New Washington State Dairy Ambassadors Selected

Anna Teachman representing King-Pierce Counties is the 2017-2018 Washington State Dairy Ambassador. Anna is the daughter of Michael and Lorilyn Teachman of SeaTac, WA.  She was one of three finalists at the 62nd Annual Washington State Dairy Ambassador Coronation at the Byrnes Performing Arts Center in Arlington WA.

The new 2017-2018 Washington State Alternate Dairy Ambassadors are Juliana LeClair, representing Skagit County, the daughter of Joe and Annette LeClair of Mount Vernon, WA and Claire Leininger,representing Whatcom County, the daughter of Erik and Paula Leininger of Everson, WA.

The newly crowned WA State Dairy Ambassador stated “I am so excited to be representing the hard working dairy farmers of Washington for this year. Thank you Dairy Farmers for this opportunity!”

As a representative of the Dairy Farmers of Washington, the State Dairy Ambassador and Alternates will visit schools, attend local and state fairs, appear at Washington Interscholastic Activities Association (WIAA) events, Teacher of the Week and many more activities including addressing the Washington State Legislature promoting the health and nutrition benefits of dairy products.

The dairy industry was well represented by their 2016-2017 Washington State Dairy Ambassador Alicia Smaciarz, the daughter of Terry and Lana Smaciarz (Raymond) and Alternate State Dairy Ambassadors Jana Plagerman, the daughter of Leroy and Rhonda Plagerman (Lynden) and Tiana Peterson, daughter of Tom and Bianca Peterson (Graham). These young ladies traveled around the state educating students, parents and others on the positive impact and value of Washington’s dairy industry and the importance of dairy products.

Left to right in the picture: Claire Leininger, Juliana LeClair, Anna Teachman, Alicia Smaciarz, Tiana Peterson, Jana Plagerman

Left to right: Juliana LeClair, Alternate Ambassador; Anna Teachman, WA State Dairy Ambassador; Claire Leininger, Alternate Ambassador

Administrated by the Washington State Dairy Women, the Dairy Ambassador program began in 1955 and has mentored and supported outstanding young women.

WA State Dairy Ambassador Coronation to be held June 24th in Arlington

June is “Dairy Month” and also the traditional month for the Washington State Dairy Ambassador Contest.  This program provides a tremendous professional and educational opportunity for young women in Washington State.  The young women chosen to serve as Washington’s Ambassadors for Milk receive a generous college scholarship, internships, and extensive communications training.

“It will soon be time to say good bye and thank you to our 2016- 2017 State Dairy Ambassador Alicia Smaciarz (Raymond) and State Alternates Jana Plagerman (Lynden) and Tiana Peterson (Graham). They have done a fantastic job representing the Dairy Farmers of Washington this past year and I’m sure they will continue to be lifelong advocates of our industry. We wish them well as they move on to the next chapter in their lives….” commented Tammi Schoenbachler, State Ambassador Advisor.

Please join us for the 2017 Washington State Dairy Ambassador Coronation Saturday, June 24, 2017 at the Byrnes Performing Arts Center, 18821 Crown Ridge Blvd, Arlington, WA 98223.  Doors open at 5:00 pm, with the program beginning at 5:30 pm.  This year dinner will not be provided; instead there will be light Hors d’oeuvres and refreshments served during a short intermission. Tickets purchased by June 16th will be adults $20, students $10, and under 6 years free. Tickets purchased after June 16th or at the door will be adults $25, students $15, under 6 still free.  We are hoping these changes will make it easier for families, farmers and students to attend. For ticket information, please contact Gloria Edwards by email at or 360.273.7313.



Skagit County Contestant ~ Juliana LeClair from Skagit County, is the daughter of Joe and Annette LeClair of Mount Vernon, WA. She will be graduating from Mount Vernon Christian School this June. Juliana has lived her whole life on her family’s dairy farm feeding calves, doing field work, and other chores needing to be done. She has been a member of the Sunshine Dairy 4-H Club for 9 years where she has completed 14 dairy projects, held club office positions, won top showmanship awards, and was selected as a Washington State Delegate to the National 4 -H Dairy Conference. In 2015, Juliana was selected as the 2015-16 Washington State Jersey Queen Alternate. She plans on attending Washington State University to pursue a degree in Agricultural and Food Business Economics with a minor in Animal Sciences. Juliana would like to own her own dairy and have it open to the public to see how their food is produced.
Claire Leininger, from Whatcom County, is the daughter of Erik and Paula Leininger of Everson, Washington. She will graduate from Nooksack Valley High School this June. As a young girl, Claire had the opportunity help at her grandparents’ farm where they raised replacement heifers. Her father also works at a local dairy where she was able to visit frequently. Learning from these early experiences and with a passion for dairy, Claire was able to secure a job at a local dairy. She has responsibilities that include milking, cleaning stalls, moving cows, heat detecting, and herd health. Claire plans on attending Whatcom Community College to attain her Associates Degree. She then plans to attend Trinity Western Washington University to study Catholic Theology. Claire would like to have her own small farm to raise replacement heifers and have a job as a Catholic youth minister.
Anna Teachman, from King-Pierce Counties, is the daughter of Michael and Lorilyn Teachman of SeaTac, Washington. She has taken classes through Global Connections High School and Valley View Academy where she will graduate in June. Anna did not grow up on a dairy, but has had a deep interest in dairy cows since she was very young. She joined the Barn Buddies 4-H Club in 2012 and has projects in dairy, rabbits, dogs, cavies, and per-forming arts. She has exhibited her projects at both county and state fairs, winning top awards. Anna was selected as a Washington State Delegate to the National 4-H Dairy Conference and also the National 4-H Dairy Conference Planning Committee where she will help with planning the 2017 Conference. She plans on attending Washington State University to pursue degrees in Animal Sciences and Strategic Communications with a career goal of a Communications position with a dairy company or organization.

Legislative Update – June 3, 2017

Last week marked the end of the 1st Special Session of 2017, and Gov. Jay Inslee called the Legislature back into session for a second 30-day term. The Regular Session adjourned on April 23. These special sessions come as no surprise, as over the past several years the divided Legislature has typically needed special sessions to resolve its business.

Legislators have not come to agreement yet on an education plan to meet the Supreme Court’s McCleary mandate, whether to increase taxes, or the 2017-19 operating and capital budgets. However, they reached bipartisan agreement on a biennial transportation budget during the Regular Session. The end of the state’s fiscal year is June 30, so legislators will face increased pressure to reach a budget agreement by then.

During the past month, the governor has taken action on bills passed during the regular session. A full list of the governor’s actions can be found here.

Below is a list of issues that we worked on or were following during the legislative session, as well as updates on where those issues stand now. Some of the unresolved issues may again surface as the Legislature gets closer to a final go-home budget deal, presumably in late June.