Every year, I am mesmerized by the changing seasons. Each season brings its own beauty and opportunities. One of my favorite changes is summer to fall. The changing trees cover our state with vibrant beauty. This year has been filled with changes, and we have all had to adapt in different ways. Although we have endured many challenges, we have learned how to be resilient and hopeful for the future.
    This past month, I have had the opportunity to participate in two incredible opportunities. I had the chance to tour Open Arms of Minnesota. They are a nonprofit that prepares and delivers meals to critically-ill clients. This year, they will deliver 700,000 meals to the seven-county metro area. All the meals they prepare are cooked from scratch, and the ingredients are sourced from local farms. While there, I learned about their meal packaging, and I helped package zucchini bread in the bakery. Each week they send out 382 gallons of milk to their clients. Cheese sticks are a favorite, especially for the kids. They also have yogurt parfaits coming soon. Everything is baked on site with butter and love.
    The second opportunity I had was participating in the filming of Virtual Youth Training Camp videos developed by the Minnesota Vikings. These videos will be created for the Fuel Up to Play 60 program. The videos will be targeting youth 6-12 years old. There will be a series of interactive videos highlighting various exercise drills. The videos will be live on the Vikings website sometime in October. The Nutrition 101 video covers how to stay well-fueled during workouts. It will discuss how dairy foods are great in refueling our bodies and help keep us healthy and strong. We will be posting updates on our Facebook page on how you can view these videos.
    I am also excited to announce that in the coming months, we will be hearing from the other finalists. This year, each finalist will have a day to take over the Facebook and Instagram accounts. Each lady will highlight their day and cover fun dairy topics. Keep an eye out on our social media pages for these takeovers.
    I hope during this time, you have spent extra time surrounded by your loved ones and focused on what matters most. As I transition back to school, I am grateful for the opportunity to continue my studies and connect with others even if it is virtual. As we look forward to the future, I hope you continue to embrace change. Look for the positive in every situation and see what this new season of change can bring you. Wishing you all a safe and plentiful harvest season.
    Princess Kay of the Milky Way, Brenna Connelly 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. Brenna grew up in Byron, MN working on her cousin’s dairy farm. She is a sophomore at the University of Minnesota- Twin Cities, studying agricultural education and animal science. When she is not showing cattle or participating in dairy judging, she loves to read and travel.