SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. & MODESTO, Calif., December 22, 2015 – The California Milk Advisory board (CMAB) today announced the names of the five float riders who will represent the state’s more than 1,400 dairy families on its inaugural “Adventures in Real Food” Rose Parade® Float. In honoring California dairy families and the foods they make possible, the CMAB selected young dairy and farming leaders who have dedicated their time and efforts to advocate for the industry.
“As an industry that brings an abundance of healthy products to the world and makes a significant economic contribution to the state, it is important that our Real California Milk float recognizes the next generation of dairy leadership that will continue the tradition of bringing real food to real families everywhere,” said CMAB CEO, John Talbot. “We are proud to have five terrific young dairy advocates represent the future of California dairy and help bring the ‘Adventures in Real Food’ message to Rose Parade viewers.”
All five of the float riders are active members of youth agriculture organizations and are looking forward to future careers within the state’s dairy industry. Riders include:
- Jordan Dunn, a 21-year-old native of Visalia, California. He has been involved in the dairy industry from a young age – as a fourth-generation farmer – when he started showing dairy cows and eventually won the highest title of Supreme Champion. Jordan is a member of the California Junior Holstein Association and the California Future Farmers of America. He is currently studying agricultural communications at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo.
- Karleen Lopez, a 17-year-old native of Los Banos, California, is a member of the California Junior Holstein Association and California Future Farmers of America. She is an avid learner with a passion for participating in dairy-based academic competitions. Karleen has her own dairy heifer and loves learning about the dairy industry because it provides so many of the products she enjoys. As a senior in high school, she will attend college next year to prepare her for a career in the field of agriculture journalism where she hopes to continue to inform the general public about the dairy industry and why she loves it.
- Natalie Massa, of Willows, California, grew up on her grandparents’ dairy where she fostered her passion for agriculture and the dairy industry. A 2015/2016 Dairy Princess, she is a third-year agribusiness major and water policy minor at California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo. Previously, she was involved in 4-H and the Future Farmers of America, showing market sheep, growing rice, and irrigating her family olive orchard on weekends. A 2015/2016 Dairy Princess, she is planning to return to that same family farm to continue working within the dairy industry.
- Katie Migliazzo, a third-generation dairy farmer and former Dairy Princess, hails from Atwater, California, and is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in dairy science and a minor in agriculture business at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. Katie started showing dairy cattle at an early age with the 4-H and the Future Farmers of America, eventually being active with a number of organizations, including her high school dairy and collegiate judging teams. With a lifelong passion for dairy, she remains committed to the industry thanks to the cattle, the people, and the friendships, which has inspired her to let others know more about the world she holds so near and dear.
- Makenzie Neves, of Turlock, California, is from a third-generation dairy farm started by her grandfather. She has shown dairy cattle since she was nine years old for both 4-H and the Future Farmers of America, and held numerous leadership positions in both organizations as well as outside organizations, including E. & J. Gallo’s Early Start Leadership Camp. Makenzie is a 2015/2016 Dairy Princess who is a freshman at California State University, Sacramento, majoring in communications with an emphasis in public relations. She plans to continue her career in the dairy industry as an event planner and public relations specialist.
Keeping with the parade’s “Find Your Adventure” theme, the CMAB’s float recognizes that culinary adventures start with dairy – from the cheese that tops our favorite pizzas to the ice cream that turns a banana into a celebration – all provided through the state’s more than 1,400 dairy farm families. Television and in-person viewers can watch the float make its debut in the parade on January 1, 2016, while those in the Pasadena-area can see the flowing river of milk rapids cascading over California’s rolling hills and valleys up close at the Showcase of Floats on January 1-3 in Pasadena, California.
About the Tournament of Roses®
The Tournament of Roses is a volunteer organization that annually hosts the Rose Parade®, the Rose Bowl Game® and a variety of associated events. Nine hundred thirty-five volunteer members act as ambassadors of the organization and contribute upwards of 80,000 hours of manpower each year. The 127th Rose parade presented by Honda and themed “Find Your Adventure,” will take place Friday, January 1, 2016, followed by the 102nd Rose Bowl Game presented by Northwestern Mutual. Learn more at www.tournamentofroses.com and on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.