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DAIRY ST R Special Edition

May 10, 2014

There’s nothing else like Princess Kay McWilliam reflects on her reign in the Milk Way BY MISSY MUSSMAN Staff writer

WINGER, Minn. – MarJenna McWilliam has realized how much of an impact Princess Kay makes in Minnesota, especially after receiving a photo of a young girl dressing up as her for Halloween this past year. “I adore children, and it was such a heartwarming moment,” McWilliam said. “I used to look up to Princess Kay as a kid, and now I get to be that role model for other little kids. I realized I really am making an impact.” That moment has stuck with McWilliam, the daughter of Bruce and La Vonne McWilliam of Winger, Minn., through her reign as the 60th Princess Kay of the Milky Way. “It has really stood out to me,” she said. McWilliam recalled the little girl’s costume, which consisted of a navy blue dress with polka dots just like hers, a crown and a sash that said Princess Kay. But what really drew McWilliam’s attention were the barn boots she wore with it. “She depicted Princess Kay perfectly,” she said. “Those barn boots represent the fact that dairy princesses have the title but work hard and have roots on the farm.” McWilliam was crowned as the 60th Princess Kay of the Milky Way last August, but the reality of it didn’t sink in until the first parade during the Minnesota State Fair. “People were screaming, ‘Princess Kay! Princess Kay!’,” McWilliam said. “I thought, ‘oh my goodness that is me’.” Serving as Princess Kay is something she never imagined

for herself. “I wasn’t expecting to make it this far,” McWilliam said. “I am extremely grateful to the dairy farmers for the opportunity to represent Minnesota’s dairy industry.” During her reign, McWilliam has encountered some very interesting questions from consumers. However, at the state fair one woman came up and asked her if people eat alfalfa and if cows eat meat. “No matter how random the questions are, they have started a conversation with me and it is an opportunity to respond with accuracy,” McWilliam said. “I can share the true picture of dairy with them.” Since the state fair, McWilliam has led a busy life balancing school at North Dakota State University and traveling the state for the numerous events including the Farm Bureau annual meeting where she met Senator Amy Klobuchar and Minnesota’s Commissioner of Agriculture, Dave Frederickson. “I never would have expected to meet such prestigious people,” McWilliam said. “We

DAIRY STAR FILE PHOTO

MarJenna McWilliam promotes one of the Dairy Goodness Bar’s cheese treats during an interview with Channel 5 News at the Minnesota State Fair. other promotion McWilliam has been busy working with. “Being able to run out of the tunnel at a Vikings game was great,” McWilliam said. “It was amazing to talk to the students and see how successful their programs are.” Classroom visits have also kept McWilliam busy. She has

“No matter how random the questions are, they have started a conversation with me and it is an opportunity to respond with accuracy.”

– PRINCESS KAY MARJENNA MCWILLIAM talked about issues regarding legislation and the farm bill. Seeing that side of the dairy industry was interesting and impactful for me.” Fuel Up to Play 60 is an-

visited with students ranging from preschool to 10th grade at about 10 different schools. “I love interacting with all the different age groups,” McWilliam said.

One of her most memorable visits was kicking off a Fuel Up to Play 60 program with a group of seventh graders. “I autographed 200 notebooks and even some milk cartons,” McWilliam said. “It was great talking to those students. They were so excited about what I had to say.” These visits are geared to the students, but there was one where the adults were impacted as much as the students. There was a mom that wouldn’t allow her kids to drink chocolate milk because she thought it wasn’t good for them with the added sugar. “I reminded her it was only three percent more sugar but showed her the nutrition they would get from chocolate milk,” McWilliam said. “She told me her kids were going to drink chocolate milk now. I didn’t expect to make an impact on the adults, too. Just a simple message about the im-

portance of dairy in the diet can make a difference.” Despite her busy schedule, Bruce and La Vonne, her sister, Marissa, and her grandmother have been able to travel with her to her numerous events. “They’ve had fun traveling with me. I’ve been able to spend more time with them,” McWilliam said. “They get to see a different side of me. It makes it really special.” McWilliam and her family are already gearing up for the busy summer ahead with breakfasts on the farm and numerous other June Dairy Month promotions. “I am so excited for the summer. I will be able to meet more people and visit with numerous dairy farmers across the state,” McWilliam said. “It is one of the perks of being Princess Kay.” Before summer starts, McWilliam will be welcoming 12 Turn to MCWILLIAM | Page 2

Introducing Your County Dairy Princesses For 2014...


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Continued from MCWILLIAM | Page 1 new young women as the 2014 Princess Kay of the Milky Way finalists. “Giving these young women this experience is such an honor,” McWilliam said. “There is vitality with the Princess Kay program. The future is bright.” She does have some advice for the incoming candidates. “I want them to have faith in themselves,” McWil“There is vitality liam said. “No one else can with the Princess Kay fill these roles but us, because we are all knowledgeable and program. The future passionate about dairy. No matter if they leave as a finalis bright.” ist or not, they all have a role MARJENNA MCWILLIAM and make an impact.” This year has been busy, but McWilliam tried to imagine what her life would have been without Princess Kay and realized she wouldn’t be who she is today without the opportunity. “No other experience would have helped me grow as much as I have this year,” McWilliam said. Looking back on her reign so far, McWilliam has been proud to represent the dairy farmers of Minnesota. “Being Princess Kay has been an honor and I wouldn’t have been able to be here without the dairy farmers,” McWilliam said. “I have always loved to talk about cows and this has given me an outlet for that. This program is so unique. There is nothing else like Princess Kay.”

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MarJenna McWilliam (center) and dairy producers, Stacy and Pete Ripka pose for a photo during the Fuel Up to Play 60 event during the Minnesota Vikings game. McWilliam shared the importance of refueling with milk after 60 minutes of physical activity with the students in attendance.

DAIRY STAR FILE PHOTO

Linda Christensen (right) works one MarJenna McWilliam’s butterhead on the opening day of the Minnesota State Fair.

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MarJenna McWilliam reads a book to a group of third graders during one of her school visits this year.

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MarJenna McWilliam pauses to take a photo with four little girls during a threshing event this past fall in Winger, Minn.

DAIRY STAR FILE PHOTO

MarJenna McWilliam speaks to the members of the Gopher Dairy Club during their annual banquet on February 23 at the Ramada Inn in St. Paul, Minn.


Benton County

Parents: Fred and Joan Fleck Town: Rice Tell us about yourself, the farm you live and/or work on, and your future plans. I am currently attending Saint Cloud Technical and Community College for childcare. I’m living in St. Cloud, and I have been a manager at McDonald’s for the past year. The 240-acre farm I work on Kristy Fleck, 20 is owned by my parents. Dairy Star Sponsor: They also rent another 100 Pierz Co-op acres and milk around 60 Pierz, MN cows. My three siblings 320-468-6655 and I help my parents with Gilman Co-op chores on the farm. Gilman, MN What has been the 320-387-2770 best part of growing up and/or working on a dairy farm? I think the best part of growing up on a farm was the quality time I spent working on the farm with my family every morning and night. I also loved learning a good work ethic and how to work with others. I loved making new memories with my family and even my friends. The experiences, from growing up on a farm, have helped me get to where I am today. I would like to thank my amazing parents for being the best role models for me. Why is being a county dairy princess important to you? Being a dairy princess is really important for me because it’s a great way to promote the dairy industry. It is also important because unlike everyone else who is a princess, when I was younger, I never imagined I would ever be a princess. That was until one day my neighbor asked me to be a princess with her and I said yes only because I wanted to see what the program was about. It so happens that I made one of the best decisions of my life because I have made new friendships, made many memories I will never forget. This year my little sister is a princess just like me, and I couldn’t be happier. If you were giving a presentation to your local rotary club, what key message would you focus on and why? I would focus on the importance of people getting their three servings of dairy each day. I would choose to talk about that because not everyone gets the three servings of dairy a day that they need. It is really important to remind the people who actually get the right amount they need a day to keep doing it because they will have a healthy body. For the people that don’t get the three servings a day they need, it would be my job to promote that healthy lifestyle by getting the rotary club involved since they are leaders in life and possibly have more of a power to persuade people to live a better life style. I would like to talk to people about how milk provides the nine essential nutrients your body needs, especially protein. I would also talk about how milk keeps your bones and teeth strong and healthy. It’s benefits are endless.

Benton County continued and/or working on a dairy farm? My favorite aspect about growing up on a dairy farm is the daily family bonding. As my siblings have children, stories are told about my twin brother and I as toddlers assisting with milking. Many of my childhood memories are with my siblings as we helped sort cattle or feed the calves. These experiences allowed time with my family and taught me the dedication and pride that goes into a family dairy farm. Why is being a county dairy princess important to you? This experience has taught me the impact one individual can have on a child. Some of the fellow princesses and I had the opportunity to speak to my nephew’s class about the dairy industry. Hearing the children’s enthusiasm to tell their families about all that they learned was exciting. Attending princess events are less about the dresses and crown and more about the happiness on the children’s faces when teaching them about the industry. If you were giving a presentation to your local rotary club, what key message would you focus on and why? A part of the rotary club’s purpose is to congregate leaders to offer humanitarian services and inspire ethical practices in all occupations. With this in mind, my key message would focus on the product’s safety, high quality animal care as well as the standards achieved by farmers. The presentation would highlight the procedures that dairy farmers have in place to ensure safe, nutritious products to consumers and healthy living conditions for their cattle.

Brown County

Parents: John and Patty Rosenhammer Town: Sleepy Eye Tell us about yourself, the farm you live and/or work on, and your future plans. I am a senior at Saint Mary’s High School in Sleepy Eye. I play several sports and keep extremely busy with school, 4-H, FFA and dairy promotion events year-round. I am also a soldier in the Minnesota Mary National Guard. I milk Rosenhammer, 18 cows and feed calves on Dairy Star Sponsor: our family dairy farm, Chuck Spaeth Ford where we milk 180 HolSleepy Eye, MN steins in a double- 12 507-794-3673 parlor. My future plans New Ulm, MN consist of attending South 507-354-3673 Dakota State University to obtain a four-year degree in general agriculture or agricultural business. I hope to return to my hometown and maintain involvement in the dairy industry by helping plan events and promotions for future county dairy princesses and ambassadors and continuing to promote the industry whenever the opportunity arises. What has been the best part of growing up and/or working on a dairy farm? The best part of growing up and working on a dairy farm, specifically a family operated one, is the overall influence it has Parents: Roy and Tina had on my life. I love being able to say that the work Seppelt, the late Sharee my family and I complete day after day helps to feed Seppelt America. Growing up in such an environment has Town: Rice also given me a deeper sense of appreciation for the Tell us about yourincredible labor that farmers before us have put into self, the farm you live the land. In addition, I have attained knowledge of and/or work on, and the importance of organization, patience, responsibilyour future plans. I was ity and work ethic. raised on a 200-dairy cow Why is being a county dairy princess imporoperation in Rice, Minn., tant to you? Being a county dairy princess is exwith my nine siblings. Betremely important to me because I am passionate cause I have been around about dairy. I want to promote it and help the public agriculture all my life, I become more knowledgeable about it. Dairy farmers find pride in my family’s today face several unfair criticisms that come from daily work efforts. In high consumers that are simply misguided. It is our job Katie Seppelt, 20 school, I enjoyed advocatas farmers to correct such misconceptions and help Dairy Star Sponsor: ing the dairy industry in those who do not understand the necessity of dairy Lietzke Veterinary FFA during speaking conproducts. Service tests as well as commu If you were giving a presentation to your local Pierz, MN nity events. From these rotary club, what key message would you focus on 320-468-6666 experiences, I discovered and why? The key message I often try to focus on my career goal to be a when giving presentations includes the overwhelming lifelong agricultural voice and am currently majoring nutritional value of dairy products. I emphasize the in communication studies to accomplish this dream. numerous essential nutrients that are found in many What has been the best part of growing up dairy products, including calcium, potassium, pro-

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Brown County continued tein, phosphorus and Vitamins A and D. I also point out how important it is for parents to give their children milk early in childhood, as it significantly promotes healthy bone growth and strong teeth. If doubt or concern is still conveyed, I reassure the consumers that dairy farmers are constantly and unexpectedly monitored to insure the safety and nutritional value of their product. They also provide good treatment toward the livestock who produce the products. Parents: Loran and Heidi Sellner Town: Sleepy Eye Tell us about yourself, the farm you live and/or work on, and your future plans. I am a 2014 graduate of Saint Mary’s High School in Sleepy Eye. This fall, I will be attending Ridgewater College in Hutchinson, majoring in early childhood development. I live on a fifth generation Maggie Sellner, 18 dairy farm where we milk Dairy Star Sponsor: 175 Holsteins and raise Miller Sellner Imp. our calves from new born to six months before they Sleepy Eye - 507-794-2131 go to a heifer raiser. The Bingham Lake - 507-831-1106 Slayton - 507-836-8571 yearlings then come home www.millersellner.com to our farm after they are confirmed pregnant. We also run 400 acres of crop land. What has been the best part of growing up and/ or working on a dairy farm? The best part about living on a dairy farm is seeing the progress being made. This includes new facilities, to better health/production in milk and seeing the cows grow from babies to having a calf of their own. Why is being a county dairy princess important to you? Being a county dairy princess is important to me because not only do I get to represent my family, but I also get to represent the many other hard working farm families as well. I enjoy educating others, especially children at day-care, school visits, and at the county fair. If you were giving a presentation to your local rotary club, what key message would you focus on and why? My key message would be about why the dairy industry is important to our state. This message is shown through the many employment opportunities in this growing industry, the many dairy products provided and how the food industries are making these products healthier.

Carver County Parents: Earl and Lisa Beuning Town: Waconia Tell us about yourself, the farm you live and/or work on, and your future plans. My name is Madeline and I am currently a freshman at Winona State University studying forensic psychology and criminal justice. I am employed on a 500 head count Holstein dairy farm twenty min- Madeline Beuning, utes from my house, as 18 well as a 260 head count Dairy Star Sponsor: Holstein dairy farm in WiFirst Minnesota Bank nona where I go to school. Mayer, MN I plan on always keeping 952-657-2500 the dairy industry a part of my life, while hoping to someday be a forensic psychologist and criminal mind investigator. What has been the best part of growing up and/or working on a dairy farm? The best part of working on a dairy farm is definitely the bond you share with the family and cows. I also love sharing my story and all the things that I have learned about milk and the dairy industry in my years on the farm with friends and family. Why is being a county dairy princess important to you? Being a Carver County Dairy Princess is Carver County continued on next page


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Carver County continued

Carver County continued

Carver County continued

important to me because I want a chance to represent the farms that I work on and be a strong advocate for the dairy industry. I want to be a role model for young kids and I want to make those older than me proud to have taught me all that I know. Also, being a princess is important to me because it is such a powerful way to spread the word about dairy. If you were giving a presentation to your local rotary club, what key message would you focus on and why? I would focus on the key message that states that dairy cows are well cared for. This is something that people should be more informed about because farmers really do take pride in how much they care for their land and their animals. The cows are the ones that are treated like princesses day after day!

Parents: Rick Haler and Connie Haasken Town: Norwood Tell us about yourself, the farm you live and/or work on, and your future plans. I am a first-year student at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities studying animal science and Spanish/Portuguese studies. On my farm, we milk 80 Registered Holsteins. My tasks, on the farm, vary Jeni Haler, 18 from milking to feeding Dairy Star Sponsor: calves to field work. I also ABS Rick Haler assist my dad in teaching artificial insemination to Spanish-speaking employees on various farms. I aspire to work in the international dairy industry with Heifer International as a teacher and spokesperson. What has been the best part of growing up and/or working on a dairy farm? My time spent in the barn, working with cows and becoming involved, has allowed me to find my passions in life. I relish the memories I have made on the farm and the valuable life lessons I have learned. But more than anything, the cows, my family and the people within the dairy industry have helped me to realize my passion for cows and communication. Thus, inspiring me to pay it forward in the diary industry. Why is being a county dairy princess important to you? I love the dairy industry. While I do not need a sash and crown to advocate an industry that I care deeply about, I know that my year as a dairy princess will give me many opportunities that I may not have received otherwise to share my story, as well as those of Minnesota farmers. If you were giving a presentation to your local rotary club, what key message would you focus on and why? Nationally, 98 percent of dairy farms are family owned. This key message highlights the importance of family. Just as consumers care for their families by keeping them healthy, safe, and comfortable, farmers do the same for their loved ones and animals. Working together, farmers are able to produce high quality products by first providing high quality care for their cows. This benefits not only the producers, but the consumers’ families, too.

to provide a nutritious product that is important to a healthy and active lifestyle. If you were giving a presentation to your local rotary club, what key message would you focus on and why? Dairy farmers are committed to serving their local communities by providing a high quality product for their families and neighbors. They’re always looking for ways to improve their practices and become more environmentally friendly and energy efficient. However, they still keep their roots planted in a strong foundation of ethics and sustainability. They care for the land and animals because they, in turn, care for them.

Parents: Rodney and Ann Boelke Town: Cologne Tell us about yourself, the farm you live and/or work on, and your future plans. I will be a graduate of Mayer Lutheran High School. I plan on attending a four year college to major in interior design. I enjoy playing soccer, basketball, and softball. I like to read, paint and enjoy being out- Krianna Boelke, 18 side. I live on our famDairy Star Sponsor: ily owned farm with my Bob Fritz Grandma Lorraine, both Trucking, Inc. my parents, and my four Cologne, MN siblings: Kindra, Kar952-466-2551 rington, Kenson and Kaydra. We all love to work with each other. What has been the best part of growing up and/or working on a dairy farm? The best part about growing up on a farm is being able to be with your family every day and have fun working together. Whether it is milking, feeding the calves or scrubbing the parlor, we always find a way to make it fun. Living on a farm has taught me to manage my time, as well as, teach me responsibilities that I will use later on in my life. I cannot even imagine what it is like not to grow up on a farm. It is the best experience a person could have. Why is being a county dairy princess important to you? Being a dairy princess is important to me because I love the dairy industry and I have always wanted to be a dairy princess since I was a little girl. I want to spread the message about the dairy industry to others. Being a princess will give me more opportunities to do that. It draws attention to you because people are curious as to what a dairy princess is. I have the perfect opportunity to tell them about the dairy industry and why I love living on a farm. If you were giving a presentation to your local rotary club, what key message would you focus on and why? The key message I would focus on is how dairy products are important in maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Dairy products are good for bone health, building strong muscles and healthy skin. They can also help against obesity, diabetes and heart disease. Milk is one of the most common dairy products sold. Both white milk and flavored milk are packed with nine essential nutrients. The nine nutrients that are found in milk are potassium, vitamin B12, vitamin A, riboflavin, niacin, phosphorus, calcium, protein and vitamin D. The calcium and vitamin D that are found in milk cannot be replaced by any form of supplement. Dairy products are important in developing a strong body. Without milk and other dairy products, we would be lacking several important nutrients that we need on a daily basis.

The Lester Prairie Vet Clinic would like to congratulate all the county dairy princesses. LESTER PRAIRIE VET CLINIC 320-395-2421

Parents: Tim and Amy Leonard Town: Waconia Tell us about yourself, the farm you live and/or work on, and your future plans. My siblings and I are the fifth generation on my family’s 120 acre dairy farm where we milk 45 Registered Holsteins. My responsibilities on the farm include milking, feeding, and cleaning barn. I’m Christine Leonard, 20 in my second year at the Dairy Star Sponsor: University of WisconsinUFC Farm Supply Stout where I’m a food Waconia, MN science major with a communications emphasis and www.ufcfarmsupply.com 952-442-2126 mathematics minor. In the future, I want to be the link that connects consumers to the science behind their food. What has been the best part of growing up and/or working on a dairy farm? I grew up in a place where hard work, perseverance, a little dirt and a lot of love turned a stubborn winter calf into a friendly fair animal, a spring field into a fall harvest, and sweaty days and chilly nights into memories that I will treasure for a lifetime. Learning to take pride in the work my family and I do is the best part about growing up on a dairy farm. Why is being a county dairy princess important to you? The dairy industry and the people involved in it have taught me many lessons, but the most important has been to respect and care for my land, my livestock, my family, and my neighbors. By being a dairy princess, I have the opportunity to share these lessons and the stories of the farmers who help

Parents: Todd and Lois Manteuffel Town: Cologne Tell us about yourself, the farm you live and/or work on, and your future plans. I am currently a senior at Mayer Lutheran High School where I am a member of the National Honor Society, College Preparatory Program, high honor roll, and varsity basketball team. I live on a small Lauren Manteuffel, family-owned farm with 18 my mom, dad, and two Dairy Star Sponsor: sisters. I will be attending Winona State University Prairie Farm Supply Belle Plaine, MN in the fall of 2014 to major 952-873-4234 in nursing. What has been the best part of growing up and/or working on a dairy farm? The best part of growing up on a dairy farm is knowing that the hard work you do every single day is benefitting those in your community. I enjoy every minute of living on a dairy farm, even though it is a lot of work and sacrifice. It has been very rewarding being able to have grown where I have with my family. Why is being a county dairy princess important to you? Being a county dairy princess is important to me because I can help promote the dairy industry in my local communities. I can easily interact with the people and share the importance of three servings of dairy. If you were giving a presentation to your local rotary club, what key message would you focus on and why? I would share with them how important it is for members of the community to support their local farmers by purchasing and incorporating wholesome, nutritious, and good tasting products into their daily diets. When consumers buy locally, they are directly supporting their farmers. It is an endless cycle of giving and receiving that is crucial to the dairy industry. Because of the decreasing amount of dairy farmers, it is extremely important that consumers continue with their support.

Chisago County

Parents: Kevin and Tara Lindahl Town: Lindstrom Tell us about yourself, the farm you live and/or work on, and your future plans. This year I graduate from Chisago Lakes High School. I also attended AnokaRamsey Community College through the PSEO program. Activities I have participated in include 4-H, FFA, marching band, Madelin Lindahl, 17 school musicals, and Dairy Star Sponsor: speech. I live and work East Central Dairy on Lindahl Farms LLC Supply which has a herd of 200 Mora, MN registered Holsteins and 320-679-1029 a few Jerseys and milks in a double-8 parlor. I am attending UMD Swenson College of Science and Engineering next year. What has been the best part of growing up and/or working on a dairy farm? The best part of Chisago County continued on next page


Chisago County continued growing up on a farm includes two things. The first is the animals; from showing to milking them, I always have a blast. The second is the appreciation I have gained from living on a farm. Knowing the work going into our food supply is awesome. Why is being a county dairy princess important to you? I have participated in this program for 10 years. Being able to be an honest source of information about the dairy industry for the public is exciting. I have had wonderful experiences which are always fun and allow me to learn as well as teach. I never grow tired of sharing. If you were giving a presentation to your local rotary club, what key message would you focus on and why? The goals of business and community service are often intertwined; our industry enhances our community as well. Beyond providing a dependable and nutritious food source, we also reach out to the community as individuals. Farmers are often commended for having an “I’ll give you the shirt off my back” attitude. Many farmers in my area will use their equipment to plow out neighbors who would have otherwise had to shovel out by hand or lend their expertise to an organization putting together a community garden.

