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Former Turlock High student, Dairy Princess to ride in Rose Parade
Makenzie Neves
Turlock High School alumna Makenzie Neves will be riding on the first-ever California Milk Advisory Board float during the 127th Rose Parade on Friday. - photo by Photo Contributed

Turlock High School alumna Makenzie Neves won’t be ringing in the New Year with just any ordinary celebration.  

Instead, the 2015 District 6 Dairy Princess will be in Pasadena riding on the first-ever California Milk Advisory Board float during the 127th Rose Parade, the worldwide celebration of flowers, music and sports “unequaled anywhere else in the world.”

“This is the first year that the California Milk Advisory Board is having a float in the Rose Parade, so I am not only excited and honored to be representing the California Milk Advisory Board and the dairy industry across California, but my district as well,” said Neves.

Neves 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 FFA, and held numerous leadership positions in both organizations as well as outside organizations, including E. & J. Gallo’s Early Start Leadership Camp. She is currently 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.

“I’m most excited to represent my district on a national scale. Everyone is going to be watching,” said Neves. “This float will show that we are real people showing our passion, people who love what we do. We care for our animals and our industry as a whole.”

The District 6 Dairy Princess is one of five float riders who was selected to represent the state’s more than 1,400 dairy families on the CMAB “Adventures in Real Food” Rose Parade float. Other riders include young dairy leaders from the FFA, California Holstein Association, junior members of the California Jersey Cattle Association and other California Dairy Princess ambassadors.

 “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.”

The CMAB’s inaugural float design will celebrate Real California Milk with a colorful display of flowers, animation, music and young California dairy leaders. Keeping with the parade’s “Find Your Adventure” theme, the CMAB’s float recognizes that culinary adventures start with dairy—from the cheese on pizza to the ice cream in a banana split—all provided by the state’s more than 1,400 dairy farm families.

“The Rose Parade is a California icon that dates back more than 100 years, with a history as rich as California’s 200-year-old dairy tradition,” said Talbot. “What better way to showcase the milk and dairy products that make California the number one dairy state while aligning with our new ‘Return to Real’ ad campaign in support of Real California dairy foods and the dairy farmers who help bring them to the table.”

The “Adventures in Real Food” float will show how consumers can find adventure on their plate with an exciting meal or by being outdoors with the people and food they love. The float will feature a “flowing river of milk rapids;” grilled cheese sandwich, baked potato and pizza rafts; a premium cheddar cheese wheel that represents the California sun; and a banana split “satellite” unit featuring California ice cream, creamy yogurt, and a variety of savory cheeses and butter.

Viewers can watch the float make its debut during the 127th Rose Parade starting at 8 a.m. Friday on select TV stations. Check with local broadcast listings for more information.