Lancaster farming. (Lancaster, Pa., etc.) 1955-current, August 06, 1994, Image 20

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    A2O-Lancaster Farming, Saturday, August 6, 1994
Dupuis Puts Professional Mark In Dairy Promotion
(Continued from Page A 1)
hundreds of news releases.
And she has spent many long
hours in the office making phone
calls, nailing down details, ensur
ing that the job was done, and that
it was done to the best of her
But, the 28-year-old has
Friday was her last day with the
She said she will indeed miss
her job, but she resigned to pursue
a law degree, t
Basically the equivalent of a
doctorate, she said she intends to
complete an intensive 3-year prog
ram and eventually specialize in
civil law, especially property and
agricultural rights. She is to go to
school at the University of Pitts
burgh Law School.
“I don’t know where I’ll end up,
especially three years down the
road,” she said, but she added that
the time is right for her to pursue
another goal.
“1 had pondered going to gradu
ate school. When I graduated
(from college with a dairy science
degree) I knew I would get a gra
duate degree.
“Last summer, I took the LS ATs
(Law Scholastic Aptitude Test)
and began the application process.
If I would get a law degree, I could
come back and help the industry.
“With more and more regula
tion, nutrient management prob
lems, water problems ... ag has
been under the gun and I would
want to help out.”
It’s a risk.
Especially today, with job
markets very tight and many peo
ple with impressive talents and
skills unemployed because of
American business’s recent
penchant for widespread cuts in
manpower to increase profit mar
gins and reduce long-term, non
productive debt associated with
tabor and retirement costs.
According to Brian Ross, prog
ram manager, 132 applications
were submitted over four weeks,
the majority within the first two
weeks, for Betsy’s job.
“There are a lot of people out
there looking for jobs,” she said.
“A lot of people, when they looked
closer at this job, didn’t realize
what it entailed. You have to love
the dairy industry.”
She said for her, it wasn’t the
same as if she were to be working
long hours for another product or
“You have to have respect for
the people you work for,” Dupuis
said. “I know I do. I think it makes
your work better.”
Further, she said, “It’s essential
that you understand where (dairy
producers) are coming from and
what they expect from you. I helps
you set goals to accomplish what
you set out to accomplish.”
She also said that promoting
dairy products has been a toil of
love. “What helped is the product,
it’s wholesomeness. Outside of the
dairy industry, you’re not likely to
be working for something as good
and healthy.”
But then, at the same time, there
are many who know Dupuis who
have said that she is one of the first
people they would hire to represent
them in a legal battle.
“She has the strength and she
has a lot of backbone,” Ross said
of Dupuis. “She can represent me
anytime. I heard a lot of people say
that. She has the tenacity to be
there when needed and never give
“They (her supporters) know
how dedicated she is, how she
attacks a problem,” Ross said.
“They know that whatever she put
her mind to, she will do well.”
Starting with the PDPP in Janu
ary 1989 as a promotions special
ist, Dupuis began with coordinat
ing county promotion efforts in the
western portion of the state her
first year. She took over coordinat
ing statewide promotions the sec
ond year.
At that time, there was also
another woman who worked at
PDPP. During the first year the
two shared promotion efforts, but
then the two split the responsibili
ties between them with one doing
the communications duties and
Dupuis taking over the
It was a time of rapid change and
growth for the PDPP, following
the tempo of change in the working
relationships between milk mark
eting agencies.
It was not an easy time.
Prior to some more recent deve
lopments, Pennsylvania’s dairy
promotion problem was that it was
an undefined jigsaw puzzle that
overlapped in places and couldn’t
be found in others.
It was not organized, it was not
mature. It was alive, but was far
from defined.
This was due to the fact that
Pennsylvania’s dairy industry is
In most states, dairy producers
have the option of sending a dime
of the mandatory 15-cent-per
hundred pounds of milk promotion
assessment to the state or the feder
al promotional program, because
that’s how those areas of milk pro
duction and promotion developed.
Pennsylvania has milk coming
and going, multiple federal mark
eting orders, and a variety of mark
ets which can be served, in addi
tion to a strong degree of
One problem that occured was
that competition began to evolve
within the dairy promotion side of
the dairy industry, with some dis
turbing effects.
Promotional agencies author*-
ized by the federal and state law to
receive assessment money, if they
met certain guidelines, began spr
inging up and competing for funds.
Farmers can direct where some of
their assessment goes. It doesn’t
have to go to a local agency.
And with promotion agencies
had every reason to grow more
competitive with each other in
order to attract farmer promotion
funds, the agencies has little rea
son to cooperate in promoting the
consumption of dairy products.