Crow Wing County

Parents: Ron and Barb Nelson Town: Brainerd Tell us about yourself, the farm you live and/or work on, and your future plans. I am the Crow Wing Dairy Princess. I live on a farm with several different animals. I am mainly responsible for a herd of 11 dairy goats in which I milk, feed and raise the kids and show and county and state Veronica Nelson, fair. I work for Gerald and 17 Sandra Foust on a nearby Dairy Star Sponsor: dairy farm. I milk approxAMPI imately 50 Holstein cows Paynesville Division each night and occasion320-243-3794 ally feed calves. I have www.ampi.com been working on this farm for about four years now and I thoroughly enjoy it. I plan on working there for another year as I continue to attend Central Lakes College to obtain my Associate in Arts degree. With that, I will transfer to the University of MinnesotaCrookston to major in horticulture. What has been the best part of growing up and/or working on a dairy farm? The best part of working on a dairy farm has been having about a two hour period to myself where I can just be right up next to the cows. I enjoy being in the presence and working along side of animals, especially dairy animals. I find it relaxing rather than hard work. Why is being a county dairy princess important to you? I know the importance of incorporating dairy products into every meal in everyone’s diet. It is important to me as a dairy princess to relay this message to my community and the public as a whole. Talking to people of all ages about how hard dairy farmers work to care for their dairy cattle is essential in educating them about the dairy industry. My goal as a dairy princess is to make sure everyone I talk to knows where milk comes from and how it got to their dinner table or school. If you were giving a presentation to your local rotary club, what key message would you focus on and why? My key message to my local rotary club would be to emphasize the importance of each person consuming dairy products each day. There are many other beverage choices around us, including quick coffee shops and pop vending machines in schools. These are very tempting to. However, it is important to remember the benefits of drinking milk. Milk is a beverage that is needed throughout a person’s whole life as it provides many essential nutrients. Calcium and phosphorous are important nutrients that play a role in developing and enhancing bone and teeth growth formation. From a newborn baby to an elderly person, incorporating dairy products into a diet is crucial.

Dakota County

Parents: Stacie Hawkins and Thomas Juckel Town: Hastings Tell us about yourself, the farm you live and/or work on, and your future plans. I grew up spending a lot of time with my grandpa on his farm. During this time, I developed a love for the animals and the environment of the farm. This is what made me want to spend time there and work Jordan Juckel, 17 there, too. The experience Dairy Star Sponsor: of farming is what has Vermillion Elevator made me want to become Vermillion, MN a large animal veterinar651-437-4439 ian. I plan to study animal science at the University of Minnesota next year. What has been the best part of growing up and/or working on a dairy farm? The best part of growing up and working on a dairy farm has been spending time with my family and the animals. I hold both of these very close to my heart, and I love that I can get both of them in the same place. Why is being a county dairy princess important to you? Being a county dairy princess is important to me because I want to share my love and knowledge about the dairy industry with other people. Through this opportunity, I hope to talk to a wide variety of people and share my experiences with them. I am most excited to teach younger children about the dairy industry. If you were giving a presentation to your local rotary club, what key message would you focus on and why? I would focus on the importance of dairy products and where they came from. I think it is very important for the consumers to know the entire process from the birth of the cow, to the pasteurization process and how it is put onto the shelves in grocery stores. It is important to start educating the youth of today, so when they are older and buying these products, they can understand and appreciate what they are consuming. Parents: Donald and Kerry Malecha Town: Northfield Tell us about yourself, the farm you live and/or work on, and your future plans. I currently live and work on my parents’ dairy farm while attending South Central College as a fulltime student. We raise all our youngstock and currently milk 102 cows in our tie stall barn. I gradu- Ashlynn Malecha, ated from high school 17 two years early, and I am Dairy Star Sponsor: working on getting my Kasper Dairy Supply prerequisites finished beNorthfield, MN fore applying to the Uni612-483-1323 versity of Minnesota – Rochester BSN program. What has been the best part of growing up and/or working on a dairy farm? I’d have to say the best part about growing up on a dairy farm is that it has taught me what life is really about. It has also given me the key ingredients to being successful: responsibility, compassion and work ethic. Other jobs and school aren’t always easy and at the end of the day, the dairy farm gives me a whole new outlook. I appreciate being able to come home to the cows. Why is being a county dairy princess important to you? Being a county dairy princess is important to me because there are many people out there that don’t understand the dairy industry. I want to help promote and educate them about not only dairy, but farming in general and what it does for our economy and the world as a whole. If you were giving a presentation to your local rotary club, what key message would you focus on and why? I would focus on getting dairy farmers to come together so they can share and build a stronger sense of pride in their products and what they do for a living. I feel if farmers can accomplish this, it will in

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Dakota County continued

turn give a positive and professional outlook for consumers and provide them with information and education about where their food comes from and why dairy is essential for healthy living. Parents: Bill and Juanita Sorg Town: Hastings Tell us about yourself, the farm you live and/or work on, and your future plans. I have grown up on my family’s diversified dairy and crop farm. We milk 300 Holstein cows and grow corn, soybeans and alfalfa. I will be graduating from Hastings High School this spring. Throughout Gabriella Sorg, 17 high school, I have been Dairy Star Sponsor: involved in 4-H, FFA, alRiver Country pine skiing, tennis, track, Cooperative orchestra, choir, National Hastings, MN Honor Society and dance. 651-437-3527 Next fall, I will be studying animal science with an emphasis on business and industry at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities. What has been the best part of growing up and/or working on a dairy farm? My favorite part of growing up on a dairy farm is finishing a day of work and knowing that it will impact many people by providing them with quality dairy products. I love being able to work with the livestock and share my knowledge about dairy farming. Of course, it’s always a bonus to work side by side with the best dad in the world. Why is being a county dairy princess important to you? Serving as a Dakota County Dairy Princess is important to me because it gives me the opportunity to share my passion, my family’s business and the dairy industry with members of the community. Attending a suburban school has opened my eyes to the reality that many people know very little about farming and their food source. I am excited to educate consumers and promote the industry that is important to me. If you were giving a presentation to your local rotary club, what key message would you focus on and why? Dairy farms, like my family’s, help build strong communities by supplying nutrient rich foods and economic activity. Dairy products provide consumers with nine essential nutrients while keeping calorie counts and costs relatively low. An eightounce serving of milk costs about 25 cents. In addition, it takes approximately 48 hours for milk to get from a farm like mine to a local grocery store. This means jobs created by dairy production, consumption, and retail remain local.

Dodge County

Parents: G r e g o r y Idso and DelMarie Paulson Town: Kasson Tell us about yourself, the farm you live and/or work on, and your future plans. I work on three different dairy farms. At Snow Family Farm’s near Kasson, I help milk 100 cows in a tie stall barn. I also work at D&M Dairy of Pine Island where they milk 75 cows in a parabone swing Katherine Paulson, 18 parlor. I also work at the Iowa Dairy Foundation Dairy Star Sponsor: where they milk 120 cows Eastwood Bank with Lely robots and 180 Kasson, MN cows in a half parallel, 507-634-4444 half herringbone parlor. I am currently attending Northeast Iowa Community College for dairy science and technology. I want to stay in the dairy industry after graduation, but I am still undecided on a career Dodge County continued on next page


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Dodge County continued

Dodge County continued

path. What has been the best part of growing up and/ or working on a dairy farm? My daily experiences on the farm are unlike any other. There is a different sense of accomplishment when the day’s work is done. I am providing for all these animals and watching them grow, knowing they are going to be the next generation milk cows on the farm. It is an experience I would not want to trade in the end. Why is being a county dairy princess important to you? I get to share not only my experience working with these fine bovines, but I also get to share the passion I have for the dairy industry. I am happy to be one of the many young ladies that have the opportunity to help others have a better understanding of the dairy industry today. If you were giving a presentation to your local rotary club, what key message would you focus on and why? The opportunities to speak up for the dairy industry are endless with speaking engagements with farm and non-farm audiences. BST is a naturally occurring hormone in the cow that helps make milk. The rBST is an artificial version of this hormone that gives the cow an extra boost to help them produce more milk. During pasteurization, 90 percent of BST, artificial or not, is killed. The remaining 10 percent, still in the milk when consumed, is digested like any other protein.

Dodge County continued

Parents: Jeffrey and Susie Thoe Town: Hayfield Tell us about yourself, the farm you live and/or work on, and your future plans. I live and work on my family’s sixth generation farm alongside my mom, grandpa, dad and sisters. I am the third Thoe girl to run for dairy princess. Currently, I’m studying to be a physical therapist at Ripon College in Ripon, McCayla Thoe, 20 Dairy Star Sponsor: Wis., double majoring in AMPI athletic training and comRochester Division munication. At school, I 507-282-7401 work in the athletic trainwww.ampi.com ing room, and I am training to become an EMT. But I mostly look forward to coming home and milking cows. What has been the best part of growing up and/or working on a dairy farm? I love that living on a dairy farm has fostered wonderful relationships with my family. We share infinite fond memories, and I was especially fortunate to grow up working alongside my grandpa who is in his 80s and is still cracking jokes while he works every day. Each family member is an inspiring role model, and I am so proud to have such a close bond with all of them. Why is being a county dairy princess important to you? I have wanted to be a Dodge County Dairy Princess since I watched my sisters get crowned. I believe it is important to promote dairy and positively represent our farmers and our products. As a dairy princess, I want to be a positive role model and express how nutritious dairy products are, especially to elementary students. As a Dodge County Dairy Princess, I have this capability and can’t wait to start. If you were giving a presentation to your local rotary club, what key message would you focus on and why? Since rotary clubs aim to provide humanitarian services by encouraging high ethical standards and building goodwill, I would explain the importance of the dairy industry in Minnesota and its effect on our economy. The dairy industry is the second largest agricultural business in Minnesota impacting our state by $11.5 billion and supporting over 38,000 jobs. A strong and profitable dairy industry is important to build a healthy economic future for Minnesota and the nation.

If you were giving a presentation to your local rotary club, what key message would you focus on and why? The key message I would focus on is healthy dairy consumption in my community. I would go to local schools and community events and talk about how having three healthy dairy servings a day is beneficial for good health.

Parents: Jason and Cami Reber Town: Kasson Tell us about yourself, the farm you live and/or work on, and your future plans. I’ve grown up and worked on my dad and grandpa’s dairy farm (Reber Dairy Farm) where they milk 400 cows. I am currently attending college at Rochester Community and Technical College where Taylor Reber, 19 I am in the veterinarian Dairy Star Sponsor: technician program. This summer, I will be intern- Carriage House Animal Hospital ing at a veterinary facilKasson, MN ity of my choice. I have 507-634-6781 been working part-time taking care of calves and helping where it’s needed since December 2013 for Pine Shelter Farms, which is owned by the Alberts family. They milk around 550 cows. What has been the best part of growing up and/or working on a dairy farm? Kids who haven’t grown up on farms or don’t have farming in their background haven’t been able to experience the things that I have experienced because of growing up on the farm. I am very proud that I grew up on the farm because it has given me a greater appreciation for everything in my life. Also, I have a great work ethic which most people my age lack. Why is being a county dairy princess important to you? I get to go out into my own community and educate the public about the dairy industry and how great our farmers really are. A lot of people seem to take the dairy industry for granted, or just don’t know how much it provides to them, so I love sending them home with the correct information that they can pass on to others. Having my community recognize me as a dairy farmer is rewarding because it is something I am truly passionate about. If you were giving a presentation to your local rotary club, what key message would you focus on and why? I would focus on how diverse the dairy industry is and how it has changed and evolved over the years. For example, herd sizes are more variable, and that has been able to happen with the help of such great technology. I would focus on this because it is important to understand how the dairy industry has changed for the better over many decades.

Douglas County Parents: Alan and Mary Beth Koudela Town: Alexandria Tell us about yourself, the farm you live and/or work on, and your future plans. I graduated from Jefferson High school in 2012 and I am now attending Moorhead State University for early childhood education. I am the fourth generation to grow up on the Koudela Brothers Farm. My dad and uncle run the Carissa Koudela, 19 Dairy Star Sponsor: farm now along with help Nelson Creamery from our families. After I Association graduate from college, I Nelson, MN hope to find a job working 320-762-0115 in an elementary school and promote dairy in the schools. What has been the best part of growing up and/or working on a dairy farm? The best part of growing up on a dairy farm is being able to the see how dairy products are made and understanding that dairy products don’t just come from the grocery store. Growing up on a farm has shown me the process of how milk is taken from the farm, goes to the creamery, and then to the store. Why is being a county dairy princess important to you? One of the most important roles of a dairy princess is to promote the dairy industry to my county and emphasize the importance of healthy dairy consumption.

Parents: Willis and Mary Krueger Town: Alexandria Tell us about yourself, the farm you live and/or work on, and your future plans. I am 20 years old and just graduated from Southwest Minnesota State University in Marshall, Minn. I majored in exercise science and enjoyed all the opportunities I had in school. I live on a small dairy farm consisting of Heidi Krueger, 20 Dairy Star Sponsor: 70 Holstein cows outside First District of Alexandria, Minn. We Association finish out our Holstein Litchfield, MN dairy steers and crops are 320-693-3236 raised on 300 acres to provide feed for the dairy. I will be attending the North Dakota State University graduate school for a master’s degree in athletic training beginning in July of 2014. What has been the best part of growing up and/or working on a dairy farm? Growing up on a farm is becoming more and more unique as the years go by. It has been a great experience and one I wish more people were a part of. Growing up on a farm teaches me things I can’t learn in a classroom like chores, hard work, work ethic, responsibility, and satisfaction of a job well done. I used to spend my days helping my dad with things around our farm like feeding calves, bedding pens, riding in the tractors, doing field work and milking cows. Why is being a county dairy princess important to you? Becoming a dairy princess is important to me because I am proud of my family and the dairy industry. I am honored to help represent all the farmers and their hard work and success in Douglas County. Not everyone understands the lifestyle and hard work that dairy farmers have to do so others can enjoy milk, cheese, yogurt, ice cream, and other dairy products on their tables. It’s important to inform people about the process, the people and the products. If you were giving a presentation to your local rotary club, what key message would you focus on and why? Dairy products are the main contributor of calcium in a person’s diet. Calcium is one of the minerals we need to get enough of every day so our bodies are working efficiently. Calcium is used for many things in the body like muscle contraction, keeping the heart at a steady pace, forming healthy bones and teeth, and sending nerve pulses. Eliminating dairy from a diet means finding another source of calcium which is very hard to do. Parents: Bruce and Deb Waldvogel Town: Osakis Tell us about yourself, the farm you live and/or work on, and your future plans. I have always enjoyed being on the farm and doing the field work where I love to drive tractor for hours on end. I grew up with my family on a dairy farm outside of Osakis. We milk 120 cows and I love feeding the cows and calves, but not the newborns. I have always cared for animals, especially my horses. My future plans are to be working in an intensive care unit working as a registered nurse. I am

Tayler Waldvogel, 19 Dairy Star Sponsor: Osakis Creamery Association Osakis, MN 320-859-2146

Douglas County continued on next page


Douglas County continued currently attending school in St. Cloud for nursing. What has been the best part of growing up and/or working on a dairy farm? The best part of growing up on a dairy farm is having the freedom to go outside to ride my horses, go four-wheeling, enjoying long walks and the peacefulness of the country. I like working on a dairy farm because I never have to drive to work, punch a clock, or be told what to do. When I do something wrong, I know they will not fire me, even though they threaten to do this sometimes. Another benefit is the free tanning when I am cutting hay. Why is being a county dairy princess important to you? Being a Douglas County Dairy Princess is important to me because I am letting others know about how the American dairy farmer provides much needed food for everyone. Most people do not know how much time and work goes into a dairy farm. I want to show everyone how proud I am to be representing the dairy industry as a dairy princess for Douglas County. If you were giving a presentation to your local rotary club, what key message would you focus on and why? If I were giving a presentation to my local rotary club, I would focus my message on the lack of dairy farmers in America. The high costs of farming make it difficult for a young farmer to get started. I would talk about the benefits of farming and how the farm is a wonderful place to raise a family. I would also provide information to those wishing to learn more about the dairy industry. There are many people that do not want to work as hard as a farmer to make a living. Anyone who shows in interest is in our best interest.

East Ottertail County

Parents: Dean and Ann Lubitz Town: Perham Tell us about yourself, the farm you live and/or work on, and your future plans. We milk around 35 Holsteins in a double 4-herringbone barn on our small family farm. The farm has been under the Lubitz name for 64 years. I work part-time at Mark’s Fleet Supply in Perham. Next year I will be a junior at South Dako- Kellie Jo Lubitz, 18 Dairy Star Sponsor: ta State University majoring in agricultural educa- Mark’s Fleet Supply Perham, MN tion. 218-346-6275 What has been the best part of growing up and/or working on a dairy farm? I would have to say that the best part of growing up on a dairy farm is that there are always so many new and exciting things to learn. Things are always changing and happening around our farm. Growing up on the farm and having chores taught me responsibility. I’ve also become a hard-worker and know what real work is because of our farm. Why is being a county dairy princess important to you? Being my county’s dairy princess is important to me because I get to inform my community about the importance of dairy. I am a face for the dairy industry that people can see and learn from. About ten years ago, our county would usually have about five or six girls running for dairy princess. This year there’s only me. With the interest in running for dairy princess decreasing, the dairy industry might go unseen. If you were giving a presentation to your local rotary club, what key message would you focus on and why? The message I would want to stress would be the importance of this wonderful industry. I would show them statistics, charts, and graphs to help the consumer understand dairy’s economic impact. Cows produce a wholesome and nutritious product that farmers help collect and pass on to millions.

Faribault County

Parents: Mark and Vickie Sohn Town: Blue Earth Tell us about yourself, the farm you live and/or work on, and your future plans. I am a senior in high school and am taking online college classes. My family farm means a lot to my family and no one can imagine life without it. My future plans are to go to either Mankato or Austin for elAmy Sohn, 17 ementary education. Dairy Star Sponsor: What has been the AMPI best part of growing up Rochester Division and/or working on a 507-282-7401 dairy farm? The best part www.ampi.com has been the experience and hard work it takes to keep things going. I enjoy doing chores morning and evening, caring for close to 100 animals, and making the right and best choices for us, the farm, and the animals. Why is being a county dairy princess important to you? Both my cousin and older sister have been dairy princess. I feel as though it is my turn to carry on the family tradition. The farm means a lot to my family, and I think this is a once in a lifetime experience. If you were giving a presentation to your local rotary club, what key message would you focus on and why? Having grown up in an agricultural community, I learned that if you eat, you are involved in agriculture. Without any type of agriculture or farmers, we would no longer survive. I don’t think most people realize what they have, how thankful they should be for the farmers, and how much the technology has improved over the years.

Fillmore County

Parents: Daniel and Patti Woods Town: Ostrander Tell us about yourself, the farm you live and/or work on, and your future plans. I grew up in Ostrander, Minn., and I live with my parents, brother and sister. At my high school, I’m in cross country, basketball, FFA, choir, student council, National Honor Society and 4-H. I started showing dairy cattle through 4-H Melinda Woods, 17 Dairy Star Sponsor: in sixth grade, and I now work on Heusinkveld’s Marzolf Implement Spring Valley, MN dairy farm where we milk 507-346-7227 about 350 Holstein cows. I plan to attend South Dakota State University this coming fall and major in pharmaceutical sciences. What has been the best part of growing up and/or working on a dairy farm? The best part of working on a dairy farm is learning about the dairy industry and working with cows. They are honestly the most interesting animals and I love them so much! Why is being a county dairy princess important to you? It’s important because I want to get the word of the dairy industry that I love so much out there. I want people to learn about this industry like I did and to educate them about how great of an impact it can have on their life. If you were giving a presentation to your local rotary club, what key message would you focus on and why? My main focus would be that the dairy industry gives so much to the economy and it should be supported in every way possible. The dairy industry serves society by providing it with wholesome, nutritious and delicious products. It should be seen as a respectable and hard-working industry.

Dairy Star • Saturday, May 10, 2014 • Page 7

Freeborn County

Parents: David and Kristine Johnson Town: Hartland Tell us about yourself, the farm you live and/or work on, and your future plans. I’m a senior at New Richland Hartland Ellendale Geneva High School, and I live on a small farm outside of Hartland. My family milks Jerseys, and I show them in 4-H. I currently work on an organic Ayrshire farm where I Presley Johnson, 18 Dairy Star Sponsor: milk cows and take care L&D Ag Service of calves. I plan to attend Hartland, MN college in the fall to study 507-845-2100 music education. What has been the best part of growing up and/or working on a dairy farm? My favorite part about living on a farm is being able to play outside with the different animals. I would always help my dad with chores, and he taught me everything I know about having a farm. Having a farm definitely brings a family closer together. Why is being a county dairy princess important to you? There is a history of dairy farms in my family, and I’m proud of that. As a dairy princess, I want to share with others why the dairy industry is essential to a healthy nation. If you were giving a presentation to your local rotary club, what key message would you focus on and why? I would discuss why dairy products are beneficial to good health because many underestimate the importance of consuming dairy products on a daily basis. Milk provides key nutrients and vitamins such as calcium and vitamin D. It also has protein to help rebuild muscle and keep people full throughout the day. If people would consume the recommended amount of dairy, it would help lower the risk of osteoporosis and help them maintain a healthy weight.

