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Delaware County Celebrates Local Dairy Industry at Banquet

Domeyer Crowned 2024 Delaware County Dairy Princess

The Delaware County dairy industry celebrated the past year at the Delaware County Dairy Banquet on Saturday night.

Around five hundred people turned out to the Delaware County Fairgrounds Pavilion in Manchester, with some picking up meals to go through their drive-thru option and many others joining the Delaware County Dairy Promoters for their 66th annual banquet. 

New royalty was crowned (pictured above), with Alia Domeyer winning the title of 2024 Delaware County Dairy Princess. 

Alia, the daughter of Dewey and Jeannie Domeyer, grew up on a small sheep farm near Delhi. She and her brothers raise dairy heifers, which they show. And along with showing dairy, she’s been involved in Dairy Quiz Bowl and dairy judging, which has taken her overseas. 

Bianka Ronnebaum of Earlville and Maleah Demmer of Dundee were named the 2024 Delaware County Dairy Princess Alternates – with the judges noting that all three candidates could have easily competed at the next level. 

They will serve alongside new little royalty. Seven-year old Emma Ries of Earlville was crowned Delaware County Little Miss Squirt.

Eloise Kunde of Manchester was crowned Alternate Little Miss Squirt.

Delaware County Dairy Princess Haley Ronnebaum of Earlville handed over her reign after a year of promoting the local dairy industry.

The Dairy Promoters announced that only 52 dairy farms remain in Delaware County – but despite the slowly declining number, Ronnebaum agrees with the Dairy Promoters that the local dairy industry remains strong.

Several awards were presented to those in the Delaware County dairy industry at Saturday night’s banquet. The Distinguished Dairy Service Award was awarded to Don Rausch, the Exemplary Dairy Employee Award was given to John Fangman and the Golden Butterknife Award was presented to The Pizza Place. The Young Dairy Family Award went to Michael and Andrea Carroll of rural Ryan and the Distinguished Dairy Family Award was presented to Gene and Dixie Wenthold of rural Dyersville (unable to attend, not pictured below)

Delaware County’s Top Five Herd Awards were presented to Tom and Cherrie Engelken, Ronnebaum Dairy, Mormann Dairy LLC, Kruse Dairy Farm LLC and Terry Deutmeyer. 

Cow and Herd Recognition Awards were presented to Tom and Cherrie Engelken for Holstein, Ayrshire and Brown Swiss; Becca Hermann for Guernsey; and Kunde Jersey Farm for Jersey.

A new award, the Iron Granny, is dedicated to all the long-lasting high-producing cows that help to make a herd successful. Twenty cows were selected for the Iron Granny, with Ronnebaum Dairy recognized as having the top cow. Other award winners include Tom Engelken, Donna Kunde, Mormann Dairy and Kruse Dairy.

Herds recognized with an ECM of 10% or greater than the Iowa average were Tom Engelken, Ronnebaum Dairy, Mormann Dairy LLC, Kruse Dairy LLC, Terry Deutmeyer, Jim Goldsmith and Tom & Sarah Kruse & Family. 

Most Improved Herd Award was presented to Chris and Jacob Manternach, with the Low Somatic Cell Award given to Ronnebaum Dairy. 

This year’s Delaware County Dairy Scholarship winners were Sydney Demmer, Lucas Orcutt and Dannielle Burkle. 

And retiring board members were recognized – Dan Kunde, Sherri Goedken and Matthew Kramer.

Delaware County Dairy Promoters President Nicole Engelken and Vice President Leah Hageman say they really appreciate everyone who helped make the Dairy Banquet a success this year. 


2023 and 2024 Delaware County Dairy Royalty


Herd Award Winners


Breed Winners


Iron Granny Winner


Distinguished Dairy Service Award Winner


Golden Butterknife Award Winner


Exemplary Dairy Employee Award Winner


Young Dairy Family Award Winner


Dairy Scholarship Winners


Retiring Dairy Promoters Members


Delaware County Dairy Promoters


Delaware County Dairy Promoters’ Auction


photos courtesy of Janelle Tucker/KMCH

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