In the movie, “The Sound of Music,” Maria sings the song, “My Favorite Things.”
    “When the dog bites, when the bee stings, when I’m feeling sad, I simply remember my favorite things, and then I don’t feel so bad.”
    As we all enter March and winter tenaciously holds, we all need a little reminder of our favorite things. For me, spring is my favorite season of the year. I love to go on a walk on my home farm where there are woods carpeted with wild flowers. It always amazes me that they will bloom every year without any tending. They are there whether or not anyone sees them. They are part of the hope of spring.
    What are some of your favorite things? Are you looking forward to picking your show heifers and starting training? Are you trying a new crop in one of your fields this year? Are you excited for short-sleeved shirts and sunshine? Honestly, writing about this kind of stuff gets me excited and hopeful.
    I want to share a few favorites from this past month as Princess Kay. I attended the Olmsted County Dairy Princess Banquet (my home county). It was such a special day to come back to this banquet as Princess Kay. I have been attending it since I was a little girl. They have been an important part of my development as a dairy advocate. I was able to recap a bit of my year. It was a moment to look back and think about what I have done and why it is important.
    The very next day I had another speech to give at the Associated Milk Producers Inc. annual meeting. I had never given different speeches back to back. It was a chance to strengthen my short-term memory skills. I started my evening by chatting with attendees. The crown on my head gave me an easy way to start a conversation. The dairy princess program is so effective: A crown opens doors for interactions in a very unique way. It gives me a simple reason to walk right up to a group and enter their conversation. At events like this, I always enjoy meeting more members of the dairy community I represent. After these interactions, I walk away with pride that I get to represent these amazing people. You all are part of my favorite things. Part of the evening’s fun included a cheese identification contest. I didn’t do so well, but I did get to help present the prizes. Because one prize went to my mom, I guess I should take lessons.
    At the end of the month, I visited a daycare and did a dairy presentation. The kids listened well as I told them about my farm, the importance of eating dairy foods and read some picture books. I can now read “Cindy Moo” upside down while walking around showing the pictures to all the kids. The children might only need one hand to count how many years old they are, but I still know it is important to talk to them about the importance of what we do and the foods we produce. They need to know about farms and that dairy foods will make them strong.
    As this year continues, I look forward to the events I attend. They are part of my favorite things. Each one enriches my life and broadens my perspective. I hope your life is full of moments worth saying that they are part of your favorite things.
    Princess Kay of the Milky Way, Amy Kyllo, serves as the Minnesota dairy community’s goodwill ambassador. Throughout the year, Princess Kay helps people understand the dedication of dairy farmers to wholesome and nutritious food, and the way milk is produced. Princess Kay does many school presentations, represents dairy farmers at the Fuel Up To Play 60 events that are held in conjunction with the Minnesota Vikings, and is very active during June Dairy Month sharing the importance of dairy farming and dairy foods. Amy grew up in Byron, Minnesota, living and working on her family’s dairy farm. She is a senior at the Free Lutheran Bible College. She enjoys music, loves to read and is an avid Minnesota Twins baseball fan.