Goodhue County

Parents: Brad and Jessica Anderson Town: Vasa Tell us about yourself, the farm you live and/or work on, and your future plans. I am attending Cannon Falls High School where I will graduate in May. My family has a farm just southeast of Vasa. We milk around 80 cows and we farm about 400 acres of land. In the fall, I plan to Krystin Hannah attend Winona State UniAnderson, 18 versity to major in nursing. Dairy Star Sponsor: What has been the Security State Bank of best part of growing up Wanamingo and/or working on a Wanamingo, MN dairy farm? The best part 800-879-6854 of growing up on the farm has been finding myself through caring for our animals and learning and taking on responsibilities that come with farm life. The adventures of living in the country and on a farm are endless,and they have always kept my life interesting! Why is being a county dairy princess important to you? Becoming a Goodhue County Dairy Princess was important to me, because I want to positively represent the industry from which my family makes a living. I also want to educate the local community about the nutritional value of the products that come from our local dairy farms. If you were giving a presentation to your local rotary club, what key message would you focus on and why? If I were to give a presentation to my local rotary club, my presentation would include information about how people benefit health wise from the many different products that dairy farmers produce. I would also share the information about dairy products that contribute to dieting. Goodhue County continued on next page


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Parents: Ted and Lora Keller Town: Goodhue Tell us about yourself, the farm you live and/or work on, and your future plans. I am a senior at Lincoln High School in Lake City, Minn. I live and work on my family’s 180-cow Holstein dairy farm. We milk cows twice a day in our double-16 parallel milking parlor. My dad and my Samantha Keller, 18 uncle, Henry Keller, own Dairy Star Sponsor: and operate the farm. We Midwest Livestock have about 400 acres, and System we raise our replacement Pine Island, MN heifers and steers. I plan on attending University of Wisconsin-Stout for cross media graphics management this fall. What has been the best part of growing up and/or working on a dairy farm? The best part of growing up, living, and working on my family’s dairy farm is that it has provided me with many life lessons and different experiences that not everyone gets to experience. I have learned how to work hard each day by milking cows. I definitely would not have as strong of a work ethic, sense of commitment and responsibility had I not been raised on a dairy farm. Why is being a county dairy princess important to you? Being a Goodhue County Dairy Princess is important to me because I want to share my experiences and knowledge about the dairy industry with different people in the community. I think it is very important for me to become an advocate for the dairy industry because people may not always realize how important the dairy industry is to them and their daily lives. I want to share with people how dairy products are put on their tables. If you were giving a presentation to your local rotary club, what key message would you focus on and why? I would focus on how the dairy industry has a strong impact on the local community and how dairy stays local. The dairy industry provides more than just products to local consumers. It also helps out the local economy as well. Wherever there is dairy, jobs will follow making a bigger impact than what people realize. Dairy products are local because it only takes 48 hours for milk to get from the farm to the store. Parents: Greg and Wendi Piller Town: Kenyon Tell us about yourself, the farm you live and/or work on, and your future plans. I am a sophomore attending South Dakota State University, majoring in ag business with an animal science/dairy science emphasis. We milk 120 cows in a double-6 herringbone parlor. Our cows are housed in a freestall hoop Mikayla Piller, 20 Dairy Star Sponsor: barn. All of our replaceAg Partners ment heifers are raised Goodhue, MN on our farm, and we run 800-732-1439 a few acres for silage and alfalfa. After graduating from SDSU, I plan on returning home to farm with my parents. What has been the best part of growing up and/or working on a dairy farm? There are so many things I love about growing up and living on a dairy farm. I love being outside, working alongside my family and being at home. I love cows, and caring for livestock is a very rewarding job. I love helping new little lives into the world and helping ease old lives out; it is fun to see the generations change. Growing up on a farm has taught me the value of life and the importance of working hard and having high standards. Why is being a county dairy princess important to you? Being a county dairy princess is important to me because I believe it is important for consumers to hear our side of the story. A large number

Goodhue County continued of people are now several generations off the farm and do not know how well dairy farmers care for their cows and how passionate they are about providing a quality product for consumers. It is also very important for the public to be informed about the many health benefits that dairy products offer. As a future producer, if people do not purchase my product, I will be out of a job. If you were giving a presentation to your local rotary club, what key message would you focus on and why? I would focus on animal care. My message would include key points on daily care and ethics involved in caring for our cows. I would explain daily chores, how we clean and bed stalls twice a day, sanitize the feed mangers and provide fresh feed two times a day. I would describe our barn and how it caters to cow comfort with soft, clean bedding, an automatic brush for them to play with, a pasture to exercise in when the weather is good, and I would be sure to explain that the cows have the ability to walk around or come and go as they please throughout the barn. As a business major, I would be sure to point out that happy cows produce more milk. Caring for their cows is a dairy farmer’s job, and farmers work very hard every day to produce a quality product for consumers to purchase.

Hennepin County

Parents: Randy and Tambra Dahlheimer Town: Dayton Tell us about yourself, the farm you live and/or work on, and your future plans. I grew up on a dairy farm in Dayton, Minn. As far back as I can remember, I helped my older siblings on occasion. When I was in fourth grade, I routinely helped with barn chores. I was responsible for feeding the calves on my own and Mandy Dahlheimer, 21 helping to feed cows etc. every day, of course. I’m Dairy Star Sponsor: currently a junior at the AMPI University of Minnesota Paynesville Division studying nutrition with 320-243-3794 a minor in sustainability www.ampi.com studies. I’m hoping to get a dietetic internship upon graduation next year and become a registered dietitian in the future and be able to practice nutrition and apply my passions. What has been the best part of growing up and/or working on a dairy farm? Aside from always having the best whole milk on hand at all times, the greatest part of growing up on a dairy farm is having the privilege of working with my family or working alone with the animals outside on a regular basis. I learned a lot living on a farm and experienced more than those living in the city. So many adventures! Why is being a county dairy princess important to you? It’s important to me to represent Hennepin County because it has a largely suburban population. Many people are unaware of the critical role Midwestern dairy farmers have in providing quality food to local households and grocery stores. As a product of the dairy industry, I feel it is very important to promote it. I want to teach the relationship between good health and dairy products and I want to establish a stronger relationship between farmers and consumers, as I am both. If you were giving a presentation to your local rotary club, what key message would you focus on and why? Because of my nutrition background, I’d feel specifically credible as a dairy princess to speak about the dietary need for milk and other dairy products. Through their services, hopefully, the rotary club would have a pivotal role in educating the public about either the dairy industry or dairy products themselves. This may include the issue of lactose intolerance, where I’d help them discover that incorporating dairy at a young age or continuing to consume it can eliminate the intolerance all together. I could also discuss any questions or assumptions about dairy farming practices, where I’d confirm the sustainable efforts met or exceeded by dairy farmers in the Midwest and their contributions to the food system. Sharing these ideas is a great way to spread a positive message about dairy!

Houston County

Parents: Matt and Pam Hendel Town: Caledonia Tell us about yourself, the farm you live and/or work on, and your future plans. I am currently finishing my first year at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville where I am majoring in animal science with a pre-vet emphasis. I grew up on my family’s 350-registered Holstein and Brown Swiss dairy farm. I am the fifth genera- Hannah Hendel, 18 Dairy Star Sponsor: tion to live and work on the Farmer’s Co-op farm. My responsibilities Elevator include milking and feedRushford, Houston, ing the calves and heifers when I’m home. After col- Caledonia, Spring Grove 800-450-7733 lege, I hope to be accepted at a veterinary college to become a large animal veterinarian. What has been the best part of growing up and/ or working on a dairy farm? I think one of the best parts of growing up on my family’s dairy farm, and in the dairy industry as a whole, has been all the great memories and friends I’ve made. From an early age, I learned where my food comes from. Many kids who live in large cities don’t know where their dairy products come from. As a dairy industry representative and dairy producer, I think it is important that we all do our part to inform those not familiar with farming. Why is being a county dairy princess important to you? Being a county dairy princess means a lot to me. I am representing an industry that I grew up in. I also love getting the opportunity to spread my knowledge to others on why agriculture and the dairy industry are important not only to our country but the world. The dairy industry provides many jobs and also a healthy, wholesome product to its consumers. If you were giving a presentation to your local rotary club, what key message would you focus on and why? I would present animal welfare as my key message. I would bring in dairy producers from the area to answer questions so the rotary members can meet the producers of the product they consume. Getting to meet real farmers, I believe, helps bring a better understanding that we care for our animals and for us to make a great wholesome dairy product we need our animals to be healthy, too. Parents: Allen and Jody Krueger Town: Caledonia Tell us about yourself, the farm you live and/or work on, and your future plans. I grew up on my family’s dairy farm outside Caledonia, Minn., where we milk 45 cows with a variety of breeds. My chores consist of feeding calves and heifers and helping with night milking. I am currently a freshman at North Dakota Carlie Krueger, 19 Dairy Star Sponsor: State University where I’m involved in the Bison Bob Lange Consulting Dairy Club, Saddle and - ANC, Agri Nutrition Consulting Sirloin, and Sigma Alpha Caledonia, MN Professional Sorority. My 507-450-6610 future plans are to major in agricultural communications with a minor in animal science. What has been the best part of growing up and/or working on a dairy farm? The best part about growing up on a dairy farm has been working with the animals and being a part of a community that shares my passion for agriculture. I love caring for the animals and watching them grow everyday. I also enjoy getting them ready for the county fair and being able to show them in the 4-H and open class shows. Why is being a county dairy princess important to you? I believe being a county dairy princess is important because we are given a special opportunity to inform the consumers about the dairy industry. Whether it be handing out cheese at the local farm-

Houston County continued on next page


Houston County continued er’s market or working in the local ADA stand at the county fair, we are able to promote our wholesome products and to talk with the public and answer any questions they may have about our industry. If you were giving a presentation to your local rotary club, what key message would you focus on and why? My message would be about sustainability in the dairy industry. The rotary club strives to make the world a better place not just for the present, but also the future. I would focus on how dairy farmers are also making a difference in our world by being more efficient with our energy and water use. By utilizing new renewable resources and reducing our carbon footprint, we aim to make a positive impact on the environment. Parents: Mike and Sue Stemper Town: Caledonia Tell us about yourself, the farm you live and/or work on, and your future plans. I live and work on a Holstein dairy farm where we milk 270 cows. I started helping my dad with calf chores in third grade and now I milk. I am currently going to school at Winona State University Cara Stemper, 18 for my bachelor’s degree Dairy Star Sponsor: in elementary education Hammell Equipment with early childhood and Rushford - 507-864-2845 middle level mathematics Eitzen - 507-495-3326 minor. Once I graduate, I Harmony - 507-886-2255 hope to get a job around Chatfield - 507-864-4910 the area. What has been the best part of growing up and/or working on a dairy farm? To me, the best part of growing up on a dairy farm is the qualities that are learned from helping out at such a young age. When I was younger, I didn’t enjoy getting up so early to help, but now I am glad that my dad made me help because working on the farm has taught me to be hardworking and responsible. I definitely would not be the person I am today if I did not grow up on a dairy farm. Why is being a county dairy princess important to you? Being a dairy princess is important to me because ever since I was Little Miss Squirt, it has always been my dream to be a dairy princess. I love having the opportunity to be a leader in promoting the dairy industry in my county. I also love that I get to be around and help out people who care about the dairy industry as much as me. If you were giving a presentation to your local rotary club, what key message would you focus on and why? The key message that I would focus on is how important consuming three servings of dairy products a day is for a person’s diet. In the United States today, people are not consuming enough dairy products in their diet, and this is leading to health problems in all ages. When you consume low-fat dairy products, you are consuming many essential vitamins and nutrients that benefit your health. I feel that it is very important to inform consumers how easy and healthy consuming dairy products really is.

Isanti County

Parents: Christopher and Melissa Skiba Town: Cambridge Tell us about yourself, the farm you live and/or work on, and your future plans. I am actively involved on my grandparents’ dairy farm located in North Branch, Minn. I currently own two Registered Jerseys under my prefix of Third Rock Farm. We are currently milking approximately 145 cows, and we raise all of our own calves. I enjoy feeding calves, milking, and assisting in calf identification. I plan to major in veterinary medicine with a dairy emphasis, and

Meghan Skiba, 17 Dairy Star Sponsor: Fluegge’s Ag Mora, MN 320-679-2981

Isanti County continued I am looking forward to furthering my path in agriculture. What has been the best part of growing up and/ or working on a dairy farm? The best part about growing up working on a dairy farm is the satisfaction of knowing that what my family and I do is important to our state and our consumers. I have been blessed with a good work ethic, along with a dedication to our land and our animals. I enjoy having the opportunity to set myself apart from the other students in my school by being involved with the dairy industry. Why is being a county dairy princess important to you? Being a county dairy princess is important to me because I am passionate about agriculture, and I know that dairy is an important source of nutrients in a daily diet. The most important thing I can do as a dairy princess is to reach out to consumers about the real story of farming, and I take pleasure in talking to people that are interested in where their food comes from. If you were giving a presentation to your local rotary club, what key message would you focus on and why? The five key dairy messages are essential to the dairy industry because they each represent a different aspect of it. However, my main message would include the importance of dairy and why dairy products are wholesome, nutritious, and good-tasting. My goal of this presentation would be to inform my audience about the nine essential nutrients that are present in dairy products, and in turn get more people to consume dairy every day.

Kandiyohi County

Parents: Victor and Debbie Keller Town: Hawick Tell us about yourself, the farm you live and/or work on, and your future plans. I am the youngest of seven children. I really like activities, love animals (especially cats), and am a movie fanatic. I also really love to sing and listen to music. I work on our family farm. My grandparJackie Keller, 19 ents, Ronald and Doreen Dairy Star Sponsor: Thorson, owned it origiD&D Ag Supply nally, and now it belongs Pennock, MN to my eldest brother, Scott 320-599-4466 Lieser. We raise Holstein dairy cows. My future plan is to graduate college with a health and physical education major and a performance minor. I would like to become a teacher. What has been the best part of growing up and/or working on a dairy farm? Growing up on the farm doesn’t just have one best part; it has many. I will always have great stories, like the time my brother, Scott, welcomed me to “The Unit,” or another time when my sister, Linda, broke a window because of a moth. Everyday on the farm has its own memory. Most of them consisted of us joking around with each other. The knowledge and experiences I have gained in my life would not have been possible without the farm. Why is being a county dairy princess important to you? Being a county dairy princess is very important to me. Not only am I representing my family and our farm, but I am also representing every dairy farm in Kandiyohi County. I get to support and advertise for our county dairy farms, which is a vital part of today’s economy. I want others to know the importance of this industry as well. If you were giving a presentation to your local rotary club, what key message would you focus on and why? A key message I would give is that my family loves being dairy farmers. As dairy farmers, we take great pride in the health of our herd and the conservation of our land. When we care for our cattle, there are many different aspects to consider. We make sure they are receiving a proper diet, plenty of exercise, and lots of grooming. My family and I know each cow by her first name. When we take care of our land, we keep it hydrated with our irrigation systems. We recycle the waste of the cattle by fertilizing our fields. This helps the crops grow. Another key point I would give to my local rotary club is, “Drink your milk. We work hard to provide it for you. The cows work even harder than we do.”

Dairy Star • Saturday, May 10, 2014 • Page 9

Lincoln County

Parents: Michael and Teresa Drietz Town: Canby Tell us about yourself, the farm you live and/or work on, and your future plans. I live on a 50-cow dairy farm, which is owned and operated by my dad. He also farms land and runs a 50pair cow/calf operation. I have grown up on the farm with my parents and six siblings. I help on the farm with milking cows Morgyn Drietz, 17 Dairy Star Sponsor: and feeding calves. The Farmer’s Co-op farming lifestyle is what Association I love and is the reason I Canby & Minneota, MN have chosen to attend the 507-223-7241 University of MinnesotaCrookston to major in animal science this fall. What has been the best part of growing up and/or working on a dairy farm? The best part of growing up on a dairy farm has been the experiences and opportunities I have been blessed with. Through the farm and 4-H, I have met so many influential people who have inspired me to continue a career in agriculture. Most of my childhood memories will be remembered as playing on the farm with my family, from playing house in the pastures to playing vet with the young calves. Why is being a county dairy princess important to you? Being a county dairy princess is important to me because I believe agriculture needs promotion. Many people don’t understand farming as we do. For us, it’s a lifestyle, but others may not see it that way. As an advocate for the dairy industry, I feel it’s important for myself and other princesses to express how important the dairy industry is and how dairy operations work to the public to show an accurate picture of the industry. If you were giving a presentation to your local rotary club, what key message would you focus on and why? If I were giving a presentation to my local rotary club, I would focus on how influential agriculture is to our global economy. I feel that every farm, regardless of size, needs to know their importance and impact on our economy. I also feel that people need to realize that the economy relies on farms of all sizes, not just one. Parents: Lane and Jill Petersen Town: Tyler Tell us about yourself, the farm you live and/or work on, and your future plans. My parents own and operate Maple Grove Farms, which is southwest of Tyler. They milk about 120 cows and raise the youngstock that are born on the farm. Currently, I am a junior at Southwest Kaitlin Petersen, 21 Minnesota State UniverDairy Star Sponsor: sity and majoring in huGorter’s Clay and man resources. When I’m Dairy Equipment done with school, I hope Pipestone, MN to work in the human re507-825-3271 source department of a big business. What has been the best part of growing up and/or working on a dairy farm? The best part about growing up on a dairy farm is that I developed a work ethic, and I also appreciate more things in life. One thing that I have grown to appreciate more are going on trips, because my family never really went on family trips that often when I was a child. Why is being a county dairy princess important to you? Being a dairy princess has always been something that I’ve wanted to do. I want to help promote dairy products to consumers that aren’t well informed about them. I’d also like to inform children about milk and how it’s good for you. It’s amazing to see children’s faces light up when I talk about ice cream, too. Lincoln County continued on next page


Page 10 • Dairy Star • Saturday, May 10, 2014

Lincoln County continued If you were giving a presentation to your local rotary club, what key message would you focus on and why? My message would be that dairy doesn’t just help out the farmer but it employs many people. Those people range from truck drivers, factory workers and people who work for the farmer directly. Without the dairy farmer, those people wouldn’t have jobs that help sustain the local economy.

McLeod County

Parents: Jerry and Connie Eggert Town: Hutchinson Tell us about yourself, the farm you live and/or work on, and your future plans. I am currently a sophomore at the University of Wisconsin–River Falls where I am horticulture major with a business emphasis. I am proudly employed by Howe Holsteins, an 80 cow dairy specializing in Katie Eggert, 20 Registered Holsteins and Dairy Star Sponsor: my personal favorite, JerFirst Choice Sales seys, located in HutchinHutchinson, MN son, Minn. My future 320-583-8253 plans include finishing college while continuing to be an advocate for the dairy industry. Upon my college graduation, I plan to work with a county extension service in Minnesota. What has been the best part of growing up and/or working on a dairy farm? The best part of working on a dairy farm has been gaining responsibility and dedication. Whether it was making sure I got calves trained for the county fair on time or handling feeding calves alone for the first time, skills that I learned from this experience cannot be replaced by any other experience. I am proud to say that I learned lifelong skills that I can use no matter what industry I end up in. Why is being a county dairy princess important to you? Being a county dairy princess is important to me because it allows me to be an advocate of this amazing industry. It allows me to be the face for Minnesota dairy farmers and the animals they love. I am excited to share my story of growing up working on my grandparent’s dairy farm and I continue my passion for the dairy industry by working on another dairy farm. Also, being able to connect with young children is my favorite. If you were giving a presentation to your local rotary club, what key message would you focus on and why? I would focus on how dairy farmers care for the environment and are good stewards of the land. Since rotary clubs are often focused on specific communities, I would discuss how local farmers are using management tools in order to be more sustainable with the changing farming industry. Since dairy farmers live on the land they farm, they work hard to protect and care for the land, air, and water they live by. Parents: Mark Forcier Town: New Auburn Tell us about yourself, the farm you live and/or work on, and your future plans. I’m an outgoing and reliable person. I love working on the farm with the cows. Growing up, I would always help my dad work on things like four-wheelers, dirt bikes and snowmobiles. The farm I worked on milked 350 Holsteins. Cassandra BatdorfI helped milk them in a Forcier, 18 double-7 parlor during the Dairy Star Sponsor: night shift. What has been the Jungclaus Implement, Glencoe, MN best part of growing up 320-864-5118 and/or working on a dairy farm? The best part about working on the dairy farm is not only bonding with the cows, but also being the one getting the milk from the cows. Knowing I am helping provide milk to consumers is great. I also love the calves. They are so cute and cuddly.

McLeod County continued

McLeod County continued

Why is being a county dairy princess important to you? The reason being a dairy princess is important to me is because I get to promote the dairy industry. While promoting it, I get to learn more about it. It’s a big accomplishment in life for me. If you were giving a presentation to your local rotary club, what key message would you focus on and why? The key message I would focus on would be making sure they have their three servings of dairy each day and encourage them to make sure their children drink milk. It is my job as a dairy princess to promote dairy and help others learn about how important it is in their diet.

is my intent to continue dairy farming with my family and attain a job as an agricultural educator after college. What has been the best part of growing up and/or working on a dairy farm? Most people my age, especially girls, haven’t had the opportunity to learn skills like driving tractors or milking cows. The best part of growing up as a farm girl is learning how to deal with the variety of challenges farmers everywhere face on a daily basis and prove that even though I am not your typical farmer, I am fully capable of being a dairy farmer. Why is being a county dairy princess important to you? With the gap between consumers and farmers growing larger all the time, it is important that I promote the truth about the dairy industry. Every person deserves to know where their food comes from and who is working everyday to ensure that the dairy products they receive are healthy and safe. I want to make sure all individuals have the opportunity to connect with someone involved within the dairy industry and being a county dairy princess helps me achieve that personal goal. If you were giving a presentation to your local rotary club, what key message would you focus on and why? I would focus on the fact that dairy cows must be well cared for in order for wholesome milk to be produced. Animal welfare is a constant issue within several animal agriculture industries and the dairy industry is no exception. While every key message is important, I believe that consumers need to first understand farming is a business as much as it is a hobby. We love our animals and if we don’t care for them, we can’t afford to make a living farming.

