A smile. That is what I hope everyone who meets me walks away with. This June has been no different. To reach that goal, I start with a smile of my own. This June, sometimes that smile has had to hide behind a mask, but no matter what I am wearing, there is still a smile.
    The first place I hope to bring a smile to everyone’s face is social media. I worked to post almost every day during June Dairy Month. There were posts about my farm, posts about where I am going and what I am doing, and posts about dairy nutrition. It is always a good challenge for me to look and find great content that will be interesting, useful and smile worthy for those who follow me. One of my most popular posts was a picture of a newborn calf with a crown on its head with the caption, “On dairy farms, we treat our cows like royalty. This is the newest member of our herd. #JuneDairyMonth.” That is what I am looking for, a post that makes people smile. Whether at the cuteness of a calf with a crown or a mouthwatering dairy food, a smile is a portal to being able to share dairy farmers’ priorities.
    Social media is not the only place I have been smiling. I was so blessed to virtually visit a group of senior citizens at a care facility. They were such an amazing group who listened as I shared about my dairy farm (and also some of the amazing technology on different dairy farms) as well as the important nutritional aspects of dairy foods. They also were willing to interact and answer questions. Because I usually present to elementary age children, I loved the chance to present a higher level of information with an adult group.
    I also had the opportunity to do several socially distant in-person visits. These past months have taught me what a privilege it is to have the opportunities I once took for granted. Two drive-thru dairy events captured many people’s attention and were awesome events to attend. The first event was in Goodhue County at the Hunekes’ dairy farm. Participants were able to drive through a freestall barn and a calf barn as well as go by machinery, silage storage and more. Of course, they also got to have some amazing dairy treats given to them. My job was to greet cars. Approximately 400 cars went through, so I was busy, busy, busy. I loved being able to talk to attendees all morning long. I was able to do a radio interview and TV interview with the media who were at the event.
    The second drive-thru event was in Fillmore County at the Mulherns’ dairy. Attendees were able to tour the dairy farm and could tune into a radio station for a tour. I was making sure cars with children got goodie bags and cow hats. Attendees received string cheese, milk, ice cream and deep fried cheese curds. That is a lot of great dairy foods.
    One of the biggest highlights of the month was the opportunity to co-host a radio show. I spent several hours in the studio at KNUJ 860 New Ulm. I started out a little after 11 a.m. alongside Tom Wheeler of the Wheeler Experience. I was announcing polkas, doing the weather and more. At noon, I recorded a Facebook interview with Jim Bartels for their Facebook page and recorded an interview with Craig Hanson for the KNUF FM Community Accent Show. At 1 p.m., I was back with Tom Wheeler. He was so gracious to give me a long and fun interview plus help me to do the weather a few more times. I learned so much about what goes into a radio program. Whether I was on air or just waiting on some downtime, I loved the opportunity to share all about dairy. I know radio listeners cannot see me, but I hope my words brought a smile to their faces.
    So, how about you? What about dairy brings a smile to your face? Is it a bowl of ice cream? A beautiful new heifer calf? First crop hay that goes up well? Whatever the reason is for your smile, I hope you share it with those around you, because a simple moment and a simple smile can make a big impact.
    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.