And at the same time, there was
some discomfort within the dairy
industry because the original Pen
nsylvania Milk Promtion and
Marketing Program, as formed
under former state Agriculture
Secretary Penrose Hollowell, was
run by the state Department of
Agriculture under its Bureau of
Market Development.
That changed in 1987 with the
amendment of the Commodity
Marketing Act. The farmer-run
advisory board to the promotion
and marketing program suddenly
went from being an advisory body
to an administrative body.
They hired their own people,
sought out expertise and carried on
with the efforts to create an inde
pendent, effective and efficient
Betsy was one of the first they
Over the years, the PDPP prog
ram developed more focus and
direction, while Dupuis took on
wearing a number of different hats.
In fact, when the other woman res
igned, Dupuis ended up taking
From the left, Betsy Dupuis goes over scheduling end promotions plenning with
Holly Gerke, of Lsncester, whose wes selected to replace Dupuis as communications
Betsy Dupuis stands on the left with dairy promoters Pa. Dairy Princess Jennifer
Grimes; Nadine Houck, promotions specialist; Amelia Saunders, Warren County -
Dairy Princess; and Mare) Raub, Perry County Dairy Princess.
over responsibility for the whole
program for a year before the
PDPP board of directors hired
Brian Ross as general manager.
It is generally acknowledged
that Dupuis did an outstanding job
holding down the fort until help
could arrive.
“It’s true,” Ross said. “A lot of
people wouldn’t have been able to
survive that process. She was here
during the maturation process of
the program and was instrumental
in helping the program as it went
through growing pains.
“She had the skills and the back
ground to contribute to the success
of the program,” he said. “I think
we’re right now at a point when
things have come together very
well, and, looking back, Betsy had
done a lot for the program.”
When she started, she was
already well on her way to deve
loping the kind of mature confi
dence that comes with taking on
big jobs and seeing them through.
She grew up on her parents’
small farm in Bellefonte where,
through raising and showing dairy
calves in 4-H, she eventually
wound up owning and managing
14 Jersey cattle. She said both her
parents were professors at the col
lege, but got her involved in 4-H.
And although she and her father
had never intended to start milking
cows, when her first show calf, a
Jersey named “Rosebud,” grew up,
she had become so attatched that
she couldn’t bear to sell her.
Thus began hand milking and
two years later buying a Delaval
milking unit. Eventually they
bought a 210-gallon cooler and
sold milk for cheese.
Dupuis had the herd on test and
was showing and marketing the
animals. Her responsibilities
involved milking, feeding, and
maintaining health and breeding
records on her animals.
“In 1982,1 was very luckly to
place in the top third in Harrisburg
and qualify for Louisville,
The more Dupuis became
involved with 4-H and dairy, the
more she became involved.
She had been the Centre County
dairy princess in 1983-84 and stay
ed with the program as public rela
tions chair from 1984 through
1986 and again in 1987-88. That’s
where she prepared press releases
and radio commercials and deve
loped a rapport with local media.
Being a dairy princess exposed
her to more frequent and more
confidence-required public speak
ing opportunities.
She attended Penn State Univer
sity, originally set her sights on
becoming a large animal veterina
rian, but changed that after work
ing for a vet and also doing some
dairy promotion work.
“After the combination of prom
otion and working with vets, I
found out that being a large animal
practitioner is not what I though it
would be, and I wasn’t ready for
the commitment. And I really like
She took a basic journalism
course and “decided I liked writing
that way.”
She concentrated on achieving a
4-year-degree in dairy science, but
took a number of additional
courses work in communications
and public relations.
Again, as seems to be a charac
teric of Betsy, she was involved.
She served as president and vice
president of the PSU Agricultural
Student Council and was a College
of Agriculture Student Senator to
the University Faculty Senate.
The she was editor and origina
tor of the PSU College of Agricul
ture Yearbook, “Pioneer.” She also
helped sell more than $l,OOO in
advertising to help cover the costs
of publication.
She was also on the Undergra
duate Student Government
Academic Assembly, the College
of Agriculture Course of Study
Committee, and the College of
Agriculture’s Undergraduate Edu
cation Task Force.
And, since she has a penchant
for Jerseys, she was also involved
with the Pennsylvania Jersey
Cattle Club, serving as a junior
club advisor from 1989 to 1994.
For her, the pursuit of a law
degree is natural, at this time.
“In my case, it makes a lot of
sense,” she said. “I’m not married,
and I have no commitments. I
don’t know how hard it is, but I
don’t want distractions, and it’s
not fair to (PDPP) to stay on (and
compromise the quality of effort).
It made more sense to make a clean
break,” she said.
“At some point, I would like to
come back and apply .what I’ve
learned, in the (dairy) industry.”