Parents: Rick and Mindy Jeurissen Town: Lester Prairie Tell us about yourself, the farm you live and/ or work on, and your future plans. I’m a senior at Lester Prairie High School who is actively involved in 21 school related activities including student council and sports. When not at school, I work on my family farm where I assist Genevieve my family in milking 150 Jeurissen, 18 cows in a double-12 milkDairy Star Sponsor: ing parlor with automatic First District shut off milkers, feeding Association calves, cleaning barn and Litchfield, MN operating machinery. Af320-693-3236 ter high school, I will be attending Ridgewater College in Hutchinson for early childhood development and child psychology. What has been the best part of growing up and/ or working on a dairy farm? Knowing that I have the opportunity many people don’t have would be the best part of growing up and working on my family farm. I have the ability to set my own schedule and to work one-on-one with the dairy animals. Whether it be milking cows, feeding calves or any other chores my parents have me to do, I embrace how blessed I am to be able to educate people in my everyday life on the farming lifestyle my family and I have. Why is being a county dairy princess important to you? Being a county dairy princess gives me the opportunity to bring the information that I know about the dairy industry to the consumers in my own unique way. I love working hands-on with younger generations because I will be working and teaching them every day once I graduate from college. Being a county dairy princess gives me the freedom to show the passion I maintain for the dairy industry and the unique lifestyle I grew up in. If you were giving a presentation to your local rotary club, what key message would you focus on and why? Dairy farmers dedicate their time to producing high-quality milk for consumers. They are able to produce high-quality products because they take care of the land, water, air and the animals. Dairy farms have a positive influence on a community by not only helping with the care of land,water, air and animals, but by helping provide many jobs for community members. Without dairy farms, we would have less jobs and environmental care. Parents: Ron and Denise Schmidt Town: Hutchinson Tell us about yourself, the farm you live and/or work on, and your future plans. I am currently a high school senior and when I am not busy with school or FFA activities. I milk 60 cows at my family’s dairy farm and about 140 cows for Christensen Dairy. In the summer I am kept quite busy with fieldwork as well. After graduation, I will double major in dairy production and agricultural education as well as minor in agronomy at South Dakota State University. It

Meeker County

Parents: Tony and Patti Fisher Town: Watkins Tell us about yourself, the farm you live and/or work on, and your future plans. I am a senior at Litchfield High School. I am involved in volleyball, basketball, track, student council, National Honor Society, yearbook and 4-H. I live on our family farm 10 miles north of Litchfield Nicole Fisher, 17 where we milk 60 HolDairy Star Sponsor: steins. Next year I will be AgVenture Feed attending North Dakota & Seed, Inc. State University where I Watkins, MN will be majoring in busi320-764-9910 ness. What has been the best part of growing up and/or working on a dairy farm? I enjoy working with my dad and with the animals. I also love spending time with my grandfather while we feed our baby calves. Why is being a county dairy princess important to you? I love going to an event and sharing my passion of dairy with young children that look up to me. If you were giving a presentation to your local rotary club, what key message would you focus on and why? I would focus on ways of getting three servings of dairy each day because more and more children choose a different drink choice over milk. I would talk about other options to get three servings of milk without even drinking a glass of milk itself. I would also talk about the benefits of milk and why it is so important for your body to receive it daily. Meeker County continued on next page

Cheyenne Schmidt, 18 Dairy Star Sponsor: First District Association Litchfield, MN 320-693-3236


Meeker County continued

Meeker County continued

Parents: Dan and Beth Krumrie Town: Litchfield Tell us about yourself, the farm you live and/ or work on, and your future plans? I am currently a first year student at the University of Minnesota studying agricultural education with an emphasis in leadership and communication. Since I didn’t grow up on a dairy farm, I have been working on the Tuman fam- Nicole Krumrie, 19 Dairy Star Sponsor: ily farm, for the past four Willow Wells Farm & years, located in Watkins. Rockstar Genetics The farm milks around 60 Watkins, MN Registered Brown Swiss 320-453-2523 and Holstein cows. In the future I hope to keep promoting the dairy industry. What has been the best part of growing up and/ or working on a dairy farm? The best part about working on a dairy farm is that I have gained so many life lessons and skills while working on the farm. Not only have I learned the value of hard work through milking the cows or patience while trying to get a newborn calf to drink her bottle, but I have learned so much about passion and how with passion you can do just about anything you set your mind to. Why is being a county dairy princess important to you? Being a county dairy princess is important to me because it gives me a chance to make an impact not only in Meeker County, but anywhere else I go. Some consumers don’t know all the benefits that dairy products provide or even how a dairy farmer cares for cattle. By educating the public, I am able to spread a positive image about the dairy industry and what farmers do. If you were giving a presentation to your local rotary club, what key message would you focus on and why? If I were giving a presentation to the local rotary, I would stress just how much care farmers put into their work. Not only are dairy farmers just farmers, their roles include being the veterinarian, dietician, nutritionist, and cleaner, along with many other jobs as well. Without happy cows, dairy farmers would not able to produce a wholesome and nutritious products for us to enjoy.

provides, along with many others is, calcium, potassium and vitamin D. Almost half of today’s teenagers do not drink any milk and they are carrying that habit with them into adulthood. As dairy promoters, we need to share our knowledge of the importance getting your three servings of dairy every single day.

Parents: Nick and Jen Ridgeway Town: Litchfield Tell us about yourself, the farm you live and/or work on, and your future plans. My dad milks 5,600 cows on four dairies in west central Minnesota. My experiences of growing up on a farm have been a little different than the other girls, but my love and respect for the farmers and the Emma Ridgeway, animals remains the same. 18 My job on the dairy is to Dairy Star Sponsor: help out when extra hands Land O’Lakes are needed. These jobs Melrose, MN can range from mowing 320-256-7461 the lawn to covering the feed pile. My future plans are to attend the College of St. Benedict with a major in biology/pre-med. What has been the best part of growing up and/or working on a dairy farm? The best part of growing up on a dairy farm is seeing the hard work and dedication the farmers put into their work. Farmers are the only workers I know who are on call twenty-four/seven and still love what they do. Why is being a county dairy princess important to you? Being a dairy princess is important to me because it gives me an opportunity to give back to a community of people who have taught me so much. It allows me to share the knowledge and experiences I have learned with others. 4. If you were giving a presentation to your local rotary club, what key message would you focus on and why? A key message I would like to share with others is the importance of dairy. Milk has three of the four nutrients that the Dietary Guidelines of America say is lacking in a child’s diet. The three things milk

Parents: Rick and Julie Thompson Town: Watkins Tell us about yourself, the farm you live and/or work on, and your future plans. My name is Nicole Thompson. I am a senior at Litchfield High School. I plan to attend Ridgewater College to get my associate of arts degree in dairy management. I work on Wagner Dairy where they Nicole Thompson, milk 420 Registered Jer18 seys. Dairy Star Sponsor: What has been the Wagner Dairy best part of growing up Litchfield, MN and/or working on a 320-693-3894 dairy farm? I have been able to do what I love which is taking care of the cows. Why is being a county dairy princess important to you? I want to teach young children the importance of getting their 3-A-Day. If you were giving a presentation to your local rotary club, what key message would you focus on and why? I would inform people of the importance of getting their daily calcium. Not getting enough calcium can lead to osteoporosis and weak bones.

Mille Lacs County

Parents: Dan Christensen, Marti Lambert Town: Milaca Tell us about yourself, the farm you live and/or work on, and your future plans. I am a senior at Milaca High School and will graduate in May. My dad is Dan Christensen. He is the manager at the local creamery in Foreston. I live on a hobby farm near Milaca which consists Brooke Christensen, mostly of horses. I have 18 been involved in FFA Dairy Star Sponsor: throughout all four years Foreston Co-op of high school. I applied Creamery for the State Degree this Foreston, MN past fall which is the high320-294-5711 est degree in FFA. I have also been involved in 4-H for 11 years. I started with dairy steers and went to horses. I now show dairy cattle for the Reiman family. I grew up on my grandparent’s dairy farm in Pease, Minn. I also have worked at the Bauer Dairy in Royalton where they milk 400 cows, raise their heifers, and feed out their steers. My future plans are to further my career in the dairy industry. What has been the best part of growing up and/or working on a dairy farm? The best part of growing up and working on a dairy farm is learning the value of hard work, working for what you believe in, and having goals. I have also learned about responsibility and carry with me a lot of knowledge about the dairy industry from hands-on experiences. Why is being a county dairy princess important to you? Being a Mille Lacs County Dairy Princess is important to me because I get to teach people about the dairy industry. I also get to share the importance of farmers and tell about how hard they work. If you were giving a presentation to your local rotary club, what key message would you focus on and why? My key message would be about how important it is to have farmers and explain what they do for the community and the world. I would also explain to them how the younger generation doesn’t show much interest in agriculture/dairy industry. We need to spark an interest in them and show that they can make a difference in the world.

Dairy Star • Saturday, May 10, 2014 • Page 11

Morrison County

Parents: Jim and Cheryl Harren Town: Freeport Tell us about yourself, the farm you live and/or work on, and your future plans. I am a senior at Melrose High School. At school, I am involved with the yearbook committee, choir, and softball. During the summer, I enjoy running, horseback riding, hunting, four-wheeling, scrap- Kaitlyn Harren, 17 booking, playing softball Dairy Star Sponsor: for the St. Rosa Jaycee Elmdale Creamery Teen League, and just beElmdale, MN ing outside. Besides help320-573-2607 ing dad out on the farm, I work as a certified nursing assistant at the CentraCare Pine Villa Nursing Home in Melrose. My future plans are to attend the Lake Superior Community College for the physical therapy assistant program and then the massage therapy program in Duluth. I live on a 250 acre dairy farm near Upsala. Our farm has been in our family for five generations. We milk 60 Holstein cows and raise approximately 90 steers, heifers and calves. My job is to help my dad with anything that needs to get done such as: feeding the animals, keeping them clean, and dipping and wiping off the cows during the milking process. In the summer, I also help with fieldwork. Farming is never boring because there is always something that needs to be done. What has been the best part of growing up and/or working on a dairy farm? The best part about growing up on the farm is we get to work as a family. It has taught me to be strong, physically and mentally. Also, farming has taught me the importance of determination and hard work. I have developed an appreciation for nature as well. Why is being a county dairy princess important to you? Being a dairy princess is important to me because I feel the dairy industry is extremely important to everyone. Farmers feed the world and there are not many industries that can say that. I am proud to be part of it. I want to share that message with others. If you were giving a presentation to your local rotary club, what key message would you focus on and why? If I had to give a presentation on the dairy industry, I would stress the importance of farmers in the world. They are extremely important because they provide us with one of nature’s most essential drinks. Everyone depends on farmers in some way. Farmers are a huge part of making a strong economy. The future depends on farmers for food and milk is important in remaining healthy. Parents: Ralph and Nancy Rinkel Town: Hillman Tell us about yourself, the farm you live and/or work on, and your future plans. I grew up on a small farm. We milk about 70 cows. We raise all of our calves both heifers and steers. My main job on the farm was to take care of the calves. I graduated from Milaca Mindy Rinkel, 19 High School. In high Dairy Star Sponsor: school I was a member of Athman Dairy, Inc. the FFA. I received all of Pierz, MN my degrees up to the state 320-468-2792 degree and was sentinel and president of our chapter. My future plans are to become a large animal veterinarian. What has been the best part of growing up and/or working on a dairy farm? The best part of growing up on a dairy farm is the birth of a calf. Calves are the cutest when they are born and they can come in many different sizes and colors. Taking care of the calves gave me a lot of responsibility as a kid, but I wouldn’t ever want to give up that learning experience. Morrison County continued on next page


Page 12 • Dairy Star • Saturday, May 10, 2014

Morrison County continued

Morrison County continued

Why is being a county dairy princess important to you? Being a dairy princess is important to me because I love the dairy industry and I love being able to promote our great industry. There are many great tasting and nutritious products that come from the milk we produce that many people don’t use. I am honored to be able to represent the many great dairy farmers from Morrison Country. If you were giving a presentation to your local rotary club, what key message would you focus on and why? If I were to give a presentation to my local rotary club, I would focus on the issue of animal welfare because that is a big issue that is being brought up in our industry right now. My key message would be that dairy farmers work to give their cows the best care. If we did not care for our cows, our milk production would be going down because an unhealthy cow will not produce as much milk as a healthy cow.

Parents: Ken and Brenda Yorek Town: Little Falls Tell us about yourself, the farm you live and/or work on, and your future plans. I have grown up with four older brothers. When I was younger my parents started out with 65 cows but later expanded by building a free stall and parlor and increased their herd to 200 milking cows. On the Katie Yorek, 18 farm I help with the daily Dairy Star Sponsor: chores and the seasonal Modern Farm field work. Next year I Equipment plan to attend University Pierz, MN of Wisconsin- River Falls 320-468-2161 for dairy science. What has been the best part of growing up and/or working on a dairy farm? The best part of growing up on a farm was being able to see your hard work pay off. We worked hard as a family from day one to continue to better our farm. Dairy farming is also a great learning experience. Why is being a county dairy princess important to you? Being a county princess will allow me to spread my knowledge of the dairy industry and also learn from other farmers and get to know them. It will be a wonderful experience for me to be able to educate the general public about how great our industry really is and the products produced by the farmer. If you were giving a presentation to your local rotary club, what key message would you focus on and why? I would let them know that our dairy cows are well cared for and treated humanely because so many people think that as farmers we abuse our cows. The cows are our main source of income, so in order to be profitable we have to take good care of them.

Parents: Joe and Dianne Staricka Town: Swanville Tell us about yourself, the farm you live and/or work on, and your future plans. I live on the Century Farm that my great grandparents settled between Swanville and Upsala. My family milks 60 cows in a tie stall barn with a loose housing addition. I love music, writing fiction, and draw- Jessica Staricka, 18 ing and I publish my own Dairy Star Sponsor: comic online. In school, Elmdale Creamery I’m in theater, speech, Elmdale, MN National Honor Society, 320-573-2607 choir, and band. This fall, I plan on attending Minnesota State University at Mankato. What has been the best part of growing up and/or working on a dairy farm? Spending time with animals has been the funnest part of living on a dairy farm. My family trained a few teams of oxen and working with them in parades is always a blast, no matter how hectic. Growing up around cows, cats, dogs, and chickens has impacted my life hugely and has taught me lessons on everything from biology to patience. And of course, baby calves are adorable— though sometimes obnoxious—sweethearts. Why is being a county dairy princess important to you? It’s a great opportunity to teach people about the dairy industry, especially children who don’t quite understand where their food comes from and how farming works. Growing up on a dairy farm has given me plenty of stories to tell, and nothing promotes the industry and its products more than education, friendly conversation, and a personal connection. I think I can benefit the industry while having fun. If you were giving a presentation to your local rotary club, what key message would you focus on and why? I would focus on the message that cows are well cared for. On the internet especially, I’ve stumbled upon misconceptions about the treatment of dairy cows. It’s important that the public cares about animal safety, but many misunderstandings could be cleared up with a simple description of how hard farmers work to take care of their cattle. A dairy farmer’s livelihood depends on the well-being of cows. Many people don’t understand that.

Mower County

Parents: Pat and Kris Mullenbach Town: Adams Tell us about yourself, the farm you live and/or work on, and your future plans. I have one brother, Danny, and two sisters, Megan and Claire. I am involved in and love spending my time showing horses and cattle. I am a senior at Southland High School, and I plan to attend South Lauren Mullenbach, Dakota State University 18 to major in animal sciDairy Star Sponsor: ence. I milk cows for Four Meyerhoffer Bagging Way Farms where they Stacyville, IA milk 200 head of Holstein 507-259-5863 cattle. What has been the best part of growing up and/or working on a dairy farm? I enjoy being involved on a dairy farm because it develops a good work ethic. I also get to work with family, and I enjoy working with the animals. The best part was having that family time in the barn during milking. That’s when we always had dad’s full attention, whether that was good, bad or otherwise! Why is being a county dairy princess important to you? I am proud to represent my county’s dairy farmers. Having grown up on a dairy farm, I understand the life-style and work it takes to be a dairy farmer. I understand the importance of promoting the dairy industry as a whole from the products to the hard working farmers. It’s important to me that anyone who works or has worked in the dairy industry knows that they are appreciated for everything that they do. If you were giving a presentation to your local rotary club, what key message would you focus on and why? I would focus on how to get more dairy products in schools, pre-schools or day cares. It is important to have dairy in your diet and to have milk, cheese and yogurt every day. If we can get children started with good and healthy habits when they are young, it will carry through to adulthood.

Mower County continued Parents: Ed Smith and Cheri Bentzin Town: Rose Creek Tell us about yourself, the farm you live and/or work on, and your future plans. I live south of Rose Creek, Minn., on a dairy farm were we milk 350 Holsteins. In the fall, I plan to go to school in Austin, Minn., at Riverland Community College to pursue my bachelor’s degree in Lea Semones, 18 nursing (BSN). Dairy Star Sponsor: What has been the Foremost Farms best part of growing up www.foremostfarms.com and/or working on a 800-362-9196 dairy farm? The best part of growing up on the farm is being around the animals and learning a strong work ethic. I enjoy feeding the calves, but I am too short to milk in our parlor. Why is being a county dairy princess important to you? Being a county dairy princess is important to me because there are a lot of things in the dairy industry that people are not well educated on, and I enjoy sharing my knowledge on the dairy industry. If you were giving a presentation to your local rotary club, what key message would you focus on and why? I would stress the importance of dairy consumption because of the nutritional value it provides. Parents: Rick and Tracy Smith Town: Adams Tell us about yourself, the farm you live and/or work on, and your future plans. I was born and raised on my family’s farm, where we milk 240 head of Holstein cattle three times a day. I currently attend Winona State for education; however, I am transferring to University of Wisconsin- McKinzie Smith, 20 River Falls in the fall to Dairy Star Sponsor: major in dairy scienceLand O’Lakes management. Melrose, MN What has been the 320-256-7461 best part of growing up and/or working on a dairy farm? The best part of growing up and working on a farm is knowing that the hard work and dedication we put into each animal ensures that they are as calm and comfortable as possible, so they can provide a wholesome product for the world to enjoy. Why is being a county dairy princess important to you? This role is important to me because it gives me the opportunity to support the dairy industry by being able to inform the public about the safe and nutritious products we provide for them. If you were giving a presentation to your local rotary club, what key message would you focus on and why? I would focus on the key message that we as dairy farmers strive for maximum health of their herd. Herd health plays a huge role in the animals’ welfare, the quality of the products the cows produce and the future of their family’s farm. It is very important for the public to know that farmers take amazing care for their animals and this message would allow the club to receive insight on reasons why farmers care so much about what they do.


Murray County Parents: Ben and Connie Post Town: Chandler Tell us about yourself, the farm you live and/or work on, and your future plans. I live on a small 60-cow dairy near Chandler, Minn. My activities include rodeos, helping out on the farm regularly and hanging out with friends when I get the time. I am a junior at Edgerton Public High School. Kayla Post, 17 I plan on attending South Dairy Star Sponsor: Dakota State University Gorter’s Clay and for college to major in Dairy Equipment dairy manufacturing and Pipestone, MN minor in food and nutri507-825-3271 tion and possibly equine science. My dream is to always be involved in agriculture in some way. I love showing dairy and hope to make it a part of my future! What has been the best part of growing up and/or working on a dairy farm? I think that growing up on a dairy farm gives me an advantage that will help me in the future. Working on our dairy farm gives me responsibilities that other teenagers don’t have; it helps me to prepare for my future, giving me a great work ethic and people skills. Why is being a county dairy princess important to you? Something great about being a dairy princess is getting to meet people who have the same passion for dairy and agriculture as me. I love talking to new people about the dairy industry and learning more about it. If you were giving a presentation to your local rotary club, what key message would you focus on and why? I would focus on the importance of dairy products in people’s diet and how dairy is a huge part of nutrition. I think promoting dairy is very important, and I would try to show how great it is and educate people as much as I can. Parents: Bill and Merri Post Town: Chandler Tell us about yourself, the farm you live and/or work on, and your futuplans. I am currently a freshman at South Dakota State University in Brookings, S.D. pursuing a degree in dairy production with a minor in ag business. I am currently the activities coordinator for the SDSU Dairy Club Sarah Post, 19 and the leadership chair Dairy Star Sponsor: for the Sigma Alpha– Gorter’s Clay and Omega Chapter SororDairy Equipment ity. I grew up on a small Pipestone, MN 120-cow dairy farm where 507-825-3271 we recently put up a new robotic milking facility. I enjoyed working outside with my dad and grandpa milking cows, feeding calves, breeding cattle and helping in the fields. In the future, I hope to obtain a job with a reproductive company working with invitro fertilization or embryo transfers or as a nutrition specialist. What has been the best part of growing up and/ or working on a dairy farm? The best part of growing up on a dairy farm was being around the cattle. I love dairy cattle and have always enjoyed watching them grow from a calf to a cow. The fact that a little calf will one day be a part of the herd, producing milk for consumers is amazing and fascinating to me. Why is being a county dairy princess important to you? Being a county dairy princess is important to me because it gives me the opportunity to promote an industry that not only my family, but many families in my county work so hard for every day. By being spokesperson for Murray County dairy producers who work day in and day out to produce a quality product for consumers, I am promoting an industry that is beneficial not only to my home county, but to Minnesota and our country. If you were giving a presentation to your local rotary club, what key message would you focus on

Dairy Star • Saturday, May 10, 2014 • Page 13

Murray County continued and why? I feel it is very important to explain to consumers that everything dairy farmers do each is for the health and well-being of their cows. As a whole, we strive to keep our cows happy and comfortable so they create a real, simple and fresh product that is wholesome to consumers. I would give this presentation by creating a slideshow that includes facts of multiple dairy farms across the area and how they contribute to our local economy and community. Parents: Greg and Madeline Vander Wal Town: Slayton Tell us about yourself, the farm you live and/or work on, and your future plans. I am a senior at Murray County High School in Slayton, Minn. I am involved in volleyball and track. I plan to go to the University of Northwestern to major in kinesiology and minor in psychology. My Dana Vander Wal, dad has a 600-cow dairy 18 farm and is looking to Dairy Star Sponsor: expand. I work with the Gorter’s Clay and calves by bottle-feeding Dairy Equipment new calves, feeding them Pipestone, MN their grain and guiding the 507-825-3271 calves through our robotic feeders if needed. What has been the best part of growing up and/or working on a dairy farm? I am a hard worker. I love to work with the calves. I have spent my whole life working with the cows, and I also love to promote dairy products. Why is being a county dairy princess important to you? The dairy industry is important to me because it is my family’s livelihood. Also, I enjoy the opportunities that a dairy farmer gets. Finally, I love the dairy products out there, especially ice cream. If you were giving a presentation to your local rotary club, what key message would you focus on and why? Milk is very important to the human body. I would talk to children about how milk helps you grow, develop and recover. I would hand out milk at sporting events as a healthier option than pop. The school and county would help me get the message across. Parents: Don and Sandy Van Eck Town: Ruthton Tell us about yourself, the farm you live and/or work on, and your future plans. I am currently a freshman at South Dakota State University in Brookings, S.D. I am majoring in agricultural business with a possible minor in agronomy. I live on a 75-cow family dairy farm near Ruth- Kiley Van Eck, 19 ton, Minn. I have lived Dairy Star Sponsor: on a dairy farm my entire Gorter’s Clay and life. Every night that I am Dairy Equipment available, I help my dad Pipestone, MN milk cows, feed calves 507-825-3271 and do other chores on our farm along with field work when needed. What has been the best part of growing up and/or working on a dairy farm? I have grown up on my family dairy farm. I have enjoyed being outside, working on our farm, feeding calves and milking cows since I was a young kid. Being able to watch a little calf grow up into a fully mature cow is a very rewarding process. I love bonding and spending time with my cows. There is always something new or different happening every day on a dairy farm, and that is what makes it the most exciting to me and why I love it so much. Why is being a county dairy princess important to you? The reason being county dairy princess is important to me is because I get to be the one educating the public about the local and national dairy industry. This has always been a very rewarding experience to be part of, and it is very important to me. I enjoy meeting new people and working with children.

Murray County continued

I feel that having an outgoing personality and many years of hands-on experience makes it easy for me to educate the public on the dairy industry. If you were giving a presentation to your local rotary club, what key message would you focus on and why? I would tell the rotary club about proper dairy animal care because it is such a popular question regarding the dairy industry lately. I think that proper animal care and comfort is very important for dairy cows. Being a dairy farmer, milk is your main source of income so we need to keep the cows comfortable to the best of our ability. We need to care for their needs so that they can produce high quality milk. If we take good care of our cows, they will take good care of us. Waste management is an important factor in the public’s view of the dairy industry.

