The cold snap is officially here, and Mother Nature is proving that she is determined to not let up on her combination of wind and chilly weather. I hope you are finding ways to keep yourselves warm and are able to find joy in each day. I’ve been finding lots of warmth and joy through my appearances in the last month, through the cold weather and all.
I kicked off midway through the month with First District Association at their annual meeting. I was able to lead the Pledge of Allegiance and share a few words. I reminded attendees that it truly takes a village to run a dairy farm, and we have so many individuals such as our veterinarians, nutritionists, milk haulers and milk cooperatives to be thankful for. Though it was particularly chilly that day, getting to visit with so many enthusiastic individuals was more than enough to keep everyone’s spirits up.
Later in the month, I met with 72 third-grade students at Morris Elementary, which was particularly special for all of us because of their close connection to dairy farming. These students had the opportunity to tour a nearby dairy farm previously and were even more excited to share that with me and come along on my virtual farm tour. They had lots of great questions and stories to share.
I then made the trip up to Ashby, where I spent the entire day visiting with students from kindergarten all the way up to high school seniors. This kept me on my toes for sure, and we were able to do a variety of activities throughout the day that were tailored to their ages. Classes went through the virtual farm tour, made butter, had a butter-sculpting contest and asked questions about myself and the dairy community. I visited with about 150 students that day.
I rounded off the month with the Winter Carnival Grand Parade with my trusty Minnesota State
Fair gopher sidekicks, Fairborne and Fairchild. We enjoyed walking through the parade route waving at everyone that braved the cold to come and watch.
We are into February now, and that means one thing for young women with a passion for the dairy community, it’s time to sign up at the county-level to become a dairy princess. The dairy princess program is truly one-of-a-kind, and each county has their own spin on events over the course of the year. This gives a platform, and many leadership opportunities, to those interested in the program, and for those who may be a bit more reserved, it allows young women to see what being a dairy princess is all about before potentially attending the Dairy Princess Leadership and Promotion Conference in May. I encourage you all, if you meet the requirements, to apply to become a county dairy princess.
Aside from being able to share your love for all things dairy farming with a wide scope of others, you could also potentially compete to be named one of the 10 finalists selected at the May event. It’s the next step on the road to being the 69th Princess Kay of the Milky Way. This is such an exciting time of year for so many young women eager to advocate for the dairy community, an opportunity that impacts us all for many years into the future not only as individuals, but in our careers and hobbies as well. To find out more, contact your county’s American Dairy Association to find out how to apply or get involved in the program. You won’t regret it.
And, to all those involved in the dairy industry, if you know of any young women who you think may be interested, encourage them to check it out. You can tell them that they have a unique skill set for this opportunity. You can show these potential candidates that you support them and believe they can be a great representative of the dairy community. So, who are you going to encourage to represent you and your fellow dairy farmers?
Princess Kay of the Milky Way Anna Euerle serves as the Minnesota dairy community’s goodwill ambassador. Princess Kay is very 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.
Euerle grew up in Litchfield, Minnesota, working on her family’s dairy farm. She will soon graduate from Ridgewater College in Agribusiness with a dairy emphasis. In her free time she enjoys cooking, baking and being outdoors.