Elizabeth Fossum crowned Iowa Dairy Princess Alternate for 2023-2024, also named Miss Congeniality ...

Elizabeth Fossum, 18-year-old daughter of Kevin and Julie Fossum of Waterville, was crowned the Alternate Iowa Dairy Princess for 2023-2024 during an evening ceremony held at the Iowa State Fairgrounds in Des Moines Wednesday, August 9. Fossum represented Allamakee County in this year’s competition and graduated from Waukon High School this spring. She will be a freshman this fall at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville studying agriculture business.

In addition to her Alternate Iowa Dairy Princess crown, Fossum also earned the title of Miss Congeniality at the event. As Alternate Iowa Dairy Princess, Fossum will share duties with this year’s newly-crowned Iowa Dairy Princess, Ashley Elsbernd of Calmar, who was representing Winneshiek County. Throughout their year-long reign, the Iowa Dairy Royalty pair will make public appearances to connect with consumers and help them understand the dedication of dairy farm families to their cows, their land, and the milk they produce.

Ashley Elsbernd, age 19, was crowned the 70th Iowa Dairy Princess. She is the daughter of Peter and Kristi Elsbernd of Calmar and will be a junior at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville this fall, where she studies dairy science and agriculture business. Elsbernd was also recognized for her performance in the public speaking portion of the contest.

Six candidates competed for the Iowa Dairy Princess title this year, with the judging held August 8 and 9 in Ankeny. The winners were selected based on an application, answers to essay questions, interview and public speaking skills, professionalism, and ability to advocate for dairy farmers. The outgoing 2022-2023 Iowa Dairy Princess was Naomi Scott, daughter of Mike and Kathleen Scott of Westgate, and the Alternate Princess was Emily Manweiler, daughter of Wil and Karen Manweiler of Sumner. Their reigns will be completed at the end of the month, and the new Princess and Alternate will begin their duties September 1.

Fossum’s crowning as Alternate Iowa Dairy Princess marks the 18th time in the history of the contest that a young lady from Allamakee County has worn the crown of either Iowa Dairy Princess or Alternate Iowa Dairy Princess, the most of any county in the state of Iowa. Allamakee County has been home to four of the last eight Alternate Iowa Dairy Princesses. Photo by Midwest Dairy.