Nicollet County

Parents: Paul and Mary Struss Town: Courtland Tell us about yourself, the farm you live and/or work on, and your future plans. I live on an 85-cow dairy farm near Courtland that was started in 1871. I am the sixth generation on our farm. We milk Holsteins, Red and White Holsteins, Brown Swiss and Jerseys. In the fall, I will be attend- Megan Struss, 18 ing South Dakota State Dairy Star Sponsor: University majoring in AMPI New Ulm agriculture business and Division dairy science. 507-354-8295 What has been the www.ampi.com best part of growing up and/or working on a dairy farm? The best part has been learning all about the dairy industry and getting many opportunities to meet new people at shows and at dairy related activities. I have also learned how to have a good work ethic, the value of getting things done, and the joy you get when you see one of your newborn calves grow up and calve to become a cow in your herd. Why is being a county dairy princess important to you? Because I grew up on a dairy farm, the dairy industry has become a very important part of my life. I want to promote the dairy industry and spread the word that dairy products are wholesome and nutritious and share how farmers care for their cows to provide people with that wholesome product. Also, growing up on a dairy farm has brought me many wonderful memories. If you were giving a presentation to your local rotary club, what key message would you focus on and why? I would focus on the fact that dairy farmers are hardworking and they take excellent care of their cows because people need to know that cows are well cared for and farmers work hard to keep their cows healthy. Farmers care and love their cows like their own family.

Parents: Dan and Shelley Schugel Town: New Ulm Tell us about yourself, the farm you live and/or work on, and your future plans. I am a senior at New Ulm Senior High School. In school, I participate in choir, speech team, SPOTS as well as track and field. My outside activities include Just for Kix dance and STRIVE. I plan on attend- Stacey Schugel, 18 ing Morningside College Dairy Star Sponsor: in Sioux City, Iowa next AMPI New Ulm fall. My parents milk HolDivision stein cows and crop farm 507-354-8295 in rural Courtland. My www.ampi.com older brother, Scott, works for Northstar Select Sires, and his wife, Ashley, works for Genex CRI in Shawano, Wis. My sister, Danielle, is a recent graduate of Minnesota State University-Mankato. Nicollet County continued on next page


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Nicollet County continued What has been the best part of growing up and/ or working on a dairy farm? I love to be around all the animals and helping my dad on the farm. My favorite thing to do around the farm is to take care of the baby calves. Even though I am very busy with activities in and out of school, I try to help my dad as much as possible when time allows for it. Why is being a county dairy princess important to you? It is important to me because I can promote and share with others my knowledge of the dairy industry. My dad and other dairy farmers produce healthy and delicious food for consumers. Farmers are good caretakers of the land, and my dad loves what he does. He wouldn’t want to be anything else but a dairy farmer. If you were giving a presentation to your local rotary club, what key message would you focus on and why? Chocolate milk is loaded with vitamin D, protein and other essential nutrients. There are a lot of schools that have taken out chocolate milk and the students are missing out on essential nutrients they need to think, learn and grow. Replacing these nutrients with other foods and beverages not only costs more, it actually adds more calories and fat.

Nobles County

Parents: Bryan Voss and Rebecca Bovee Town: Worthington Tell us about yourself, the farm you live and/or work on, and your future plans. I grew up on a farm outside of Bigelow, Minn., but I moved into town when I was 9 years old. I may not live on a farm anymore, but I am frequently out at Ocheda Dairy, where my father works, doing whatJustyce Voss, 18 ever I can to help out. I am Dairy Star Sponsor: currently attending MinJaycox Implement nesota West Community Worthington, MN College and will continue 507-376-3147 my education there in the fall. What has been the best part of growing up and/or working on a dairy farm? The best part about growing up in a dairy farm environment has been working with and around the cows. That is really what I enjoy most. I love animals, so getting work with the dairy cows is really special for me. Why is being a county dairy princess important to you? Being a dairy princess is important to me because it is the best way I can support the dairy industry. I believe that every healthy diet starts with dairy products. This industry is also important to our economy since we provide a lot of jobs to people who might not be able to make a living without us. If you were giving a presentation to your local rotary club, what key message would you focus on and why? I would promote the message that the cows on our farms are well taken care of. The cows on our farms are well fed, live in comfortable living spaces and our farmers do whatever they can to keep the cows healthy.

Olmsted County

Parents: Tom and Penny Berg Town: Pine Island Tell us about yourself, the farm you live and/or work on, and your future plans. I am a senior at Pine Island High School where I am active in basketball, dance, track, 4-H and FFA. I also volunteer some of my time to help our church. We live on 200-cow dairy farm, which is located on the Douglas Trail. On the farm, I am in charge of feeding calves, milking cows, driving skid loader and also general farm labor. Next year, I plan on

Kalley Berg, 18 Dairy Star Sponsor: Land O’Lakes Melrose, MN 320-256-7461

Olmsted County continued

Olmsted County continued

attending a two-year college for farm operations and welding. What has been the best part of growing up and/or working on a dairy farm? I would say the best part about growing up on a dairy farm would be getting to see the baby calves develop into a mature, milking cows. Something that always amazed me is how I helped the calves grow. Feeding them milk as a calf, to corn as a heifer, and TMR as a cow all helped them grow. I also enjoy when visitors from the trail would stop in to see our baby calves. I always like sharing with them the how to on feeding calves. Why is being a county dairy princess important to you? Being an Olmstead County Dairy Princess is important to me because of the story and knowledge that we have of the dairy business. I also feel it is vital that we share our knowledge with people inside and out of the dairy industry. I want to encourage people to get there three servings of dairy a day. Overall, I want to show how amazing the dairy industry is and all the good that comes out of it, whether it helping children’s bones grow, maintaining health in adults or creating jobs in Minnesota. If you were giving a presentation to your local rotary club, what key message would you focus on and why? My message would tell them importance of the dairy industry. Dairy benefits the health of children and adults by providing calcium, protein, riboflavin, phosphorous, vitamins A, D and B12. The dairy industry also helps balance the state’s economy by a total output of 11.5 billion dollars each year. The dairy industry creates over 38,000 jobs in Minnesota, too. The dairy industry is very beneficial to Minnesota, to the health of the land and also our people.

Parents: Scott and Tina Culbertson Town: Pine Island Tell us about yourself, the farm you live and/or work on, and your future plans. I am very involved with the year round heifer care program at our farm. We typically house around five or six Registered Holstein heifers in a specialized show heifer barn. I also help my uncle who Annie Culbertson, milks 45 Registered Hol19 steins in a tie stall barn in Dairy Star Sponsor: a family partnership with Beck Implement my father. I am currently Elgin, MN majoring in agricultural 507-876-2122 education with an emphasis on leadership and communications at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities. What has been the best part of growing up and/or working on a dairy farm? The best part of growing up in the dairy industry is the friends and connections I have made. Every show, sale and event that I attend, I know that I will always see a familiar face or meet someone new who shares the same passion for the dairy industry as I do. I love conversing with my dairy friends as well as being able to share my story with those who don’t have an agriculture background. Why is being a county dairy princess important to you? While exhibiting dairy over the past few years, I’ve had many different questions come my way. I believe that putting a face to the dairy industry is exactly what consumers need to feel closer to the farm. Even if it’s answering no, brown cows don’t give chocolate milk, it’s the little things that count. It’s up to people, like myself, to inform the public about where their food comes from and why it’s important. If you were giving a presentation to your local rotary club, what key message would you focus on and why? Dairy farms feed millions of people everyday with their wholesome, nutritious, and good tasting products. Farmers promote milk as nature’s most perfect food, and we deliver. Milk, cheese and yogurt are packed with essential minerals and nutrients that everyone needs to lead a healthy lifestyle. Dairy foods are also quite tasty. No matter what product a consumer chooses, they can be assured that it will taste delicious and be nutritious.

Parents: Kevin and Kathy Connelly Town: Byron Tell us about yourself, the farm you live and/or work on, and your future plans. I’m attending the University of Wisconsin – River Falls where I am pursuing a degree in dairy science with a minor in agricultural business. My family and I own and operate a 100cow Registered Holstein Meghan Connelly, dairy farm just outside of 19 Byron, Minn. We farm Dairy Star Sponsor: a little over 700 acres of Plainview Milk Products corn, beans and hay and Co-op have around 350 head of Plainview, MN livestock total. 507-534-3872 What has been the best part of growing up and/or working on a dairy farm? Growing up on a dairy farm instilled a love of animals in me at a young age. Stories are still told of me chasing kittens through our hay mow and helping feed cows in my little red wheelbarrow. My passion and love for animals would not be what it is today if I had not grown up on a dairy farm. Why is being a county dairy princess important to you? My dad has been a board member for the Olmsted County American Dairy Association as long as I can remember. Through that, our family as a whole has played a large role in promoting and educating the public on the dairy industry. Being a dairy princess allows me to continue this tradition by informing the public of our industry and promoting the product that we love. If you were giving a presentation to your local rotary club, what key message would you focus on and why? I would deliver the message that farmers are proud, responsible stewards of both the land and the animals. I would focus on this message because people are becoming further and further removed from agriculture. Due to the fact that people are further removed, it is as important as ever that we, as dairy farmers, promote and inform the public on how we care for our land and animals.

Parents: Jerome and Karen Sheehan Town: Rochester Tell us about yourself, the farm you live and/or work on, and your future plans. I am senior at Lourdes High School and will be graduating in May. I plan on attending the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities to major in agricultural education. On my family’s farm, we milk 300 Hol- Ellen Sheehan, 18 steins on two locations. Dairy Star Sponsor: Our farm was started by Plainview Milk Products my grandpa, Jim Sheehan, Co-op and is now owned by my Plainview, MN dad, two uncles, and three 507-534-3872 of my cousins. We milk our cows in a double-12 parlor on one location and in a tie stall barn. We raise all of our heifers and feed our calves pasteurized milk. What has been the best part of growing up and/or working on a dairy farm? One of the best parts about growing up on a dairy farm is the time spent with my family. Every day I get to help my aunt and my cousin feed calves. I also enjoy getting to spend time with my dad and uncles when I help milk and do chores. Showing our cows at the county and state fair with my cousins and siblings has also been a highlight of growing up on our farm. Why is being a county dairy princess important to you? Being a county dairy princess is im-

Pine County continued on next page


Dairy Star • Saturday, May 10, 2014 • Page 15

Olmsted County continued portant to me because it gives me the opportunity to promote the dairy industry and what my family does for a living. It also gives me the opportunity to talk to young kids and adults about the importance of getting their three-a-day of milk, cheese and yogurt. If you were giving a presentation to your local rotary club, what key message would you focus on and why? When giving a presentation to the local rotary club, the key message I would focus on is the role that the dairy industry plays in our economy. There are thousands of jobs that are created because of the dairy industry, which help with our economy. Without farmers taking care of their animals and their land, there would not be these jobs.

Pine County Parents: Frank and Shelley Moyer Town: Hinckley Tell us about yourself, the farm you live and/or work on, and your future plans. Although I didn’t grow up on a farm, I have grown up around farms. When I was younger, I always wanted to be a veterinarian, but when I started volunteering at a veterinary clinic, I realized I loved Hannah Moyer, 19 working with cattle. Now Dairy Star Sponsor: that I work for two dairy Fluegge’s Ag farmers, I have fallen in Mora, MN love with dairy cattle and 320-679-2981 plan on going to college to study dairy science, majoring in genetics and nutrition. What has been the best part of growing up and/or working on a dairy farm? Working for two dairy farmers is a wonderful experience. Since both farms are so vastly different, I’ve been able to view two diverse ways of dairy farming. The difference between using a bull as opposed to AI, a parlor versus a stanchion barn, and the difference between first and third generation farming. However, my favorite part of working on a dairy farm is working and learning more about cows, plus I love the people I work for. Why is being a county dairy princess important to you? I see this as an opportunity to be able to help people understand the dairy industry better. Dairy farmers work hard to provide people with the best possible product. I would like to have an opportunity to learn more about the dairy industry, and in doing so, help to educate others. If you were giving a presentation to your local rotary club, what key message would you focus on and why? My key message would be to talk about the benefits of dairy. Promoting healthy dairy choices, such as Greek yogurt, Kefir and cheddar cheese, and explaining how these are healthy choices as well as what makes them good for you. In addition to the health of dairy, I would explain how farmers are proudly working to make their milk a higher grade so these products can be better for us. Parents: Scott and Sarah Swanson Town: Bruno Tell us about yourself, the farm you live and/or work on, and your future plans. I have worked at Sunshine Dairy for two years and I love it. After this summer, I plan to go to Northwestern University in St. Paul where I will major in communications. I want to travel and study abroad, Hannah Swanson, so that is definitely some18 thing I’m looking forward Dairy Star Sponsor: to. Fluegge’s Ag What has been the Mora, MN best part of growing up 320-679-2981 and/or working on a dairy farm? For me, the best part of working on a dairy farm has been becoming close with the family I work for. They are like

Pine County continued a second family to me and I am so blessed to have them in my life. I will miss them and our movie nights when I go off to college. Why is being a county dairy princess important to you? Being a dairy princess is about meeting people and sharing your enthusiasm about the dairy industry. Being able to be confident about your profession and proud of your hard work is something for people to admire and look up to. If you were giving a presentation to your local rotary club, what key message would you focus on and why? The message I would like to get across is that we must appreciate and value our farmers in the area. God has given them a massive responsibility that many overlook. However, they willingly work hard to provide for their families and people around the world. God bless our farmers.

Pipestone County Parents: John and Berlinda Vander Wal Town: Pipestone Tell us about yourself, the farm you live and/or work on, and your future plans. My family and I own and operate Newalta Dairy. We have 2,000 milk cows and about 1,500 heifers. At home, I work a lot with the calves and the show heifers. Right now, I am attending South Dakota Bernice Vander State University with a Wal, 19 major in animal science. Dairy Star Sponsor: When I graduate from colGorter’s Clay and lege, I would like to purDairy Equipment sue a job as a calf specialPipestone, MN ist. 507-825-3271 What has been the best part of growing up and/or working on a dairy farm? The best part about growing up on a dairy farm is all the opportunities I have on and off the farm. On the farm, I have the opportunity to work with newborn calves, herd health, milking, show cattle and other endless jobs around the farm. Off the farm, I have the opportunity to be in 4-H, Minnesota Holstein Association, SDSU Dairy Club and other activities that the dairy industry has to offer. Growing up on a dairy farm has given me friendships that will last a lifetime. I am so blessed to be in a industry that offers so many opportunities. Why is being a county dairy princess important to you? Being a county dairy princess is important to me because the dairy industry has been a very important part of my life. I want to tell other people about the importance of the industry. It is important to let the younger generation know why milk and all the other milk products are important for the body and what it does to them. Not only is it important for the children to know this, but also the parents. I want parents to know that milk is very important part of a young child’s diet. If you were giving a presentation to your local rotary club, what key message would you focus on and why? Agriculture is growing and expanding every day. Farmers are tasked with the job to feed millions of people and are doing an incredible job of meeting all those expectations in an economical and substantial way. Farmers work hard every day to make sure there is enough food to go around for the whole nation.

Pope County continued

Pope County Parents: Jay and Emily Backowski Town: Villard Tell us about yourself, the farm you live and/or work on, and your future plans. My name is Katherine Backowski; I am a senior at Osakis Public School. I am involved in 4-H, FFA, Project 4 Teens, and also am a religious education teacher for third graders at Immaculate Conception Katherine Church in Osakis. I am Backowski, 18 employed at Target where Dairy Star Sponsor: I work in Starbucks, but Osakis Creamery my favorite job is working Association for the Thurk family on Osakis, MN their dairy farm. My fu320-859-2146 ture plans include attending North Dakota State University with a major in agribusiness. What has been the best part of growing up and/or working on a dairy farm? My favorite part about working on a dairy farm has been working with the animals and learning important facts about the dairy industry. Since I started being employed for the Thurk family, I have a newly found respect for all farmers and their hard work. I appreciate the sense of satisfaction I get from knowing I play a role in producing a quality food product for human consumption. Why is being a county dairy princess important to you? Being a county dairy princess is important to me because it provides an opportunity to promote something that I truly believe in and I am excited to be a part of. I firmly believe that by being a representative for the dairy industry I can help educate and promote the industry to make it better known. If you were giving a presentation to your local rotary club, what key message would you focus on and why? My message that I would address is knowing your farmer and your food source. Because of my experience in working with a grocery franchise, I receive many questions about is our food safe and where is it coming from. I would explain this by the rigorous safety standards farmers have to meet in order to sell their products. I would also be an advocate for the “Know Your Farmer Know Your Food” USDA initiative which ties together with food safety. Parents: Brian and Stacy Wildman Town: Glenwood Tell us about yourself, the farm you live and/or work on, and your future plans. I have lived in Pope County all my life on a 4,500 acre farm with 40 dairy cows. I love to read, travel, be outdoors, and spend time with family and friends. Next year, I plan to attend the University of North Rachel Wildman, Dakota in hopes of pursu18 ing a degree in nursing. Dairy Star Sponsor: What has been the CHS Prairie Lakes best part of growing 800-808-1626 up and/or working on a dairy farm? There are many great things about living on a farm. I love the feeling of freedom and the opportunity that goes along with it. My sisters and I have many memories from the farm and have had many interesting adventures. The life lessons I have learned are irreplaceable and things that I will pass on to my own children. Why is being a county dairy princess important to you? Being a county dairy princess means a lot to me and my family. I spent the majority of my life learning how to farm and what separates a good farmer from a great farmer. My dad works extremely hard to be that great farmer and I want people to know what it feels like to be a part of a family farm. I am

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Pope County continued

truly honored and blessed to represent Pope County and its farmers along with my family. If you were giving a presentation to your local rotary club, what key message would you focus on and why? If I were to give a presentation, I would talk about why agriculture is more important to society than ever before and how easy it can be to take these things for granted. I would also want to explain that many families don’t farm solely for the money; it’s more of a passion and a need to help their community and even people from around the world. Agriculture is the heritage of this nation.

Redwood County

Parents: Greg and Laura Stage Town: Vesta Tell us about yourself, the farm you live and/or work on, and your future plans. This fall I will be a senior at South Dakota State University majoring in dairy manufacturing with a minor in food safety and ag business. On my family farm, we milk 60 cows and farm 900 acres of land. In Della Stage, 20 the future, I am planning Dairy Star Sponsor: to get a job in a dairy manGorter’s Clay and ufacturing plant. Dairy Equipment What has been the Pipestone, MN best part of growing up 507-825-3271 and/or working on a dairy farm? The best part of growing up on a dairy farm is how much character it builds. It has made me a hard worker with a very good work ethic, made me take on responsibility and has created a passion in me. It has made me realize how great the dairy industry is and how much potential there is when looking at a career path. Why is being a county dairy princess important to you? Being a county dairy princess is important to me because I can share the importance of consuming dairy products and promoting the industry to the people of the county that has supported me thus far. If you were giving a presentation to your local rotary club, what key message would you focus on and why? The key message I would focus on would be that there are numerous dairy products that can be consumed in many different forms, so people should be able to find something they like. As time goes on, more and more products are being developed to cater to different wants and needs.

Renville County

Parents: Thomas Koopman and Candace Malo Town: Hector Tell us about yourself, the farm you live and/or work on, and your future plans. I am currently in my first year of college at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities majoring in animal science/pre-veterinary medicine with the hopes of eventually attending veterinary school and ob- Crystal Kay Malo, taining a doctorate degree. 20 I’d also like to minor in Dairy Star Sponsor: ag business management during my undergraduate Direct Feeders Supply Hector, MN career. My future plans 320-848-6212 are to work as a veterinarian, hopefully in my own private practice, specializing in livestock and promoting agriculture. I currently work at Benson Dairy Inc. in Stewart, Minn. I have a variety of job responsibilities that involve caring for the cattle, working with machinery, and helping out in the fields. What has been the best part of growing up and/or working on a dairy farm? The best part of working on the dairy farm is getting the hands-on experience with the cattle. I want to be a veterinarian

Renville County continued

and being able to work with the cattle gives me the kind of experience I’ll need. I’ve done a variety of things including banding, tagging ears, vaccinating, delivering calves, etc. All the hands-on experiences are what I love most. Why is being a county dairy princess important to you? The most important thing about being a dairy princess is representing and promoting the dairy industry. If you were giving a presentation to your local rotary club, what key message would you focus on and why? I would focus on how appreciative we should be of farmers. I don’t think people realize how much work actually goes into dairy farming. The entire milking process itself is a lot of work, but there is way more to dairy farming than just milking the cows; and that is something that I would touch and make people more aware of. Because I work on a dairy farm, I know just how much work goes into it. I believe people need to really appreciate the work that farmers do in order for them to enjoy dairy products. Parents: Delfin Wulkan and Erin Grams Town: Hector Tell us about yourself, the farm you live and/or work on, and your future plans. I am a senior at Buffalo Lake Hector-Stewart High School and participate in National Honor Society, volleyball, and 4-H. Beginning this fall, I will Brandi Wulkan, 17 Dairy Star Sponsor: be attending Ridgewater College in Hutchinson for Renville County ADA early childhood education, then Ridgewater College in Willmar for farm operations and management. After I finish college, I hope to start an agricultural charter school, where I hope to go back to the basics and use hands-on learning. What has been the best part of growing up and/or working on a dairy farm? The best part about growing up on a dairy farm is the family. You learn to work as a team, be responsible and respectful, and you get to spend your time with the most important people-your family. In addition, every day is a new learning experience and brings great adventures. Why is being a county dairy princess important to you? I want people to learn about where their food really comes from. I also want to be a positive role model for kids and teach them healthy habits. If you were giving a presentation to your local rotary club, what key message would you focus on and why? I would focus on the nutritional value of dairy products, as they are so important to our health. Milk can help with eyesight, weight, teeth, bones, and muscle tissue. The calcium in one glass of milk is the same amount as in three cups of broccoli. One container of yogurt contains the same amount of potassium as a banana. One ounce of hard cheese contains 8 grams of protein while an egg contains 6 grams.

Rice County Parents: Raymond and Bridget Pieper Town: New Prague Tell us about yourself, the farm you live and/or work on, and your future plans. I grew up living and working on my family owned and operated Holstein farm where we milk 420 cows, raise all our youngstock and crop farm just over 1,000 acres of land. On my farm, my main jobs are to milk cows and care for the calves. I am currently a senior in high school, and this coming fall, I plan to major in agricultural business at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls.

