Jumping into June Dairy Month

Welcome to June Dairy Month. I am so excited to jump into the celebration of National Dairy Month.
Since 1939, the rich history of June Dairy Month has been observed by households as we recognize the wonderful attributes of dairy farmers and the work they partake in to provide wholesome and nutritional dairy foods.
June Dairy Month is a great way to kick off summer with all of our dairy foods. I am eager to begin my travels this June to celebrate with those around the state for breakfasts on the farm and many other dairy celebrations held. But first, let’s talk about the month of May.
May brought so many fun adventures for me as Princess Kay. I joined six kindergarten classrooms at both Valleyview elementary and BOLD (Bird Island-Olivia-Lake Lillian) schools. At both of these visits, the kindergarten students were so excited to learn about my adventures on the farm and as Princess Kay.
Martin County had a successful breakfast on the farm. I was able to assist families in making their own homemade butter and milking Princess the cow. Martin County’s mascot, Marty the pig, also took part.
The road next took me to Landwehr Dairy in Watkins, Minnesota, for a farm tour with third graders who learned about all aspects of the farm from the parlor, free stalls, feedings, calves and my stop along the tour to learn about dairy nutrition.
Kindergarten on the Farm in Mora, Minnesota, was my next adventure. It was a wonderful day as I shared with students about dairy alongside meeting the two calves and watching everyone getting their own turn to shake heavy whipping cream to make butter.
CHS Field hosted dairy farmers as they held Dairy Day at the St. Paul Saints baseball game. I was lucky enough to throw out the first pitch of the game. It was a beautiful night to watch baseball, and I was even able to sit in the press box and talk with the St. Paul Saints broadcaster on the air.
Urban Ag Day brought third graders from the metro area to the state fairgrounds for their own hands-on agricultural experience. I was the students’ first stop as I shared about life on the dairy farm and the importance of dairy foods. I talked about my journey to Princess Kay, which was fitting being back in the dairy building where my likeness was carved in butter during the state fair.
The next stop on my travels was at Forest Lake High School’s Ag Day, hosted by the Forest Lake FFA Chapter. There were a variety of agricultural booths that showcased animals, agricultural careers and groups within the agricultural industry who were present to engage with students. I was able to talk to the over 2,000 students and community members who were present as well as help at the dairy booth that served milk and cheese curds and had a trivia spinner wheel.
May wouldn’t be complete without the Dairy Princess Promotion and Leadership Event. It was so great to learn something new from our wonderful speakers and meet the fabulous county dairy princesses throughout the state. I want to give a special congratulations to the 10 finalists selected for the 70th Princess Kay of the Milky Way.
The Minnesota Vikings hosted their Field Days at Twin Cities Orthopedics Performance Center. Over the three days, 1,200-plus students came to enjoy a variety of activities encouraging being active and eating healthy. Part of that included meeting me as I shared about dairy and its role in our diets. It was so great to see the students' faces light up when they answered dairy-related questions.
Ringing the starting bell at the annual Milk Run finished out the month of May. Many of you might be thinking, “Didn't she do that during the Minnesota State Fair?” Yes, I did, but the Milk Run has now found a new place on the calendar and will not be run during the state fair as it has been. I can officially say that I am the only Princess Kay to start two Milk Runs. The day was complete with many conversations with the runners and their cheering fans as well as handing out milk to all.
As we jump into National Dairy Month, how do we observe such a wonderful month? It’s simple; enjoy your favorite dairy foods and share your love of dairy with those around you. Whether this is sharing dairy recipes, hosting a group on your farm or bringing dairy to the center of conversations with people you encounter, there are many ways to demonstrate the importance of dairy.
I encourage you all to share your dairy story and highlight the ways dairy is special to you this June Dairy Month. Celebrate National Dairy Month by drinking an extra glass of milk, sprinkling more cheese on your hotdish and adding one more scoop of ice cream to celebrate and support dairy.
Princess Kay of the Milky Way Rachel Rynda serves as the Minnesota dairy community’s goodwill ambassador. Rynda grew up in Montgomery, Minnesota, on her family’s dairy farm. She attends University of Wisconsin-River Falls, studying agriculture business with a minor in dairy science, with plans to assist farmers with their finances. She enjoys participating in sports and singing in church with her dad.
Princess Kay is active doing school visits, representing dairy farmers at the Fuel Up To Play 60 activities in conjunction with the Minnesota Vikings and sharing the importance of dairy farming and dairy foods at appearances across Minnesota.


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