All my life I have enjoyed Valentine’s Day. A table covered in glitter, red and pink paper, jewels, stamps, markers, scissors, glue and pens has been a signal that it is that time of year. Each handmade valentine goes to someone who is a part of my life. Some valentines are pretty emotional as I take the opportunity to tell my family and very best friends how much I love them.
    As I was thinking about Valentine’s Day, this year as Princess Kay I want to send two additional valentines. My first valentine would go to all the dairy farmers across Minnesota. As Princess Kay, I see this opportunity as more than a job, a tiara or a resume builder. I am working as a dairy advocate for you. I believe in what the dairy community is doing. It is said that love expresses itself in actions, not merely words. As I attend each event, make social media posts, write articles or speeches, I am doing exactly that: showing I truly care. This past month, I had the opportunity to speak with preschoolers in Rogers and St. Michael, both of Minnesota. They might be young, but it was still so important to teach them about the community I care so deeply for. Preschoolers are a unique age as I try to find the balance between overwhelming them with knowledge, not challenging them enough and presenting the information in a simple, yet useful way. It is always an encouragement when you can ask them questions like, “Why should you drink milk?” at the end of the presentation, and they now know the answer is to be big and strong. They are the next generation of consumers and dairy enthusiasts.
    The second valentine I would like to send as Princess Kay is from both myself and all the other dairy farmers of Minnesota. I want to send a valentine to the communities that we all live in to let them know we care and to tell them how we want to build community together. On Jan. 19, I presented $5,000 on live TV to the Eagles Cancer Telethon. The money was raised through the sale of malts by a county dairy association and was donated by dairy farmers to aid in cancer research. It was a moment to let the community know dairy farmers stand with the community. Our lives are touched and devastated by the same things. As local small business owners, we want to step up and do our part to make this world a better place. Sometimes we forget our communities do not exist of us and them. Our communities are a we. We stand together.
    As I have mentioned who Princess Kay’s valentines are, now it is your turn. Who is your valentine? Who do you invest time and energy into? This is the time of year to put words to the actions that you show all year long. Maybe your valentine does not know the reason you are investing in them. This is the day to let your spouse, siblings, friends and community know you care. Maybe you will not use glitter and red paper as I love to do, but that does not make your valentine message invalid. This Valentine’s Day, let them know you care.
    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.