On the Road with Princess Kay

Working together, just like on Christmas morning


It is officially winter. A good marker of when it’s winter on a dairy farm is when you break out the heavy jacket for the first time and when you start putting on the calf jackets. While I was home this weekend, I was able to put the first calf jackets on.

The holiday season has always been my favorite season on the farm with the star on top of the silo, the snow-covered hills and the Christmas lights everywhere. However, anyone who grew up on a dairy farm knows that Christmas morning looks a little different for us than for our friends who live in town. In my family, that meant that we didn’t open our gifts Christmas morning until Dad got in from chores. In fact, when we were younger, Mom wouldn’t even let us upstairs in case we peeked into our stockings before Dad got in from the barn. My mom would have my siblings and I camp out in the basement to watch a holiday movie. As we grew older, we enjoyed waiting a little longer to open our gifts, and Mom even let us come upstairs for breakfast. We now have made another change as my dad, my brother and I all do chores together on Christmas morning, which is special to me in a whole new way. There is something special about doing chores together as a family. At times it isn’t harmonious, but it’s a gift that not many people get to experience. 

In November, I had three appearances as Princess Kay. I was able to attend the Minnesota Farm Bureau’s annual meeting where I mingled with Farm Bureau members and politicians who were also attending. I was able to bring both of my parents along, and it was fun to see how many connections they have in the agriculture community. I was assigned to the dinner table with Minnesota Farm Bureau President Dan Glessing and his family as well as Sen. Amy Klobuchar. I had a great time visiting with the Glessings and Klobuchar. I also gave the greeting before the awards ceremony. All of these experiences were amazing, but my favorite part of any event is when dairy farmers come up to me and I get to hear about their experiences in dairy farming. It’s exciting to see their love for dairy farming and the impact that it has had on them. I had one particular farmer talk with me, telling me that even though he sold his cows a few years ago, he still has the last calves that were born on his farm. He also told me about how much his grandkids love the cattle that are still on his farm. 

The next day, I attended the Minnesota Farmers Union Convention. At this event, I had the special opportunity to visit the children who were in the childcare center while their parents attended the meeting. I was able to talk with them and read them books about dairy. It was exciting to see how much the kids knew about their own farms. I also brought coloring books, stickers, sunglasses and fidget spinners to hand out after I read the books, and the kids loved them. I saw them at lunch, and some of them were still rocking the sunglasses. A few of the kids said they had already had some of the goodies, but they were excited to have another one or perhaps pass them on to friends. At lunch, I gave greetings and visited with the Farmers Union staff. I also helped Farmers Union President Gary Wertish draw door prizes. I was able to see some of the awards program, and I loved to hear about how much the people at Farmers Union were helping farmers all over Minnesota.

Both of these events showed me how much the agriculture industry is like a family — supporting each other and working together, just like my family on Christmas morning. 

My final event in November will be visiting two high school history classes at White Bear Lake High School. I am excited to test out new activities with students there. The lesson will be about sustainability, animal care and dairy nutrition. 

Happy holidays to my dairy family!

Princess Kay of the Milky Way, Emma Kuball, serves as the Minnesota dairy community’s goodwill ambassador. Emma grew up in Waterville, Minnesota working on her family’s 6th generation dairy farm assisting with cow milking, cow care, and calf feeding. She attends University of Wisconsin-River Falls, studying agriculture education, and looks forward to also becoming an FFA advisor. In her free time, she enjoys reading, crocheting and baking. Her parents are Nate and Shannon Kuball.

Princess Kay is very active doing school visits, representing dairy farmers, and sharing the importance of dairy farming and dairy foods at appearances across Minnesota.


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