Annette Hacker, director,
Office: (515) 294-4777
Teresa Jurchen, Iowa State student, (712) 779-0321, firstname.lastname@example.org
Dan Kuester, News Service, (515) 294-0704, email@example.com
ISU agriculture student adds title of princess that's sweet as honey
AMES, Iowa -- One Iowa State University student is certain to create a 'buzz' when she returns to campus this fall.
But she's used to it.
That's because Teresa Jurchen, a senior at Iowa State, was recently named 2006 American Honey Princess for the American Beekeeping Federation.
Climbing the ladder from Southwest Iowa Honey Queen in 2004, to Iowa Honey Queen in 2005, to her current role took hard work.
"The contestants were tested on knowledge of the beekeeping industry and our ability to communicate with beekeepers and the public," she said. As princess, she makes many public appearances and speeches. Those skills will be important as she pursues her career as a teacher in agriculture.
As princess, Jurchen travels around the country making presentations as an ambassador for an entire industry.
"I get requests daily to attend shows, state fairs and other events," she said. "I'm going to Tennessee and Indiana this summer."
Her busy-as-a-bee schedule will require Jurchen to reduce her class load by a few hours to accommodate all her honey commitments. But Jurchen doesn't seem to mind.
"I love being princess and letting people know about the products we get from bees," she said. "Beekeeping is a vital industry in the United States. We all know that honey is used in food and baked goods, but bees also give us products used in polishes, cosmetics and sewing."
Jurchen, a Cumberland native studying agriculture education and international agriculture, got started working with a beekeeper in her hometown a few years ago and has fallen in love with the industry.
"I have become fascinated with the hundreds of things that come from bees," she said.
Working with bees always brings the possibility of a sting. But Jurchen says that's not a real concern.
"They're really very docile," she said. "If you're careful and treat them with respect, you'll be fine."
"I love being princess and letting people know about the products we get from bees."