Emily Pieper, 18 Dairy Star Sponsor: Lonsdale Feed Mill Lonsdale, MN 507-744-2367

Rice County continued What has been the best part of growing up and/ or working on a dairy farm? Dairy farming is a very rewarding lifestyle. For me, it is even more rewarding that I get to spend every day with my family working together on our farm. I love the fact that chore time is family time. Farming has taught my family and I the importance of perseverance time and time again. I am so grateful to be raised on a dairy farm, and I have grown to be truly passionate about the dairy industry. Why is being a county dairy princess important to you? Agriculture has always been and always will be, an essential part of my life. I have experienced and learned about dairy farming firsthand, and I am honored to represent the hard working dairy farmers and promote the healthy, delicious products they produce. I hope to correct any misconceptions about farming and promote the dairy industry by informing the public and answering questions about farming. If you were giving a presentation to your local rotary club, what key message would you focus on and why? It is important that people know their dairy products are coming from farmers who care deeply for their animals. Dairy farmers provide their cows with a clean, dry environment and mix a fresh, nutritious ration every day for their cows so they can produce the quality, wholesome, nourishing product. Farmers work day and night to do everything they can to ensure their cows are getting the best care possible, because farmers love what they do.

Rock County Parents: Sterling and Denise Severtson Town: Kenneth Tell us about yourself, the farm you live and/or work on, and your future plans. I am currently a junior in high school. I work on two dairies. I work for my neighbor’s dairy (BrandsHaven Holsteins) doing calf chores and also at my grandparents’ dairy (KruseDale Holsteins) Andrea Severtson, milking and doing calf 17 chores. I absolutely love it Dairy Star Sponsor: and enjoy showing dairy Chandler Feed Co. cattle for my grandparChandler, MN ents. I plan to become a 507-677-2237 large animal/equine veterinarian with a focus on genetics and AI. What has been the best part of growing up and/or working on a dairy farm? The best part of working on a dairy farm is the fact that I get to be outdoors and with animals. Animals are my one true passion. Working with them is my stress reliever. I volunteer to work a lot because I love it so much. Also, I know exactly what I want to do when I graduate because of the dairy industry. Learning alongside my uncle with AI and helping animals has proved to me that I do want to become a veterinarian. Why is being a county dairy princess important to you? Being a county dairy princess is important to me because I have a passion for the dairy industry, and I want to share that passion with others. The dairy industry deserves recognition for everything it does. Dairy farmers work constantly. They have no vacations. I also want to get rid of all the misconceptions that surround the dairy industry. If you were giving a presentation to your local rotary club, what key message would you focus on and why? The dairy industry is very important to everyone. We provide many products for people, and also help the economy. We work very hard. Our products are essential to the body. We can even make them even healthier for you. Keep supporting us.


Roseau County Parents: Doug and Corena Green Town: Greenbush Tell us about yourself, the farm you live and/or work on, and your future plans. I am a freshman at Northland Community and Technical College in Thief River Falls to receive my associate of arts degree. I also play volleyball and basketball. In addition, I’m very active in my church Michele Green, 19 and the community. We Dairy Star Sponsor: farm with my grandpar- Dairyland Supply, Inc. ents milking 52 Holstein Sauk Centre, MN cows and have 30 head 800-338-6455 of Angus. We also farm 3,500 acres of small grain. I help with milking, feeding calves, driving tractor, and running the grain cart. I also love showing cattle in 4-H. After Northland, I plan to attend University of Minnesota-Crookston to major in animal science and ag business, then possibly take over the family farm. What has been the best part of growing up and/or working on a dairy farm? I am a leader, love the cows and enjoy teaching others, especially children, about the dairy industry. I want to work within the dairy industry after college to keep it going. Why is being a county dairy princess important to you? Being a dairy princess is an honor. I’m able to share my passion of the dairy with others and especially young kids. It’s important for them to know where their dairy products come from and the hard work behind it. If you were giving a presentation to your local rotary club, what key message would you focus on and why? Kids need to stay active and eat healthy. They will be stronger and healthier by getting calcium through dairy products. Student athletes can help by getting the kids outside for exercise and explaining how the right nutrients can benefit their bodies.

Scott County

Parents: Burel and Norleen Lane Town: Prior Lake Tell us about yourself, the farm you live and/or work on, and your future plans. I just finished my freshman year at the University of Minnesota, and I am majoring in genetics, cell biology and development. I work for Zweber Farms, which is an organic farm located just outside of the city of Audrey Lane, 19 Elko-New Market. They Dairy Star Sponsor: milk 90 cows, and their Organic Valley herd includes Holsteins, Cooperative Brown Swiss, and several LaFarge, WI cross bred cows. 888-809-9297 What has been the best part of growing up and/or working on a dairy farm? The best part of working on a dairy farm for me has been to have exposure to agriculture and real world applications of science. Neither of my parents are employed within the agricultural industry and without working on a dairy farm, I would not have had this exposure. This involvement has allowed me to make life-long connections, and I have learned priceless life lessons about the satisfaction of a job well done and responsibility. Why is being a county dairy princess important to you? Without the exposure I have had to agriculture, specifically the dairy industry, I know that I would have numerous misconceptions. Because of this, I am looking forward to sharing the knowledge that others have shared with me such as simple ways to eat healthy and that farmers care for their cattle, land and the well being of consumers. If you were giving a presentation to your local rotary club, what key message would you focus on and why? As rotary clubs include service as one of their goals, my focus would be to encourage them

Scott County continued to support educational endeavors. Classroom visits provide not only a great educational opportunity, but also are a lot of fun, especially if a calf comes with. A lifelong positive impression of the diary industry and science can be made on kids by giving them the opportunity to learn about the dairy industry in a handson manner. Parents: Tim and Jody O’Loughlin Town: Shakopee Tell us about yourself, the farm you live and/or work on, and your future plans. I grew up on a diversified dairy farm in Shakopee where we milk about 350 head of Holsteins, raise all of our own youngstock and run cropland. I am currently a junior at Iowa State University, double majoring Erica O’Loughlin, in dairy science and ani20 mal science. At school, I Dairy Star Sponsor: am involved with the ISU AMPI Dairy Science Club and Rochester Division Block and Bridle where 507-282-7401 I help out with various www.ampi.com education activities and recruitment of prospective students. I am undecided on a career path for the future, but I know it will be in the dairy industry hopefully, along the lines of new technologies, nutrition or education. What has been the best part of growing up and/ or working on a dairy farm? The best part about growing up on our dairy farm is being exposed to all different aspects of the dairy industry. Whether it be breeding or calf care, feedlot operations, day to day chores, spending endless hours in the field or family gatherings, I have really gained an understanding of the means of teamwork, tradition and overall what it takes to feed the world. It has also taught me to love animals and stick to what I’m passionate about, which has led me to pursuing a career in dairy science. Why is being a county dairy princess important to you? Being a county dairy princess is important to me because it allows me to stay close to my community and the dairy farmers in my area. It provides a way for me to educate the public and exercise the knowledge and people skills I have learned over the years. If you were giving a presentation to your local rotary club, what key message would you focus on and why? If I was to present to a local rotary club, I would focus on the importance of chocolate milk and Fueling Up to Play 60. This new program provides great points about the nutrients in milk and why they are essential to our everyday lives, especially for athletes. I have helped do some community outreach at college with this program and being a county dairy princess allows me to further that in my own community as well.

Sibley County

Parents: Jim and Jody Oelfke Town: Hamburg Tell us about yourself, the farm you live and/or work on, and your future plans. I am a senior at Central High School in Norwood and will be graduating to pursue a career in athletic training at Minnesota State University, Mankato. I am involved in extracurricular activities such Jennifer Oelfke, 17 as FFA, 4-H, volleyball, Dairy Star Sponsor: track and choir. I have State Bank of Hamburg grown up on a dairy farm Hamburg, MN with my parents and three 952-467-2992 siblings who all partake in www.statebankofhamburg.com chores around the farm. We milk 226 registered Jerseys, in addition to operating our own cash cropping and beef business. What has been the best part of growing up and/or working on a dairy farm? I am thankful to have had the privilege of growing up on a dairy farm.

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Sibley County continued It is hard to pick just one favorite memory, but one thing that I always find exciting is exhibiting my family’s dairy cattle at the county and state fairs. It was and still is a family project that my siblings and I look forward to each year. Why is being a county dairy princess important to you? Being a county dairy princess is important to me because it allows me the opportunity to give back to dairy farmers who work tirelessly to produce a wholesome product. Informing consumers of important dairy nutrition facts and knowledge of where their milk comes from is imperative to the livelihood of dairy farmers everywhere. It is also a passion of mine to represent my parents who dedicate their lives caring for our family farm. If you were giving a presentation to your local rotary club, what key message would you focus on and why? My local rotary club is dedicated to creating a community that thrives on supporting local businesses. Therefore, I feel that it would be beneficial to speak on behalf of our community’s dairy farmers. Interest in local foods has increased because people are more conscious of cost, sustainability and knowing where their food comes from. The purpose of speaking to our rotary club about local foods is to connect consumers to local producers. Parents: Dean and Deidra Riebe Town: Arlington Tell us about yourself, the farm you live and/or work on, and your future plans. I like to play basketball and show cows at the fair. I live and work on my father’s dairy farm. My family and I share the jobs that come with the farm. We all milk and feed the cows along with the calves. I am planning to Hayley Riebe, 17 attend Bemidji State UniDairy Star Sponsor: versity to major in art and First District design with an emphasis Assocation in digital design. I hope, Litchfield, MN in the future, to get a job 320-693-3236 in advertising. What has been the best part of growing up and/or working on a dairy farm? The best part of growing up on a dairy farm has been not only caring and spending time with the animals, but also bonding with my family. When I am outside working with my family, we have such a great time and it doesn’t feel like work anymore. I have bonded with my family in a way that I wouldn’t have if I had not grown up on a dairy farm. Why is being a county dairy princess important to you? Growing up on a dairy farm has shown me all the hard work and dedication farmers put into dairy products. I would love to share the message of such a great and healthy product. Many people don’t know what goes on behind the product, and I would be honored to represent them. If you were giving a presentation to your local rotary club, what key message would you focus on and why? I would focus on how dairy products are healthy and nutritious and that farmers care for their cows and the product. Everybody in the dairy community takes extra precautions before the product makes it on the shelf. I would focus on this key message because everyone should be reassured that dairy products are healthy and farmers care for their cows.


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Stearns County

Parents: John and Chris Donnay Town: Kimball Tell us about yourself, the farm you live and/or work on, and your future plans. I am currently a sophomore at Evangel University in Springfield, Missouri where I am pursing a degree in biological chemistry. I grew up on a dairy farm where we milk 40 Holsteins and farm around Maria Donnay, 20 320 acres. We became cerDairy Star Sponsor: tified organic in 2005. I Organic Valley help out with chores when Cooperative I am home from school LaFarge, WI on breaks. After my un888-809-9297 dergraduate degree, I plan on going to either medical school or graduate school. What has been the best part of growing up and/ or working on a dairy farm? The best part about growing up on a dairy farm is the impact it has had on my life. I have learned so many valuable life lessons that are hard to learn elsewhere. At a young age, I was taught the significance of a good work ethic, true commitment, good communication, and efficient teamwork. Living on a dairy farm has shaped me into the person I am today, and I am very grateful for it. Why is being a county dairy princess important to you? Being a county dairy princess is important to me because it gives me the opportunity to share not only my story, but the stories of the other Stearns County dairy farmers as well. I love having the chance to interact with consumers of all ages. I am so excited to have this amazing opportunity to share my passion for the dairy industry with all those I meet. If you were giving a presentation to your local rotary club, what key message would you focus on and why? I would focus on the key message that dairy products are wholesome, nutritious, and goodtasting. The local rotary club and dairy farmers have a common goal: to reach a community in need. The rotary club does this through many volunteer projects. Local dairy farmers reach a community in need by providing the people with a powerhouse of nutritious products that are fresh, affordable, and readily available. Parents: Doug and Sandy Kerfeld Town: Albany Tell us about yourself, the farm you live and/or work on, and your future plans. I am the oldest of five children who grew up on our parents’ farm. We moved to Albany when I was in second grade, but I have lived on a farm all my life. My family milks 100 Holstein cows and we raise our own Tiffiny Kerfeld, 23 heifer calves. I am currentDairy Star Sponsor: ly finishing a double major FarmFirst Dairy at St. Cloud Technical and Cooperative Community College for Madison, WI early childhood educa608-244-3373 tion and paraprofessional educator. Once I graduate, I plan on getting a job working in a school setting with little kids in this area. While teaching, I want to implement the dairy industry into my work. I also want to incorporate dairy into my home life, even if I don’t have a dairy farm of my own. I want my family to learn and share all the experiences I had growing up on a farm. What has been the best part of growing up and/or working on a dairy farm? While there are so many great things about growing up on a dairy farm, there is one part I cherish the most. For me, the best part of growing up on a farm is all the memories made on the farm with family. Working with the family to accomplish things like chores or just having fun on the farm brings everyone together, but the memories made keep you closer. Not to mention all the great stories shared along the way.

Stearns County continued

Stearns County continued

Why is being a county dairy princess important to you? I am proud to be a farmer’s daughter and to come from a dairy background. This is why being a dairy princess and sharing my passion and knowledge with others is important to me. While I can do that without a crown and sash, being a county dairy princess provides more opportunities to talk with a variety of people during the county fair or during school visits. If you were giving a presentation to your local rotary club, what key message would you focus on and why? The rotary club is all about business and professional leaders encouraging high ethical standards, recognition of worthiness in all occupations, and goodwill in the world. I would focus on how the dairy industry is important to our communities and state. Also, farmers are responsible caretakers of the land and recognize the responsibility to be sustainable. Another key is how dairy farmers and their families are proud of what they do. Farming is an important occupation and their families are proud of what they do. All of those key messages show that farming has high ethical standards, is worthwhile, and plays and important role in the world today.

Parents: Steve and Julie Middendorf Town: Sauk Centre Tell us about yourself, the farm you live and/or work on, and your future plans. I grew up on dairy farm where my family and I milk 100 Holsteins and farm 300 acres of land. I am currently a junior at North Dakota State University majoring in animal sciences with minors in crop Leah Middendorf, and weed sciences and 21 agribusiness. I am very Dairy Star Sponsor: active in the Bison Dairy Munson Feed Club, Senior Dairy JudgCompany Inc. ing Team, and Saddle and Melrose, MN Sirloin Club. Upon gradu320-256-4219 ation, I plan to go into feed consulting or livestock sales and marketing. What has been the best part of growing up and/or working on a dairy farm? The best part about growing up on a dairy farm were the many experiences that taught me values such as hard work, responsibility, and how to be a caring person. I have many memories from growing up on the farm; such as when we would have my cousins over to help us pick rock, teaching friends how to milk a cow, and splashing my siblings with five gallon buckets of water when we were supposed to be cleaning for the inspector. Those many opportunities to be surrounded by my family, working as a team, and building strong relationships with them and our animals is something for which I am grateful. Why is being a county dairy princess important to you? Being a Stearns County Dairy Princess is an opportunity that is important to me because it gives me the chance to share my family’s story and represent the hardworking dairy farmers of my county. As a dairy princess, I want to go to schools and talk to students about the importance of consuming three servings of dairy every day, the life of a dairy farmer, and programs such as Fuel Up to Play 60. If you were giving a presentation to your local rotary club, what key message would you focus on and why? Dairy farm families care so much about the role they play in protecting the planet’s natural resources. Caring for the land that they work on, protecting air and water quality that they share with their communities, and providing the upmost care for their animals is how dairy farmers take pride in protecting the environment. We depend on this land for our business and our way of life.

Parents: Kenny and Cheryl Ley Town: Lake Henry Tell us about yourself, the farm you live and/or work on, and your future plans. My family and I run a 60 Holstein dairy farm southwest of Lake Henry. Along with milking cows, we raise all our livestock and farm about 230 acres. Currently, I am a freshman at Southwest MinSabrina Ley nesota State University Dairy Star Sponsor: in Marshall. I am double AMPI majoring in agribusiness Paynesville Division and marketing. With that 320-243-3794 degree, I hope to one day www.ampi.com work in sales of some kind for an ag company. My dream is to one day work for either Midwest Dairy Association or the Minnesota Farm Bureau. What has been the best part of growing up and/or working on a dairy farm? One of my favorite memories from growing up on the farm was the adventures that my older brother, Brandon, and I always had. When we were young, we had a spot near our green electrical box that was considered our hangout place. Two of our favorite things to do there were play pretend firefighters and use our mom’s old Shout bottles and pretend to run through Shout commercials like Billy May. Why is being a county dairy princess important to you? As a Stearns Country Dairy Princess, I hope to spend the next year educating and promoting everything there is to know about the dairy industry. I hope to proudly represent each and every hard-working dairy farmer across our wonderful county. If you were giving a presentation to your local rotary club, what key message would you focus on and why? I feel the biggest challenge facing the dairy industry today is the increased amount of people that have been removed from the farm life. Specifically, children today, are one, two and sometimes three generations removed from the farm life, which makes misconceptions more common and education about the dairy industry even more crucial than what it is.

Parents: Joe Molitor Town: Rockville Tell us about yourself, the farm you live and/or work on, and your future plans. I am the sixth daughter of eight girls. We live on a 240 cow dairy farm just outside of St. Cloud. Next year I plan on attending North Dakota State University for music education. I will also be able to be a part of their dairy Abby Molitor, 18 club and participate on Dairy Star Sponsor: their dairy judging team. Cold Spring Veterinary What has been the Clinic best part of growing Cold Spring, MN up and/or working on 320-774-0553 a dairy farm? The best part about growing up on a farm was the countless activities and jobs available that kept us busy. My sisters and I would race across the hay bales, play night games across the whole farm, and turn the calf domes upside down and spin in them. On our farm, boredom was impossible. Why is being a county dairy princess important to you? I enjoy sharing my story with the public and listening to their experiences. It is important to answer the questions and concerns of the consumers to the best of my knowledge. It is an honor to be a reigning dairy princess.

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Dairy Star • Saturday, May 10, 2014 • Page 21

Stearns County continued If you were giving a presentation to your local rotary club, what key message would you focus on and why? My family and I are proud of what we do. Over 90 percent of farms are family owned and operated. I think it is important for the public to know that the cows are well cared for and that they are getting a safe and clean product. Dairy farmers play a huge role in our economy and are proud of their job. Parents: Al and Kathi Molitor Town: Sauk Centre Tell us about yourself, the farm you live and/or work on, and your future plans. I grew up on a small family dairy farm that milks 80 Holstein cows twice a day. Our family farm usually has around 12 baby calves that need to be fed and given fresh bedding twice a day. The Molitor farm Tiana Molitor, 19 has 325 acres of fields that Dairy Star Sponsor: is used to grow corn and Modern Farm alfalfa to feed to our liveEquipment stock. During the summer, Sauk Centre, MN I rake alfalfa rows and 320-352-6543 bring home round bales. I help with a variety of jobs on the Molitor family farm. Next year I plan to attend St. Thomas University, but I am still undecided on my major. What has been the best part of growing up and/or working on a dairy farm? Growing up on a dairy farm is the biggest blessing I have ever received without asking for; it has taught me numerous valuable life lessons that I will carry with me throughout my life. The biggest lesson I have learned from working on the farm is that hard work pays off. My parents have always worked hard on the farm so they can provide my siblings and I with what we need. My parents have always demonstrated a work ethic that I strive to attain so I can have a successful life. Why is being a county dairy princess important to you? Being a Stearns County Dairy Princess is important to me because I want to share my knowledge of the dairy industry with people and encourage dairy to be part of their daily diets. I am proud of where I come from and what my family and I do, so I want to share all the positive affects the dairy industry has on the world. If you were giving a presentation to your local rotary club, what key message would you focus on and why? If I were to talk to my local rotary club, I would stress the importance of the nine essential nutrients in milk. Not many people know that protein, potassium, phosphorus, niacin, riboflavin, calcium, vitamin A, D, and B12 naturally occur in milk. I would also talk about how important it is to keep milk in schools for children and teenagers to consume. Parents: Al and Kathi Molitor Town: Sauk Centre Tell us about yourself, the farm you live and/or work on, and your future plans. I grew up on a small family dairy farm, which was my job through high school and still is to this day. The Molitor family farm milks 80 Holsteins twice a day. This is a large responsibility, and I am fortunate that my par- Trisha Molitor, 21 ents pay me for my work. Dairy Star Sponsor: I also relieve my father Elrosa Lumber from milking so he can acElrosa, MN complish other jobs on the 320-697-5591 farm. The farm usually has around 12 baby calves that need to be fed and given fresh bedding twice a day. The Molitor farm grows 325 acres of corn and alfalfa; all the crops grown are fed to the cattle. The summer is a busy time for farmers between caring for cattle and managing four alfalfa cuttings. I have raked alfalfa rows together and brought round bales home. Other jobs that I help with are running the cows in and out of the barn, treating cows with penicillin and other antibiotics, and sorting cattle in our young stock building. I am doing a sales and marketing internship with Bayer

Crop Sciences this summer of 2014. My future plans are graduation in the spring of 2015 with a degree in crop and weed science and a minor in agribusiness. I then plan to go to Angers, France where I will be doing a cropping systems internship followed by a job in the fall back in Minnesota. What has been the best part of growing up and/ or working on a dairy farm? The way the dairy industry has influenced me is that it has given me a good work ethic. I have a very close relationship with my family because of the work we do together. The best part is just always getting to be together and sharing so many memories. My parents have really taught me the important aspects of the industry. It has shaped every part of my life and I plan to influence others about this industry as my parents have. I want to teach people and be an influence to others who have a limited knowledge of about farms. Why is being a county dairy princess important to you? It is so important to me because the dairy industry has influenced my future by the way it has influenced my whole life. I cannot tell someone about myself with out mentioning the biggest part that has played a crucial role in paving my future. It has greatly influenced me because it is how I grew up and pursuing it would not be like me. I know agriculture is in my future. It is a life of learning and the chance to teach my future family about hard work. If you were giving a presentation to your local rotary club, what key message would you focus on and why? I would touch upon lactose intolerant issues. One method that I recommend lactose intolerant people try is the Sip it, Stir it, Slice it, Shred it and Spoon it technique. I would enlighten them about how most people can build up a tolerance to dairy products. Others can choose dairy products that are lactose free. Many health authorities agree that milk and other dairy foods are important and practical source of key nutrients, for all people – including those who are lactose intolerant.

