MCALISTERVILLE - Juniata County's 2012-2012 Dairy Princess, Leanna Hornberger, used her beloved niece, Li'l Dairy Miss Syvilla O'Donnell, in her skit for the event at which she was crowned.
"I read her a book about how dairy products are good for you,'' she explained. "I read to her normally.''
That was in keeping with Hornberger's goal as dairy princess - "I want to teach young children how dairy is good for you,'' she said.
Sentinel file photo
Juniata County Dairy Princess Leanna Hornberger plans a busy year in 2012 teaching youngsters the benefits of dairy products.
Hornberger received her tiara at a dairy princess pageant June 10 at Walker Grange, Mexico.
She is the granddaughter of Wayne Sr. and Shirley Dressler, who operated a dairy farm for 35 years. That's how she became interested in the dairy industry, she said.
The new princess served as Juniata County's Dairy Ambassador last year, so she was well acquainted with dairy promotion and the duties of the dairy princess.
"I wanted to be dairy princess for a long time,'' she said. "Everybody told me what a great opportunity it was, what a great experience.'' Her year as dairy ambassador solidified that desire.
Hornberger has been a member of Juniata County 4-H since she was 8 years old and has had projects in rabbits, sheep, chickens, dairy, square-dancing and Teen Leaders. She has won enough ribbons over the years to be "happy with them,'' she said. She plans to continue in 4-H.
She also helped the 4-H teen leaders doing Farm-City Week presentations in elementary schools of the county for several years, doing the dairy lesson which involved making butter
Hornberger, 17, studies cosmetology at the Mifflin County Career and Technology Center in Lewistown. She has built up enough credits at East Juniata High School that she can attend there full-time in her senior year.
The McAlisterville teen will continue her membership in the East Juniata FFA Chapter.
She plans to get her cosmetology license and eventually to work as a hairdresser in nursing homes like her mother, Denise Hornberger. Denise Hornberger is a hairdresser at Brookline Manor and Brookline Village.
The princess has been a nursing home volunteer since she was 8 or 9 years old, first at North Ridge, McAlisterville, and then at Brookline. She helps the nurses and aides with activities, helps with the beauty shop, just wherever she's needed.
The princess can also be found working as a server at Burger King in Mifflintown.
She is a member of Church of the Open Door in Evendale, and an active member of its youth group.
Hornberger plans to attend the state Dairy Princess Seminar July 10-13 at Elizabethtown College and will compete in the Pennsylvania Dairy Princess Pageant in Camp Hill Sept. 20-22.
To schedule an appearance of the dairy princess at a meeting or event, call Karen Shearer at 527-2221.