August 15, 2022 at 7:04 p.m.
“Training for a marathon is not just running but also watching what I eat,” Christen said. “Dairy is a huge part of my diet so I can refuel my body. I drink chocolate milk after every single run.”
Christen is not only running races this summer; she is also running for the 69th Princess Kay of the Milky Way. At the end of August, she will complete against nine other young women from across the state for the title of Minnesota’s official goodwill ambassador.
Christen is the daughter of Glen and Becky Christen. Her parents milk 35 cows in Stearns County near Sauk Centre.
Growing up on a farm, Christen fell in love with dairy advocacy at an early age. She often taught classmates about her family’s farm and gave tours to her visiting cousins.
“I loved showing them what a day as a dairy farmer looks like,” Christen said. “I realized that not everyone knows what dairy farming means so I shared what my family does. That’s how I found my passion to teach others about dairy.”
After some encouragement from friends, Christen decided to run for Stearns County Dairy Princess and Princess Kay of the Milky Way to advocate for dairy on a larger platform.
Christen uses her knowledge of dairy nutrition and personal experiences consuming dairy foods as a way to connect with consumers. As an athlete herself, she is able to relate to consumers who are looking for nutritious ways of fueling their bodies.
“Nutrition and dairy go hand in hand,” Christen said. “I try to lead by example. Showing others that consuming dairy is good for them is easier than trying to explain it.”
In addition to sharing about the nutritional benefits of dairy, Christen enjoys speaking about the locality of dairy and its positive impacts on communities.
“A lot of people know the dairy farmers in their community, especially here in Stearns County,” Christen said. “So, it’s good to know that when you go to the store and buy milk or cheese, it is probably produced by a farmer that you know. When you but local, you are helping out your local economy.”
Christen is going into her junior year of studying elementary education. At school, she is involved in Ag Arama, archery club, cross-country and dairy club.
Christen is excited to continue combining her passions of teaching and dairy advocacy in her career. Upon graduation, she hopes to insert dairy into her lesson plans as a teacher.
“I want my students to understand where their food comes from,” Christen said. “It is important to teach it at a young age so they can become responsible consumers when they get older.”
As the interviewing and judging for Princess Kay is getting closer, Christen is using an important piece of advice she received to help her prepare.
“I was told to be yourself and be genuine, because that will get you further than anything else,” Christen said.
Christen awaits the Minnesota State Fair not only because the selection of the 69th Princess Kay of the Milky Way will be revealed, but also because it will be her first time at the Great Minnesota Get-Together.
Whether she is crowned or not, she will spend parts of the state fair advocating for dairy and getting her likeness carved out of butter.
Christen’s 90-pound butter sculpture will fuel her for many more races to come.