DelVal student chosen for Pennsylvania award

Sep 28, 2011

Sophomore Gabrielle Murphy, an aspiring veterinarian and community activist, won a state-wide competition Sept. 24 and as a result will head a team of more than 200 people promoting one of Pennsylvania’s most important industries.

Murphy, a 2010 graduate of Red Lion Area Senior High School in York County, is a member of several campus organizations, including the Dairy Society and FFA. At home, she is a junior firefighter for the Airville Volunteer Fire Company and a member of the Chanceford Church Youth Group.

Upon graduation, she would like to attend veterinary school and eventually treat large animals.

In her latest achievement, Murphy was selected from among 33 contestants as the 2011-2012 Pennsylvania Dairy Princess. Winners are chosen based on their knowledge of the dairy industry, public speaking skills and personalities.

“I’m really excited about being selected,” said Murphy. “I’m excited to travel around the state with the other two girls (her alternates) as a team to help promote the dairy industry.”

Pennsylvania Dairy Princess & Promotion Services Executive Director Jessica Armacost said there are approximately 282 junior dairy princesses across the state, as well as county princesses and two alternates.

“She’ll lead that team,” Armacost said of Murphy.

“I feel that I’ve learned more about leadership through the program,” said Murphy. “I’m excited to help improve the dairy industry and serve as a leader for younger girls in the program. We will be showing good leadership skills to girls in the program age 8 and up.”

As part of her duties, Murphy will be invited to attend a Women in Sustainable Agriculture Conference, is scheduled to kick off a 5K race to benefit osteoporosis research and will  help with an educational event that will bring inner city students out to farms.

Armacost said the program looks for candidates that are “warm and friendly,” who have “deep love of and loyalty for the dairy industry.”

She said competition winners “have to be well informed and speak with confidence to large groups with enthusiasm and passion.”

Murphy is a past county princess.

Candidates must come from a dairy background, own dairy animals, be employed by the dairy industry or an agribusiness that serves the industry or have a parent who works in the dairy industry or an agribusiness that serves it.

As a dairy princess, Murphy will serve as a spokesperson for the dairy industry and lead the other princesses.

The princesses help promote the industry through speaking engagements, school promotions, newspapers, radio and television appearances, meetings and special events.

Murphy works part-time at Pennview Dairy Farm. She is the daughter of Donna and Greg Kennard and Sheri and Patrick Murphy.

Her grandparents Harry and Beth Bickel own Alta Vista West, a 285-acre farm with 67 Holstein cows.