Liveliness of spring

Spring has always been a bustling time of year. Whether it was school, chores on the farm, fieldwork, softball or FFA events, my schedule was filled with activities.
As the temperature began to warm, my energy heightened, and I became excited about all my adventures. One of my favorite parts of the spring season is Easter. Since I was in middle school, I have sung in my church’s choir alongside my dad. Singing at Mass on Easter has always been so fulfilling. I love the sound of the organ and a fully decorated church of colorful flowers as we join in together in the Easter celebration. After church, we always headed to Grandma’s for a large meal of ham and cheesy potatoes. A wooden bunny Easter basket, full of candy, sat on the table after lunch as my family, stuffed from the meal, sat and visited together.
Easter conversations unfailingly consist of the progress of spring fieldwork, how the cows are doing and spring sports. Any of my family get-togethers involves dairy, bringing us together through the enjoyment of real dairy foods.
As the weather turns to spring, my travels as Princess Kay are ramping up. In March, my journey as Princess Kay brought me to the Minnesota All Breeds Convention awards banquet to highlight outstanding individuals who have dedicated their time to help the dairy community flourish. During the banquet, I was able to share one of my personal mentorship experiences and the extreme importance of sharing experience and knowledge within the dairy industry.
Lights, camera, action. I got the opportunity to get my hands dirty and film an episode of Hastings’ Community Television cooking show “Aprons Optional” alongside dairy enthusiast Sara. It was so fun to appear as a guest for the June Dairy Month segment of the show. Together, Sara and I whipped up some great tasty dairy recipes as we talked about all things dairy. Stay tuned to check out this amazing episode airing in June.
Stonebridge Elementary School in Stillwater, Minnesota, welcomed me for their dairy day at school. I was able to meet with the pre-k through fourth grade students sharing about my role as Princess Kay. Let me say that Stonebridge went all out for my visit by having their art teacher sculpt their principal’s likeness out of 10 pounds of butter. I was able to eat lunch with the first and second graders and cheer on the fifth grade students as they presented their class play Peter Pan.
On National Ag Day, March 21, I joined Minnesota Farm Bureau for their second annual Ag Day Gala. The gala consisted of a social followed by sitting down for a Minnesotan homegrown meal together as we enjoyed conversations with fellow agriculturalists from across the state. Before the dinner meal, I was able to give the milk salute. With a ballroom full of raised glasses of ice cold milk, we toasted to the industries and people that feed us. I was also able to help read the official proclamation from Gov. Walz declaring March 21 as National Ag Day in Minnesota.
This time of year is full of crowning new dairy princesses. I have loved seeing all the excitement of the young ladies enthusiastic about advocating for Minnesota’s dairy community. I remember dreaming of becoming a dairy princess when I was little and the excitement of when I was crowned a dairy princess in my home county. Becoming a dairy princess has given me much to be grateful for by opening the door to outstanding opportunities to learn new things, meet amazing people, gain lifelong friends and share my dairy story. As the newly crowned dairy princesses begin their year representing our Minnesota dairy farmers, have fun, build connections, create memories and share your love for all things 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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