Parents: Victor and Ann Uphoff Town: Melrose Tell us about yourself, the farm you live and/or work on, and your future plans. I am currently a senior attending Melrose High School. I love helping my parents milk our 50 cows and farm 230 acres of land. I also milk cows at a neighboring farm on the weekends. In the fall, I plan to at- Morgan Uphoff, 17 tend Ridgewater College Dairy Star Sponsor: in Willmar for farm opCentre Dairy erations and management. Sauk Centre, MN After college, I want to 800-342-2697 work in the agriculture AMPI industry with the hopes Paynesville Division of taking over my parents’ 320-243-3794 dairy farm. www.ampi.com What has been the best part of growing up and/or working on a dairy farm? The best part of growing up on a farm is being able to do what I love with my family. I enjoy being outdoors with animals. Growing up on a dairy farm has taught me responsibility, a work ethic, and many other life skills. Milking cows at my neighbor’s farm has exposed me to different procedures and facilities increasing my knowledge and work experience. Why is being a county dairy princess important to you? I am honored to have the privilege to serve as a 2014 Stearns County Dairy Princess. I have the opportunity to promote the dairy industry to people of all ages. I know what it is like to live/work on a dairy farm, so I am happy to recognize the hardworking dairy farmers of Stearns County. I think it is important that people understand where their food comes from and how it was produced. If you were giving a presentation to your local rotary club, what key message would you focus on and why? I would stress the importance of eating a healthy diet that includes three servings of dairy. Consuming three daily servings of milk, cheese, or yogurt will provide your body with nine essential nutrients including protein and calcium. These nutrients provide energy, develop strong bones and teeth, and prevent against osteoporosis. People in this club probably have kids and lead a busy lifestyle so it’s important to remind them to include dairy in a healthy diet.

Steele County

Parents: Wade and Mary Schroeder Town: Owatonna Tell us about yourself, the farm you live and/or work on, and your future plans. I have lived in town my entire life, but I virtually grew up on my grandparent’s dairy farm. My mom farms with my grandparents, and takes care of our 35-head, mostly Holsteins. I am currently at- Kendra Schroeder, tending the University of 19 Wisconsin to obtain my Dairy Star Sponsor: pre-veterinary degree with Northland Farm an emphasis in dairy sciSystems ence, and hope to one day Owatonna, MN be a large animal veteri507-451-3131 narian and come back to Steele County to serve the dairy farms I grew up with. What has been the best part of growing up and/or working on a dairy farm? For me, having the dairy farm in my life has given me the unique opportunity to get to know and work with my family in ways that most families today aren’t even offered. We’ve all heard that families should eat at least one meal together per day, but my family has had the opportunity to laugh and share stories during milking chores—evenings in the barn far surpass any mealtime conversations my family has ever had. Why is being a county dairy princess important to you? The dairy princess program has given me a chance to grow as an individual by gaining professional skills, like speaking to groups and answering questions. I love being able to better myself and do it in a way where I’m able to talk about things that I’m very passionate about—like the dairy industry. Being a county dairy princess gives me a way to share that passion with the public, so they can see all of the great things dairy farmers do. If you were giving a presentation to your local rotary club, what key message would you focus on and why? I would focus on the nutritional value of dairy products. Many adults today are trying to cut calories by cutting out the entire dairy food group, but many studies show that having dairy in your diet can help you lose weight faster, and help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and Type 2 Diabetes. Dairy products are safe, nutritious, healthy, tasty, filling and overall very necessary for our diets—so why not enjoy them?

Swift County

Parents: Kyle and Jackie Clark Town: Murdock Tell us about yourself, the farm you live and/or work on, and your future plans. My name is Ali Clark and I live on a dairy farm in rural Murdock. I, along with my dad and mom (Kyle and Jackie), my uncle (Kim), and brothers (Ben and Aaron) milk 120 Holstein cows and have Ali Clark, 19 approximately 60 head Dairy Star Sponsor: of beef cattle. We run apD&D Ag Supply proximately 1,000 acres of Pennock, MN farmland where we plant 320-599-4466 wheat, corn, soybeans, and alfalfa. I am very active on our dairy farm and spend as much time as I can outside with my dad. My future plans include continuing my education at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls and graduating with a four year degree in dairy management. I would also like to be an agronomist, geneticist, or animal nutritionist before returning to the family farm. What has been the best part of growing up and/or working on a dairy farm? The best part of growing up on a dairy farm is to have been taught the true meaning of being passionate about something I truly believe in. I am able to display my true love of farming to my community through what my family Swift County continued on next page


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Swift County continued

Swift County continued

does, has done, and will continue to do for generations to come. I take great pride in what we have accomplished and the life skills I have learned. Why is being a county dairy princess important to you? The idea that, as a dairy princess, I can be an advocate for dairy farms, dairy families, and consumers of dairy products is quite exciting. I definitely want to be a very integral part of this movement. I will research issues within our industry and speak to those that can benefit and inform others about aspects within the industry. I strongly believe in the future of the dairy industry in Minnesota and what I can contribute. If you were giving a presentation to your local rotary club, what key message would you focus on and why? If I were giving a presentation to my local rotary club I would focus on the key message: healthy communities. In cooperation with the rotary club, I would focus on helping local public health programs to feed and incorporate more nutritious dairy products in the schools of my community. I would help advocate the importance of three servings of dairy a day for the healthy growth of kids and inform the community of the numerous health benefits of dairy products. I would also engage in Fuel Up to Play 60 programs at local schools to keeps kids active and motivated.

Parents: David and Denise Schliep Town: Holloway Tell us about yourself, the farm you live and/or work on, and your future plans. I was raised on my parents dairy farm, and I have been involved with the dairy industry for my entire life. Showing dairy at the local county fair is one of the best things that has happened to me. I work on my Kristen Schliep, 19 parents’ farm, mainly by Dairy Star Sponsor: taking care of the young D&D Ag Supply calves. I plan to attend the Pennock, MN University of Minnesota320-599-4466 Morris and major in elementary education. What has been the best part of growing up and/or working on a dairy farm? The best part of growing up on a dairy farm has been learning about being responsible. This will help me in everything I want to do in life. Responsibility is important with everything from taking care of baby calves to finishing school work on time. Why is being a county dairy princess important to you? Being a county dairy princess is important to me because I like to help people understand the importance of the dairy industry. If you were giving a presentation to your local rotary club, what key message would you focus on and why? I would focus on the health benefits of milk. Milk is good for the body and still some people will drink pop first. I would focus on health to try to encourage the public to take care of their body.

Parents: David and Denise Schliep Town: Holloway Tell us about yourself, the farm you live and/or work on, and your future plans. I am a freshman attending the University of Minnesota in Rochester for physical therapy. The farm I live on is co-owned by my parents and my brother. Last year we converted most of our free stalls Elizabeth Schliep, into a bedding pack for 19 our dry cows. We also Dairy Star Sponsor: added a new bedding D&D Ag Supply pack on the back of the Pennock, MN barn for our lactating 320-599-4466 cows where we installed two robotic milking units. We also installed cow brushes, improving cow comfort. What has been the best part of growing up and/or working on a dairy farm? The best part of growing up and working on a dairy farm has been the life lessons it has taught me. I have been working on our farm since I was young, and it has taught me about responsibility, hard work, and perseverance. I have learned many other lessons from my experiences, but these three are the most important to me. They have shaped me into who I am today, and I am grateful for that. Why is being a county dairy princess important to you? Being a county dairy princess is important to me because I want to share my experiences with others. I enjoy discussing the dairy industry with people; it has led to many interesting conversations. It also makes me happy when I help someone better understand the dairy industry. If you were giving a presentation to your local rotary club, what key message would you focus on and why? In a presentation to my local rotary club, I would focus on the good qualities milk has for kids. I would explain how milk, especially chocolate milk, provides more energy for kids and helps replace key nutrients after exercising. This would allow us to discuss options to help provide more milk for kids in school such as working to install a milk dispenser the kids can access after sports activities.

If you would like additional copies of this special edition, please contact Nancy at the Dairy Star office, 320-352-6303 Or visit www.dairystar.com to see a digital version of this special edition.

Todd County

Parents: James Buderus Town: Bertha Tell us about yourself, the farm you live and/or work on, and your future plans. Hello. I’m Savannah. I am currently finishing up my senior year of high school / freshman year of college. I have been helping out on the family farm for as long as I can remember. The first time I was handed a dip cup was in Savannah Buderus, second grade, and today 18 I milk the morning shift Dairy Star Sponsor: before school. We milk Nelson Creamery on two farms with a total Association of about 400 cows. In the Nelson, MN future, I hope to become 320-762-0115 an elementary education teacher. What has been the best part of growing up and/ or working on a dairy farm? The best part about growing up on a farm are the things one can learn. These are things that I use throughout my life: work ethic, responsibility, communication, teamwork, and to always shut the gate. Plus, I get to have lots of pets. Why is being a county dairy princess important to you? Being a county dairy princess is important to me because I look around and see how little most people know about dairy products and the dairy industry. I once had someone ask “So when cows are old enough, do they just fill up with milk?” Does any mammal do that? No, so I’ll explain. Being a dairy princess gives me more opportunities to teach and to inform the public what I’m passionate about and that is dairy. If you were giving a presentation to your local rotary club, what key message would you focus on and why? I would focus on the nine essential nutrients and vitamins in milk and why the body needs them. Most people can’t name half of the nutrients in milk. There’s the three P’s-potassium, phosphorus and protein. The three vitamins -vitamin D, vitamin A, and vitamin B-12. Plus riboflavin, niacin, and calcium. I think most people don’t realize how these nutrients work together to make our bodies stronger and healthier.

Todd County continued Parents: Thomas Rausch and late Deb Rausch Town: Browerville Tell us about yourself, the farm you live and/or work on, and your future plans. I go to Browerville High School and next year I plan to attend North Dakota State University for agricultural engineering. I work on my family’s dairy farm near Randall, Minn. We milk 60 Holsteins and Jerseys. Erin Rausch, 17 What has been the Dairy Star Sponsor: best part of growing up Nelson Creamery and/or working on a Association dairy farm? The best part Nelson, MN of growing up and work320-762-0115 ing on the farm was learning the many things that go with it. I have a greater knowledge of the dairy industry just from working alongside my father and my sister. Also, this has taught me responsibility and a great work ethic that you only get from working on a farm. Why is being a county dairy princess important to you? Being a dairy princess is important to me because I get to go out to the public and promote what we do. The girls in my county and I all have a great love for this industry and we always have fun doing every event. This year, being a princess means a lot to me because I have worked for this title for three years now and it has paid off tremendously. If you were giving a presentation to your local rotary club, what key message would you focus on and why? The key message that I would focus on would be that dairy farmers live near or on their farm and understand the importance of protecting the natural resources. It seems to me that sometimes the public gets too worked up about us using some chemicals for spraying our fields or using other things of that nature. They need to understand that we follow strict regulations with this and that the amount of chemicals that we now use is far less than it was thirty-forty years ago. We work hard to keep our land safe and to not to harm the natural resources.

Wabasha County Parents: Brian and Joanie Bull Town: Lake City Tell us about yourself, the farm you live and/or work on, and your future plans. I am one of eight children, so family has always been very important to me. Moving to Lake City to be near my sister is what brought me to the dairy. Gilbert Valley Holsteins has been a family dairy Bethanie Bull, 19 since 1902. Old-fashioned Dairy Star Sponsor: work along with modern GB Feed & Supply innovation, cow comfort, Bellchester, MN nutrition and genetics, 651-923-4425 makes for a great place to learn and work. I plan to further my education of the dairy industry and take advantage of every opportunity that comes my way. What has been the best part of growing up and/or working on a dairy farm? The best part of working on the dairy farm is that each day is an opportunity to do and learn new things. Everyday I face new challenges and I get to work with animals, which I love. Why is being a county dairy princess important to you? Being a county dairy princess is important to me because I want to encourage people to learn and get involved in the dairy industry. I want to help people find a love for dairy farming, like others helped me. If you were giving a presentation to your local rotary club, what key message would you focus on and why? I would share how dairy farmers are committed to providing the highest quality dairy products Wabasha County continued on next page


Wabasha County continued

Wabasha County continued

that make nutritional and economic sense. Dairy has a powerhouse of nutrition found in few other foods. The dairy industry not only contributes to healthy eating, but healthy communities by providing employment and education, while maintaining our natural resources.

tant to me because I am proud to be a part of an industry that has given my family and me so much. Also, there are many people that don’t understand what farms contribute to the world. It is our job as dairy princesses to help people get a better perspective of what we do on the farm. A dairy farmer’s most important job is to care for their cows and produce healthy, nutritious milk. If you were giving a presentation to your local rotary club, what key message would you focus on and why? My key message would be about milk and what it does for their health and their children’s health. Milk contains nine nutrients that all contribute to keeping a body healthy. It’s important that kids be offered choices of nutrient rich dairy products in school, including flavored milk, to help them meet the needs of their growing bodies.

Parents: Dan and Sue Heise Town: Lake City Tell us about yourself, the farm you live and/or work on, and your future plans. I live and work on my family’s farm where we milk 50 Holstein cows. We raise all of our replacement heifers and finish out all of our steers. We also farm about 200 acres of corn and alfalfa. I am currently Megan Heise, 20 a student at the University Dairy Star Sponsor: of Minnesota-Twin Cities Plainview Milk where I am pursuing a deProducts Co-op gree in animal science and Plainview, MN will be applying to veteri507-534-3872 nary school this fall. On campus, I am involved in Gopher Dairy Club, Pre-Vet Club and Lambda Delta Phi sorority. What has been the best part of growing up and/or working on a dairy farm? The best part about growing up on a dairy farm has been being able to work alongside my family from morning to night every day. Although we may have our disagreements at times, we always come together as a team to complete the day’s tasks. I have grown really close to my parents over the years, which is something I am thankful for. Not only that, but the cows also make really good pets. Why is being a county dairy princess important to you? Being a county dairy princess gives me the opportunity to represent something I truly love. It gives me the chance to share my passion of the dairy industry with others and inform them of the numerous reasons why the dairy industry is so important. I think it is important for consumers to know and understand how much hard work and care dairy producers put into their product. If you were giving a presentation to your local rotary club, what key message would you focus on and why? I think that members of a rotary club would be most interested in learning about the importance of the dairy industry in the community. The dairy industry is an important part of our nation’s food system and creates over 900,000 jobs to help ensure the vitality of communities across the country. Every pound of milk that a dairy family produces brings value to the local and state economies. Parents: Dan and Karen Miller Town: Plainview Tell us about yourself, the farm you live and/or work on, and your future plans. I live on a small dairy farm between Plainview and Kellogg. We currently milk around 80 Holstein cows on the same farm that my dad was born and raised on. I am currently attending Rochester Commu- Mary Kate Miller, nity and Technical Col19 lege, pursuing a degree in Dairy Star Sponsor: graphic design, and I hope to transfer to a four-year Plainview Milk Products Co-op college after RCTC. Plainview, MN What has been the 507-534-3872 best part of growing up and/or working on a dairy farm? The best part about growing up on a dairy farm is that I have learned many life lessons, like how to work hard and to appreciate everything I have. After growing up on a small farm, I have learned about the importance of family and how we all have to work together to keep things running smoothly. Also, living on a farm has allowed me to have many pets over the years, even a raccoon. Why is being a county dairy princess important to you? Being a county dairy princess is impor-

Parents: Ed and Donna Rother Town: Theilman Tell us about yourself, the farm you live and/or work on, and your future plans. I grew up working with horses and beef cattle. Currently I am working on a 220cow dairy farm outside of Plainview, Minn. I get up at 3:15 a.m., during the week to milk the cows. After milking, I can do Caroline Rother, 19 anything from feeding the Dairy Star Sponsor: calves to mixing feed and Wingert Sales & bedding cows, to working Service in the fields, or with the Plainview, MN heifers all day. My college 507-534-2285 plans are undecided yet. What has been the best part of growing up and/or working on a dairy farm? I think the best part about working on the dairy farm is the sense of comfort I feel among cattle. I grew up with a close relationship to horses. So when I started working on the dairy farm, I was able to put that connection I already had with horses and apply it to the cattle. I will take a herd of cattle over a herd of people any day. Why is being a county dairy princess important to you? Being a county dairy princess is important to me because I can inspire other kids, whatever their backgrounds may be, to get involved not only with the dairy industry but with agriculture as a whole. I feel that since I wasn’t born into a dairy operation, I can show kids that if I can do it, they can do it, too, and make it their own just like I did. If you were giving a presentation to your local rotary club, what key message would you focus on and why? The key message I would focus on would be that it’s not just a job for us, it’s a lifestyle. Having it be a lifestyle for us makes us take pride in what we do. Healthy, wholesome dairy products begin with a healthy, wholesome farm. We are always working to improve what we do and become more efficient so that we can feed the world, and I don’t think there is anything more rewarding.

Wadena County Parents: Tim and Sharon Richter Town: Verndale Tell us about yourself, the farm you live and/or work on, and your future plans. My name is Sara. I live on a dairy farm with my parents and sister in southern Wadena County. We milk about 90 Holsteins and raise our own replacements. Our crops include corn, soybeans, alfalfa, Sara Bain-Richter, and oats to feed our ani18 mals. I am currently comDairy Star Sponsor: muting to Central Lakes Aldrich Tractor College in Brainerd where Verndale, MN I am working on prerequi218-445-5430 sites for the medical field. I intend to further my education in the area of sonography (ultrasound).

Dairy Star • Saturday, May 10, 2014 • Page 21

Wadena County continued What has been the best part of growing up and/or working on a dairy farm? The best part of living on a dairy farm is that no matter where our day has taken us, we all rally back at chore time and that family time is something I will treasure forever. Living on a dairy farm has also taught me a good work ethic that I will be able to always put to use. Why is being a county dairy princess important to you? Being a county dairy princess is important because I get the opportunity to inform the public about nutritious and good tasting dairy products. If you were giving a presentation to your local rotary club, what key message would you focus on and why? Farmers are often underestimated and undervalued. They are the supporters of community events and they are volunteers. In addition, dairy farmers continue to preserve our environment, reduce waste, promote healthy growing systems and focus on the quality and freshness of their wonderful wholesome dairy products. Parents: Todd and Patty Meech Town: Nimrod Tell us about yourself the farm you live and/or work on, and your future plans. I live on a 450-cow dairy by Nimrod, Minn. We milk in a double-12 parlor and have three robotic milkers. I do various things throughout our farm such as milking, feeding calves, feeding cows, bedding our Amanda Meech, 20 cattle, working with our Dairy Star Sponsor: robots and the cows on the Professional Dairy robots, driving tractor and Systems bobcat, cleaning barns, Wadena, MN and helping with field218-632-5416 work. I am currently a student at Ridgewater College in Willmar, Minn. enrolled in farm operations and business management with a dairy emphasis. What has been the best part of growing up on a dairy farm? I would have to say the best part of growing up on a dairy farm would be spending each and every day working with my family. I also get to learn a lot of things like the meaning of family, working together to get things done, and using patience in a lot of situations from watching crops grow to waiting for a calf to be born. Why is being the county dairy princess important to me? Being the county princess is important to me because I love being able to represent all of the local dairy farmers. I also enjoy being able to work with dairy products in the community and being able to educate people of all ages about the dairy industry. If you could pick one dairy message what would it be and how would you deliver it? If I could pick one dairy message I would pick “My family and I are proud of what we do.” Our farm is a five generation farm now consisting of my parents and six children. I am the oldest with four brothers and one sister. We all work together to accomplish our goals. We are also proud of the cattle we raise and the milk that they produce to provide to consumers.

Waseca County

Parents: Chuck and Kris Manthey Town: Janesville Tell us about yourself, the farm you live and/or work on, and your future plans. I am currently attending South Central College in North Mankato studying marketing management. I grew up on a small dairy farm around Janesville. My family milked about 40 Holsteins and crossbreds. Sarah Manthey, 20 In October 2010, we lost Dairy Star Sponsor: our barn along with all Dairyland Equipment of our cows due to a fire. Service At my farm now, we raise Plainview, MN dairy steers and replace507-534-3161 ment heifers. I am currentWaseca County continued on next page


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ly employed at Ristau Dairy owned by Rich Ristau. I help feed calves and milk 65 Holstein, Brown Swiss, and crossbreds. What has been the best part of growing up and/or working on a dairy farm? The best part of growing up on a dairy farm is the valuable opportunities it has given me. I learned many life lessons and developed a strong work ethic. Many memories were created with my family while working together. It is always nice knowing that your hard work really pays off in the end. Why is being a county dairy princess important to you? Growing up on a dairy farm and being a dairy princess has made me who I am today. It is such a great honor to represent such hardworking and dedicated dairy farmers. I am very passionate about the dairy industry and being a dairy princess gives me the opportunity to promote this great industry. I also enjoy educating the public about where their dairy products come from and the benefits of them. If you were giving a presentation to your local rotary club, what key message would you focus on and why? My presentation to my local rotary club would be about sustainability and dairy farming. Most dairy farms are family owned. Since dairy farmers live and work on their farms, it’s important for them to protect the land, water and air for their cows, families, community and for future generations. Dairy farmers are using the latest technology and best management practices to guarantee that their cows are healthy and well cared for. Dairy farmers also play an important part in the agricultural economy and the economic well-being of rural America. When a dairy farmer sells a dollar of milk, it generates an economic growth of $3, and every $1 million of U.S. milk sales generates 17 jobs. Dairy farms sustain rural America. Even with our nation’s current economic challenges, dairy farmers and companies are a vital link to 900,000 jobs in the United States. Dairy farmers provide consumers with safe and quality dairy products.

