Select Page

The Cream of the Crop

Maryland has been keeping a fantastic tradition alive for over six decades. It’s the Maryland Dairy Princess Program, and it’s been weaving together the best of agriculture, community spirit and youth development for a whopping 62 years.

This program is a chance for young women passionate about dairy to become spokespeople, spreading the word about all the amazing things dairy brings to our lives. From visiting schools to appearing at community events and even attending civic meetings, these young women are on a mission to share the message about the goodness of milk and dairy products.

For these participants, it’s not just about wearing a crown — it’s about growing personally and professionally. “For the young ladies who participate, this program offers amazing opportunities for them to grow and chart their futures,” says Susan Summers, the president of the Maryland Dairy Princess Association. “They receive training in marketing, public speaking, media relations, nutrition and more.”

This year’s Maryland Dairy Princess, Katie Jones, hails from Harford County. Having grown up on and worked on dairy farms and diving deep into animal science classes at school, Katie’s got agriculture in her blood. And, she’s all about sharing her love for farming with kids everywhere, even planning to do so after her time as Dairy Princess is over. “I want to become more closely connected to the farming community and promote this lifestyle and how impactful it truly is,” Katie says. “I am most looking forward to doing more events involving children and continuing to tell the experiences I have had and promoting dairy even after I hang up my crown and sash.”

As Alternate Maryland Dairy Princess, Layla Shepherd from Montgomery County brings her infectious energy and 4-H know-how to the position. With her background in raising animals and working at the Montgomery County Fair, Layla’s agricultural roots are firmly planted. She loves to chat with anyone about the dairy industry, showing just how passionate she is about it. “I have very much enjoyed attending dairy banquets and hearing stories about long-time dairy farmers and their successes in dairy breeding and farming. I love that the dairy farm culture is multi-generational,” Layla says. “I also love visiting schools and telling the kids about my cows and how important it is to incorporate dairy into a healthy diet.”

The Maryland Dairy Princess Program is a platform of empowerment and advocacy for dairy farming. By giving these young women the tools, know-how and platform to champion agriculture, the program isn’t just changing their lives — it’s making sure that everyone in Maryland knows about dairy farming. So here’s to Katie, Layla and all the future dairy princesses out there — you are the cream of the crop!

Hungry for more? Read six facts about dairy cows. Discover where your milk comes from. Find Maryland dairy farms. Watch the exciting live announcement of the future Princesses at the Maryland State Fair this August. Interested in joining the Royal Dairy promotion team? Email

Sign up for our newsletter and find us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.