When we look outside our windows, we see melting snow and sunshine. These are our first signs that winter is coming to an end, and spring is right around the corner. Spring is one of my favorite times of the year. I love the warmer weather, the abundance of sunshine and all of the plants coming to life. My favorite part is flowering trees that brighten up our whole world with their beauty. In just a few short weeks, our landscape will be green again. Spring also marks the beginning of planting season and the joys of being in the field again. I hope you enjoy spring as much as I do, and take the time to spend extra time outside. Now is the perfect time to take a walk and enjoy the wonderful weather.
    This past month, I had the awesome opportunity to read a book for Minnesota Agriculture in the Classroom’s Farm and Food Book Week. I read the story, “Chuck’s Ice Cream Wish: Tales of the Dairy Godmother.” I read the book via Zoom to over 25 classrooms from across the state. Following the book reading, there was a short question and answer session with all of the students. They asked questions such as, “How do you become Princess Kay of the Milky Way?” “What are your favorite chores on the farm?” “What do cows do when it is cold outside?” They were filled with excitement and were eager to learn more about my role. We had so much fun talking about dairy and what a dairy farmer’s day looks like.
    In the next few months, I will be sharing a series of social media posts called “Dairy Takes a Team.” During this social media campaign, I will share the team it takes to produce dairy foods and how milk gets from a farm to the table. I will highlight dairy farmers, veterinarians, nutritionists, agronomists, milk haulers, milk testers and processors. I am so excited to show people the dedicated team and all of the work this team does. To follow along, make sure you follow Princess Kay on Facebook and Instagram.
    Spring is also the time when counties are in search of new dairy princesses and dairy ambassadors. The dairy princess program is an amazing opportunity for high school and college-aged girls to be a part of. I have made incredible friendships and memories by being a dairy princess. I loved traveling to events in my home county and sharing my love for dairy. If you or someone you know has someone in your life that would make a great dairy princess, have them connect with their local county dairy princess coordinator.
    I hope you enjoy the warm weather we are experiencing and find the beauty as spring makes its appearance in just a few short weeks. Take the time to appreciate this fresh start after winter. As you prepare for fieldwork, remember the gift of a new planting season and all of the abundances it can bring.
    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, Minnesota 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.