is a graduate of Plymouth High School and is currently attending Purdue University where she is studying Agriculture Education. Growing up on her family’s farm she was able to partake in the day-to-day operations of growing corn and soybeans along with a few head of cattle. She is a 10 year 4-H member having shown dairy feeder calves, dairy steers, a dairy heifer, swine, and dog obedience. She also participated in FFA, National Honors Society, Marshall County Farm Bureau Youth Board Member, Marshall County Extension Board Youth Member, and trained Service Dogs with Northern Indiana Service Dogs. Brieanna is actively involved in several organizations at Purdue with her favorite being the Purdue Dairy Club where she serves as the Social Media Director and Historian. Brieanna’s future goals include working closely with farmers and students in the classroom to teach about agriculture and the advancements that are being made everyday. Her dream job is to be a voice between consumers and farmers to help bridge the communication gap. A quote that has pushed her to strive and achieve her goals is “There are no limits to what you can accomplish, except for the limits you put on your own thinking” – Brian Tracy.   She looks forward to continuing spreading her passion about the dairy industry as a Dairy Ambassador!

Aleah Wright is a 2021 graduate of Cowan High School from Muncie. She is attending Purdue University this fall to major in agribusiness. Throughout high school, she was active in my community, participating in sports and extracurricular activities. Aleah grew up on a fourth generation dairy and grain farm located in Cowan south of Muncie. As a child, she would take every opportunity she was given to work on the farm. Her favorite weekends were spent helping her dad, uncles, and grandpa milk the cows and feed the calves. Her summers were spent in the barns preparing the dairy calves and dairy goats for the Delaware County 4-H Fair. Growing up on a farm taught her the value of hard work, patience, perseverance, and dedication. Aleah is passionate about educating others on where their food comes from, nutrition, and farming. She is so excited for the opportunity to serve as a Dairy Ambassador!

Jackie Mudd is a freshman at Purdue University majoring in Animal Sciences. She grew up on a small registered Holstein farm in northern Indiana, showing cows at numerous places throughout the Midwest. Jackie plans to either become a large animal vet or bovine embryologist in the future. She is also a part of the 2021 Purdue VetUp! Champions program and works at Decatur Veterinary Hospital. Jackie is involved in the Indiana Junior Holstein Association where she serves as President and was previously named the Indiana Holstein Princess, representing the breed at shows and events around the state. She is also a graduate of the Indiana Dairy Youth Academy where she traveled the United States and part of Canada learning about different aspects of the industry. She has a passion for the dairy industry and dairy cows, and is excited to serve as a Dairy Ambassador by representing Indiana dairy farmers.

Lane Bollenbacher was born and raised on a fourth-generation dairy farm where he spent his early years developing a passion for the industry through raising the baby calves. He then became active in showing and judging dairy cattle through 4-H. In high school he participated is sports and FFA where he served as chapter president. He graduated from Argos Community High School in a small class of forty which allowed him to learn the importance of small towns and how local dairies can positively impact them. He finished 4-H as a ten-year member of the dairy project. He currently is attending Purdue University where he is majoring in Animal Science and is an active member of the Purdue Dairy Club serving as Vice President of Members. During the summer, he continues to work at the family dairy where he takes on increasing responsibility of the herd, consisting of six hundred Holstein and two hundred Jersey milk cows. He is excited for the opportunity to participate in the Dairy Ambassador program as he continues to learn how to advocate for an industry that has so much to offer.

Sydney McGiffen was raised by two children of small family dairy farms in southwestern and central Indiana. She loved hearing stories about her dad’s family farm and seeing the old glass milk bottles in his collection. Now that her family only keeps enough cows around for 4-H shows and to supply their families with dairy products, she can see the benefits of raising dairy and the trials that come with competing in the industry. Because of the experiences she had growing up, Sydney spent her high school years promoting and advocating for the dairy industry on her county 4-H Junior Leaders team and through the Indiana 4-H Dairy Youth Academy. She is passionate about dairy because it is an industry that deserves good advocates and a better view in the public eye.