Mark Twain once said, “In the spring, I have counted 136 different kinds of weather inside of 24 hours.” As we turn the calendar once more, a Minnesota March greets us with the same outlook on spring. This quote is also pretty relevant for the winter we have endured. The past two months have been dense with snow, cold temperatures and records in both categories. Winter has been anything but consistent or mild. On the contrary, it has been full of surprises.
    Congruently, our lives and farms are always changing. In the past few months and even years, your family may have experienced some record highs and some record lows. On the farm, you have seen some days that were as sharp as this year’s wind chill and some deep snow that made you rethink everything.
    For a moment, I want to take a break from the cold and the snow to say, “thank you.” What you do makes a difference, and I mean that sincerely. In the past few weeks, I have met over 100 elementary schoolers who transitioned from sourcing milk to a grocery store, to asking if I can bring my cows to their school for a visit. From calves to the milk truck, students are fascinated by your daily routine and the hard work you put in. Your dairy story has brightened smiles, opened minds and shaped hearts. Your love and perseverance for dairy farming has a ripple effect off the farm. This year, I have been blessed to see the positive impact of your lifestyle at work. My wish is that someday you can see the same genuine smiles and sparkling eyes of students who connect with you through your story. To me, it is proof that what you do matters. It may not be a tangible relief to the snow storms you face on the farm, but I want you to know that the farm you pour your heart into has a story that resonates with an important audience in the dairy community – our consumers.
    When I was a kid, I wanted to be a meteorologist. I wanted to predict the weather and warn everyone before a big snowstorm hit. As we enter a new month, I wish I could bring all 136 different types of Twain’s weather to you before they happen. Even further, I wish I could provide a forecast for the nonweather-related highs and lows you face as farmers. However, I did not pursue a career in meteorology or dairy economics. But, I do spend a lot of time with people who enjoy your products and adore your story. While I will not be on the evening news sharing these observations in the weather forecast, I hope it brings a positive outlook to your daily routine and lifestyle.  
    This year has been full of indecisive weather patterns and winter conditions that make each of us question our Minnesotan roots. What I do not question is the benefit of what you do on the world around us. No matter the season your farm and family are in, your story is valuable.
    As March begins, we can undoubtedly expect 136 types of weather in 24 hours. Amidst the changes, highs and lows, one thing remains constant: the value and importance of your dairy story. Thank you for giving students and consumers of all ages a story they can love and appreciate. No matter the season, you can rejoice in having a great story.
    Rebekka grew up in Browerville, Minn., working on several dairy farms including her uncle’s farms. Rebekka finds joy in sharing the story and future of dairy with others through community outreach and media platforms. She is a junior at South Dakota State University studying Agricultural Education with minors in Animal Science and Social Media. At school she is very involved with the College of Agricultural, Food, and Environmental Sciences Prexy Council, Sigma Alpha Sorority, Little International, Collegiate Farm Bureau, and Dairy Club. She also enjoys showing and raising cattle, mentoring youth in 4-H and FFA, road trips, hunting, fishing, tractor pulls, and watching the Vikings with Dad.