Washington County

Parents: Jim and Diane Brown Town: Hastings Tell us about yourself, the farm you live and/or work on, and your future plans. I will be a sophomore this fall at the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities majoring in biochemistry with a pre-medicine emphasis. I live on a Registered Holstein farm where we milk about 50 cows and Kayla Brown, 19 raise 75 youngstock. In Dairy Star Sponsor: the future, I hope to fuse Hastings Co-op my biochemistry degree Creamery with the dairy industry in Hastings, MN my career, whether that is 651-437-9414 through nutrition, or genetics, or some other way. What has been the best part of growing up and/or working on a dairy farm? The best part of growing up on a dairy farm was the bonding time with my family. My family and I are very close and I chalk that up to the fact that many hours were spent together feeding calves, milking cows and exhibiting animals at the fair. Nothing says togetherness more than a water fight in the milk house or getting up early to do chores! Why is being a county dairy princess important to you? A dairy princess is one of the faces of the dairy industry and I really enjoy it. Being the connection, sometimes the only connection, a consumer has to the dairy industry is an amazing feeling. As generations are getting further from living on a dairy farm, our connections to consumers are becoming more important, and my responsibility to be that connection to people is a great honor. If you were giving a presentation to your local rotary club, what key message would you focus on and why? Nutrition is becoming a more important aspect of food, along with the thought that there will be many more mouths to feed. I would focus on the nutritional value of milk, with nine essential nutrients. It’s hard to ignore that milk and dairy products are a crucial part of our diets. And as the population only continues to grow, keeping these nutritious products available for the world will only become more

Washington County continued important. So I would also focus on what farmers are characteristics that I cherish and use to the best of my doing to increase production, but also reduce land use ability. to ensure that dairy products will continue to be avail- Why is being a county dairy princess important to you? Being a dairy princess is important to me able to all consumers. because I can promote an industry that provides products that are essential in society’s everyday diet. Also, Parents: Patrick and many people in today’s society question where their Sharlene Daninger food is coming from, whether it’s safely produced, Town: Forest Lake and is it nutritious for them. As a dairy princess, I can Tell us about youranswer those questions positively and proudly to conself, the farm you live sumers who purchase dairy products. Knowing I can and/or work on, and do that makes me feel accomplished for positively asyour future plans. I live suring a consumer and positively promoting the dairy on Autumnwood Farm industry. where we milk 60 Regis If you were giving a presentation to your local tered and grade Holstein rotary club, what key message would you focus on cattle. We have approxiand why? The key message that I would focus on mately 120 head, includwould be that just as rotary clubs work with dedicaing calves and replacetion and passion to give back, not only to their comment heifers. We also have munities but communities around the world, dairy a creamery on our farm Mariah Daninger, farmers live by those same characteristics as well. where we process and 18 Dairy farmers are dedicated to their lifestyle by workbottle our milk in glass ing their hardest every day to, for example, produce Dairy Star Sponsor: bottles and sell it in an ona quality product that will positively benefit people in Werner Implement the-farm store as well as their community, across the nation and world. Dairy Vermillion, MN 45 additional stores and farmers also work to be conscientious of the envi651-437-4435 coffee shops. I will be atronment and the impact their lifestyle has on others. tending the University of Also, just as rotary strives to support people who need Minnesota-Twin Cities in the fall majoring in agricul- help, dairy farmers are essentially doing the same for tural education. their communities and the world population as people What has been the best part of growing up worldwide need the products they produce. and/or working on a dairy farm? Learning things such as responsibility, dedication, a good work ethic and follow-through on a task are a necessity on a dairy farm, and I am thankful to have been fortunate to live on a dairy farm and acquire those characteristics. Additionally, the aspect of family working together is also something I am extremely grateful to experience Parents: Thomas and on the farm. I don’t believe there is any better bond- Melody Roden Town: Henning ing time than working together in the barn. Why is being a county dairy princess impor- Tell us about yourtant to you? As a county dairy princess, I have had self, the farm you live the opportunity to participate in many local events. and/or work on, and Each one gives me a chance to talk with people of your future plans. I am different backgrounds and to show them how they are Marissa Roden and I live connected to agriculture and the dairy industry. It is a with my parents on our pleasure to put a face to the people behind the prod- family farm. I also work ucts they are consuming and to give them knowledge on another larger dairy farm where I have my on their products. If you were giving a presentation to your lo- cattle. The farm I live on cal rotary club, what key message would you focus is a 52 Jersey tie stall famon and why? “Refuel with chocolate milk” is an ex- ily farm; the farm I work Marissa Roden, 19 Dairy Star Sponsor: tremely important message that the rotary club could on is very different. I work Nelson Creamery incorporate into the lifestyles of their children and on a 600-cow dairy farm Association themselves. It has been proven to be more beneficial with mostly Holsteins and Nelson, MN than any sports drink after a workout and helps by a parlor system. In the fu320-762-0115 rebuilding muscles and refueling the body, providing ture, I plan on becoming a athletes with a quick recovery and preparing them to large animal nutritionist. perform their best. Being an athlete myself, I am able What has been the best part of growing up and/or working on a dairy to make a strong connection with the program. farm? The best part of living on the dairy farm is the dedication and responsibility I learned by having to Parents: Jeff and Donna help out with farm work. It is a great way to learn Winberg work ethics and there are no days off. I enjoy being Town: Forest Lake able to go to shows and show people what I have Tell us about yourraised and also explaining to the public what happens self, the farm you live on the farm. and/or work on, and Why is being a county dairy princess imporyour future plans. On my tant to you? Being a county princess is important to family’s owned and operme because it gives me the opportunity to share my ated dairy farm, we milk knowledge of the dairy industry. I get to put my name 40 cows twice a day and out there and explain to the general public what haphave about 100 total head pens on a dairy farm. I also am able to tell the public of cattle and 90 acres of about what’s behind the milk they drink and how it land. I attend the Univergets to their table from the farm. I also have the opsity of Wisconsin-Stevens portunity to explain about how we take care of our Point where I am a sopho- Holly Winberg, 20 animals and do the best for our cattle while bringing more majoring in biolDairy Star Sponsor: the best milk products to the public. ogy with an emphasis in E. J. Hoole Inc. If you were giving a presentation to your local pre-veterinary medicine. Forest Lake, MN rotary club, what key message would you focus on I plan on graduating as 651-464-3326 and why? I would talk to the rotary club about how an undergraduate in 2016, important it is to support our local dairy farmers by then applying to a veterigiving dairy farmers credit for the work they do. I nary medicine school in would also reassure the people that dairy farmers prothe Midwest. Hopefully I will get accepted and spend vide consumers with safe and healthy dairy products. four years in veterinary school to become a veterinar- They do not only provide food for their families but ian. for the communities around them. What has been the best part of growing up and/or working on a dairy farm? The best part of growing up on a dairy farm is having acquired a strong work ethic and being able to work closely with my family and develop a sense of teamwork. I have found those two characteristics to be my best qualities in aspects of my life ranging from academic to athletic careers and everything in between. I’m thankful to my dairy farming lifestyle for instilling in me two Washington County continued

West Ottertail County


Winona County

Parents: Steve and Carol Boynton (grandparents) Town: Lewiston Tell us about yourself, the farm you live and/or work on, and your future plans. Currently, I am attending Rochester Community and Technical College’s Post-Secondary Education Program. This June, I will graduate from the Lewiston-Altura High School and Rochester Community and Technical Jasmine Boynton, College in the veterinary 18 technician program. I will Dairy Star Sponsor: be attending South Dakota S&S Dairy Systems State University in the fall St. Charles, MN majoring in pre-veterinary 507-932-4288 medicine with a minor in animal health. Besides school, I am involved in dairy cattle evaluation, dairy bowl and showing animals at a variety of show across the tri-state area. I also work at two local veterinary clinics and Rowekamp Dairy Farms. It is my role to take on the duties of calf husbandry at the farm, along with assisting in other areas of the farm. What has been the best part of growing up and/or working on a dairy farm? Growing up on the farm, has been one of the greatest gifts I could receive. Being able to learn the value of hard work and pride in producing a product that most of us depend on is very rewarding. Getting up in the morning being able to see the happy calves excited to be fed, and knowing the herd continues to grow is a great feeling. Why is being a county dairy princess important to you? I work and represent some of the hardest workers in the country, dairy farmers and the people that partner with them to make the most wholesome products. Dairy farmers are dedicated to making sure dairy cattle and land are well taken care of. The land is well managed to ensure that the crops can grow to their maximum potential without damaging the environment. Every dairy farmer knows that the hard work of being a dairy farmer and caring for the land will make sure the dairy farm is there for tomorrow and future generations. By knowing these dairy farmers are committed to the dairy industry, we can all be rest assured that we can always have the most nutrients quality dairy products in the world. If you were giving a presentation to your local rotary club, what key message would you focus on and why? Not only do dairy products give us good tasting, wholesome, and nutritious foods, but they also provide employment and stimulates the economy by providing more than 400,000 jobs in Minnesota alone. Nutrient-rich dairy foods are one of the most affordable sources of nutrition and make healthy eating easy. Together, milk, cheese and yogurt provide a unique package of nine essential nutrients, including calcium, potassium, phosphorus, protein, vitamins A, D and B12, riboflavin and niacin. Beyond building stronger bones, three daily servings of low-fat or fat-free dairy foods improve overall diet quality and reduce the risk of various chronic diseases. I feel that growing up on a farm with my papa and nana, and now working on a farm, has taught me the values of hard work and pride of producing a product that is so needed throughout our nation. Parents: Paul and Terri Moger Town: Rollingstone Tell us about yourself, the farm you live and/or work on, and your future plans. On my family’s dairy farm, we milk 80 grade Holstein cows. I am actively involved with Big Brother’s Big Sister’s, 4-H, FFA and showing and judging cattle. I have been accepted to Rochester Community and Technical College for the veterinary technician program. Once I have completed college, I plan on being employed at a local vet clinic with a large animal emphasis. Follow-

Karli Moger, 18 Dairy Star Sponsor: Pettit’s IBA Dairy Supply Lewiston, MN 507-732-5719

Dairy Star • Saturday, May 10, 2014 • Page 23

Winona County continued ing that, I one day hope to own and operate my family’s dairy farm and be the fourth generation farmer. What has been the best part of growing up and/or working on a dairy farm? Growing up on a dairy farm has been extremely rewarding for me. It has taught me the values of hard work, responsibility and determination. It is a great honor to help produce such a quality and wholesome product for millions to enjoy. Why is being a county dairy princess important to you? Being a county dairy princess has always been something I have wanted to do. The importance of educating the public of the dairy industry and the significance on receiving three servings of dairy products each and every day is a task that will be completed throughout my term as county dairy princess. If you were giving a presentation to your local rotary club, what key message would you focus on and why? My main focus would be on the healthy communities that dairy delivers. Dairy farming provides communities with jobs, income and strength to thousands of communities throughout the nation. With dairy foods helping to feed over 40 million children through school meal programs as well as educating them on the importance of healthy eating and physical activity, the Fuel Up to Play 60 program has found its way into more than 73,000 schools and has engaged 11 million students to take a step to make healthy choices. Parents: Keith Schossow and Cindy Terrill Town: Ridgeway Tell us about yourself, the farm you live and/or work on, and your future plans. Growing up as the fourth generation of my family’s Holstein dairy farm, I have always shown an interest in this incredible industry. My family works hard to prepare a wholesome, delicious and nutritious Chelsea Schossow, product. Aside from milk19 ing cows, I attend South Dairy Star Sponsor: Dakota State University, Elba Cooperative majoring in dairy science Creamery production with two miElba, MN nors in agribusiness and 507-932-3861 agriculture communications. After graduation, I would like to work as a dairy cattle nutritionist and eventually run my family’s farm. What has been the best part of growing up and/or working on a dairy farm? There are endless experiences that stand out from being a dairy farmer’s daughter, but I would have to say the experiences I’ve gone through that shaped me into who I am were the best. Whether that be learning that the manure pit is not fun to fall into or being able to watch a newborn heifer calf grow up into full production, each experience has changed me. I will forever have a strong passion for the dairy industry, thanks to all the unforgettable memories. Why is being a county dairy princess important to you? For me, being a county dairy princess allows me to share my passion and the importance of the industry. It’s important to ensure that every consumer has been educated about where their great dairy products come from. By being a county princess, I’m able to not only share the importance to young children in elementary schools, but also the young at heart at county fairs and organizational gatherings. If you were giving a presentation to your local rotary club, what key message would you focus on and why? My main focus would have to be on that dairy producers care about their cattle. The reason I would focus on this message deals with the public’s view of producers. Assuring consumers that our cows are well cared for becomes the first step to a better alliance between customer and producer relationships. Dairy producers work hard every day to ensure that their cattle are always comfortable, fed nutritionally, and are healthy in order to produce a quality product.

Wright County

Parents: Lyle and Mary Hirsch Town: Howard Lake Tell us about yourself, the farm you live and/or work on, and your future plans. I am currently a sophomore at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls majoring in animal science with a minor in food science. I live and work on a dairy farm in Howard Lake Katie Hirsch, 20 where we milk our Holstein herd. Additionally, Dairy Star Sponsor: I work on a dairy farm Munson Lakes while attending school. In Nutrition & The the future I hope to continCountry Store ue to work with the dairy Howard Lake, MN industry in some way. 320-543-2561 What has been the best part of growing up and/or working on a dairy farm? Working with my family to produce such a remarkable product is the highlight of growing up on a dairy farm. The many skills and values that I gained from the farm also help me to become a better dairy princess and a better person. Why is being a county dairy princess important to you? Each farmer works hard to produce a healthy and amazing product. As a dairy princess, I believe it is my responsibility to serve those who make that product by sharing what they do with others. As a producer, I also feel that I have a unique perspective that I can use to engage others in dairy farming. If you were giving a presentation to your local rotary club, what key message would you focus on and why? Dairy farmers are a big part of their community. I would share with the rotary club the many ways that dairy farmers get involved in my community, such as Breakfast on the Farm, an activity that fosters relationships between the farmers in a community and those they serve. Parents: Wayne and Lorrie Kozitka Town: Howard Lake Tell us about yourself, the farm you live and/or work on, and your future plans. I am currently a senior at Howard Lake Waverly Winsted High School. I am actively involved in 4-H, FFA, student council, National Honor Society, track, dance, volleyball, and S.A.D.D. I work on Bethany Kozitka, my uncle’s farm where 18 we milk 35 Holsteins and Dairy Star Sponsor: crossbreeds. I help with milking and feeding the Bongards’ Creameries Bongards, MN young calves. Also, I en952-466-5521 joy being able to show at the county and state fairs through 4-H and FFA. I am currently undecided about where I want to go for college this fall, but I will go for elementary education or agriculture education. What has been the best part of growing up and/ or working on a dairy farm? The best part about growing up around a dairy farm is the ability to work and spend time with family. Also, it has shown me a sense of hard work and dedication as I have received the opportunity through FFA Greenhand Ring to start my own herd. Through that I was able to choose a dairy calf. I’m able to keep my now cow and a heifer calf at my uncle’s farm. Why is being a county dairy princess important to you? I grew up being involved in the dairy industry by promoting and informing people about dairy at my local county fair. Having been around the Wright Dairy Princess Program at a young age, by helping my sister at many events, holds a special place in my heart. Wright County continued on next page


Page 24 • Dairy Star • Saturday, May 10, 2014

Wright County continued

Wright County continued

Wright County continued

If you were giving a presentation to your local rotary club, what key message would you focus on and why? I would speak about how the dairy industry benefits both the community and local businesses. It benefits the community by giving wholesome and nutritious products for us to enjoy. It benefits local businesses by bringing business to them whether it be at the grocery store, retail shops, or local co-ops.

today if it weren’t for the lessons my dad taught me while growing up on a farm. Why is being a county dairy princess important to you? I am very passionate about the dairy industry. I truly enjoy informing the public about what I love so much. From a young age, I remember going to the Minnesota State Fair and only wanting to go to three places: the milk stand, the dairy barn and the dairy building to look at the princesses getting their heads carved in butter (the butterheads). This has always been a dream of mine to be a dairy princess, and I’m so blessed to have been given this opportunity. If you were giving a presentation to your local rotary club, what key message would you focus on and why? Being an athlete I believe that more people should be aware of the benefits that chocolate milk has for recovery. Chocolate milk has more nutrients and vitamins for athletes to build muscle and retain your workout. It’s healthier for our bodies than Gatorade and all other sports drinks. Support the industry, get stronger, and drink chocolate milk.

in a six cow parlor. When I am not at college attending to the dairy, I am at home helping my family on our farm. We have a herd of Brown Swiss and Milking Shorthorn cows. With all the knowledge I have gained, I plan on achieving my master’s degree in genomics. From there, I hope to work with Land O Lakes or Purina to improve dairy nutrition and making farming more efficient. I strive to be a face for the dairy industry and speak to the public about a passion that burns inside me. What has been the best part of growing up and/or working on a dairy farm? Growing up on a dairy farm has blessed me with many opportunities. The greatest is the ability to appreciate the little things in life. Whether it is staying up all night with Betsy the cow, or just simply being able to have a nice home cooked meal, I understand that life is short. Because I grew up on a farm, I learned what patience is and how when you are patient and wait, good things will happen. I have used this not only in the dairy industry, but also in parts of my everyday life. Why is being a county dairy princess important to you? When I see a younger generation interested in the dairy industry, it reminds me what an honor it is to represent the dairy industry and to say that I live Wright County brings about a feeling of pride. I am able to pass on my knowledge and passion to others, which in turn allows them to see the industry in a new light. If you were giving a presentation to your local rotary club, what key message would you focus on and why? I would do a presentation on how dairy farming has improved over the years. Today, on average, a cow produces 6.5 gallons of milk a day. Dairy farming isn’t only more efficient but it produces a wholesome product that our grandparents once had. Also, it still is essential in an everyday diet as it build strong bones and muscles. The dairy industry has done many things to improve the view of it. Dairy does just make sense. Today there are farmers willing to give tours, answer questions and show how important it is to them. In the eyes of dairy farmers, it’s not a job or a hobby, it’s a lifestyle that they wouldn’t give up for the world.

Parents: Steve Uter and Kris Uter Town: Waverly Tell us about yourself, the farm you live and/or work on, and your future plans. I’m a senior at Howard LakeWaverly-Winsted High School. Besides being involved in the dairy ambassador program, I am involved in cross country, basketball, track and field, 4-H, FFA, choir Mackenzie Uter, 18 and National Honor SociDairy Star Sponsor: ety. I live on my family’s Munson Lakes dairy farm, Merryville Nutrition & The Holsteins, where we milk Country Store around 240 cows and have Howard Lake, MN close to 250 youngstock. I 320-543-2561 plan to attend St. Cloud State University to major in marketing while also being a member of the woman’s basketball team. What has been the best part of growing up and/or working on a dairy farm? The best part of growing up on the dairy farm has been the life lessons it has taught me over the years. My dad is the hardest working man I know. Watching and working alongside of him has given me the skills to be successful in life. Hard work and responsibility are the two characteristics that stand out the most to me. I consider myself extremely lucky to have been brought up on a dairy farm. I wouldn’t be the young woman I am

Parents: Mark and Tanya Walter Town: Montrose Tell us about yourself, the farm you live and/or work on, and your future plans. Currently, I am a freshman at North Dakota State University, majoring in biotechnology and animal science. At NDSU, I am involved in many activities such as Sigma Alpha, Dairy Club, girls lacrosse, Lions Club, and Saddle and Sirloin. In my free time, I help tutor in chemistry. Throughout the school year, I work on the 100 cow dairy for NDSU. We milk grade Holsteins

Taylor Walter, 19 Dairy Star Sponsor: Cargill Feed & Nutrition Big Lake, MN

Feeding America® Food Banks have crucial need for more milk That gallon of milk you consider a staple in your refrigerator is missing in many of America’s food banks. According to Feeding America, the nation’s largest domestic hunger-relief organization, milk is one of the items most requested by food bank clients, yet there is a nationwide shortage because it is rarely donated. That will soon change with today’s launch of The Great American Milk Drive, the first-ever national program to help deliver highly desired and nutrient-rich gallons of milk to hungry families who need it most. Hunger impacts 1 in 6 Americans, including 12.5 million families who do not have access to adequate nourishment to help them reach their full potential. Hunger has no boundaries and is a problem that exists in urban, suburban and rural communities. Map the Meal Gap shows how hunger impacts every county in the country. With its network of more than 200 food banks and 61,000 food pantries, soup kitchens and emergency shelters throughout the country, Feeding America helps provide food to families in need. It’s been a challenge for Feeding America to meet the demand for milk due to the lack of donations – canned goods and other non-perishable items are more likely to be donated. Now, it’s going to be easier for Americans to lend a hand and contribute nutritious milk to food insecure families. With a simple click of a mouse (www.milklife.com/give) or text message (text “Milk” to 27722), it will now be possible to buy much-needed milk and donate it for as little as $5.00 to a family who does not have regular access to milk. By entering your zip code, you can ensure that the milk is delivered from the farm to a local Feeding America food bank in your very own community. “We serve 37 million Americans each year through our network of food banks but, unfortunately, our clients receive the equivalent of less than one gallon of milk per person per year,” said Bob Aiken, CEO of Feeding America. “This has been an ongoing problem that hasn’t gotten the attention it deserves. Now we have a chance to do so much more, and I couldn’t be more thrilled. Increased donations of milk means increased protein and other nutrients for our clients and their families.” The Great American Milk Drive is made possible by the nation’s dairy farmers and milk companies. Jesse Tyler Ferguson of ABC’s Modern Family has joined the cause to help raise awareness of the scarcity of milk in food banks and help all families by increasing their access to fresh milk. The goal of the campaign is to deliver two million gallons of milk to food banks across the country. In the Midwest, various celebrities joined forces with Midwest Dairy Council and local milk companies to help kick off the program on Wednesday, April 2. James “Big Cat” Williams donated gallons of milk from Prairie Farms to the Greater Chicago Food Depository, Kansas City Chiefs punter Dustin Colquitt donated milk from Hiland Dairy and AE Dairy to Kansas City-based Harvesters, and Minnesota Vikings tight end Kyle

Rudolph donated milk from Kemps and Land O’ Lakes to St. Paul-based Second Harvest Heartland.

Nourishing our nation – The need is greater than ever Many Americans are pressured financially due to a convergence of economic stresses – which means more people are turning to their local food bank for help. Compared to four years ago, one million more people are seeking emergency food assistance from the Feeding America network each week. Increasingly, food banks have introduced nutrition criteria for the meals served to clients. More than two-thirds of the groceries distributed by the Feeding America network meet Feeding America’s “Foods To Encourage” guideline, based on the USDA’s MyPlate guidelines which include a serving of milk. “We have a responsibility to make sure we are getting those in need the most nutritious food possible,” said Aiken. “Providing nourishing items like milk and fresh produce makes a huge difference in the nutritional quality of the meals we’re able to provide and hopefully makes a real difference in our clients’ lives.” A recent network survey of Feeding America food banks revealed that 94 percent of respondents are actively working on improving the nutritional quality of meals provided to food bank clients. Yet, 95 percent of those surveyed say they do not receive enough milk to meet the demand. The number one reason cited is inadequate milk donations. Milk tops the list of the food items most requested by food bank participants (85 percent), followed by fresh fruits (77 percent) and fresh vegetables (74 percent). While several recent initiatives have focused on getting more produce into feeding programs, The Great American Milk Drive is the first program to help resolve the milk shortage. “Milk makes any meal more nutritious, which is important for all families, but it’s especially vital for those who are food insecure,” said registered dietitian and celebrity chef Ellie Krieger, a member of Feeding America’s Entertainment Council who is lending her support to The Great American Milk Drive. “Milk is a source of high-quality protein that’s often in short supply in feeding programs, and it offers three of the top nutrients most likely to be missing in the American diet – calcium, vitamin D and potassium. Milk can help power potential – but only if you have access to it. We need to be sure everyone has access to nutrient-rich milk, and together we can get more nutritious food to those who need it most.” Feeding America, whose network includes more than 200 food banks, is encouraging Americans to join The Great American Milk Drive to help provide the much-needed milk to food banks in their area. By visiting www.MilkLife.com/give, you can learn more about the need for more nutritious foods like milk in America’s food banks and how a small donation can make a significant impact.


Mn dairy princess 2014