Have you ever been given an amazing gift; something unexpected, yet something you have dreamed of? When the crown touched my head Aug. 21, I was given an amazing gift. I want this article today to be about gifts.
    One of my goals as Princess Kay is to be a bridge. In today’s world, we so often look for the things that divide us, whether it is among the farming community or beyond. As a bridge, I want to look beyond the things that divide us and to be someone who brings us together. I want to bridge the urban rural divide, the farmer versus non-farmer divide and even the farmer to farmer divide. I want to be someone whom everyone finds a connection with. As Princess Kay, I hope the interactions I have bring the gift of a smile to the faces of those I connect with. I hope as I spend time with each and every person I meet this year, they will walk away with a sense of increased confidence in the dairy community.
    As your Princess Kay, I want to introduce myself so you all get to know me better. I am the youngest of four sisters. My sisters are Rachel (Isaac), Carolyn and Annette. My sister Rachel and her husband also have a little girl named Lisbeth who at only 8 months is the pride and joy of all of our lives. I am in my second year of college at the Association Free Lutheran Bible School. I am in the field of biblical studies, and I will graduate with an associate degree this spring. I was homeschooled from Kindergarten through 12th grade. Homeschooling fit our family in the way we were able to balance farm, education and family. As a person, I love the color blue, reading and listening to the Twins. I also play piano, sing and enjoy cooking. I feed calves, milk cows and am a hauler during haylage and corn silage harvest. Our farm is situated in rolling hills, woods and a river. None of this topography is particularly handy for farming, but I love the beauty of it all. We have about 400 acres and raise about 75% of our cow’s feed ourselves. We milk around 95 cows and raise all of our heifers. My parents, Paul and Susan, have been farming for 39 years and farming on our current farm for the last 32 years. My family and our farm are good gifts I have been blessed with my entire life.
    As far as staying busy as Princess Kay, less than a week after the Minnesota State Fair, I was at the Washington County Breakfast on the Farm hosted by the Miron family. It was a wonderful opportunity for kids and families to experience what a dairy farm is like while having fun along the way. I met kids and their families by giving them cow hats and taking pictures with them. I also was at the Minnesota Vikings game Sept. 22 with Fuel Up To Play 60. Besides being my first ever Minnesota Vikings game to attend, it was a special opportunity to meet the amazing FUTP60 kids who have learned so much through FUTP60 about healthy living.
    As I continue this year long reign, I wish I could meet each one of you. If I do not meet you, I hope you meet me through this article and the ones in the following months. I hope these updates can be a gift of encouragement to you throughout the year that good work is being done on your behalf. Last, but not least, thank you for the gift of representing you and the dairy community as your Princess Kay of the Milky Way.
    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, MN living and working on her family’s dairy farm. She is a senior at the Association Free Lutheran Bible School. She enjoys music, loves to read and is an avid Minnesota Twins baseball fan.