Who is Princess Kay?

“Who is Princess Kay?” was certainly a question on a lot of people’s minds last night.  This is why: the 60th Princess Kay of the Milky Way, who serves as the official goodwill ambassador for Minnesota’s dairy industry, was crowned last night at 9:30 as the official kick-off to the Minnesota State Fair (which I blogged about earlier here).  And oh, is it suspenseful?  If you were following #MNPrincessKay on your Twitter, you certainly felt that way!

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The beautiful and unforgettable 60th Princess Kay of the Milky Way, MarJenna McWilliam.

Among 12 finalists, MarJenna McWilliam was crowned Princess Kay.  Her duties began immediately.  She breezed through her first set of media interviews.  You simply have to check out this video from the Star Tribune to understand how natural it is for her to promote the importance of consuming dairy, as well as tell personal farm experiences that relate how farmers care for their cows.

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If you are a young boy in Minnesota, you probably collect baseball cards. However, if you are a dairy farmer’s daughter, you collect Dairy Princess cards.

Today, MarJenna’s likeness is being carved by Linda Christensen, who has been skillfully turning 90-pound blocks of butter into ‘butterheads” for over 40 years.  That is commitment!

To see some photos of some butterheads, head to the Dairy Building at the Minnesota State Fair.  Or, if that isn’t an option, see some at Princess Kay’s page on Wikipedia.

If you have any questions on the Princess Kay of the Milky Way program, please feel free to ask.  It is a tradition that dairy farmers across the state are so proud to relate.  Lastly, if you get a chance to meet MarJenna at the State Fair, an event like Breakfast on the Farm, or as part of her numerous school visits, please take advantage of it.  She is a truly remarkable lady.

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My thoughts on chocolate milk

Way too soon, Vince will begin 2nd grade and Liv will be in kindergarten (gasp!).  I hear you can be put in jail for keeping your kids from going to school, so alas, I will allow it.

So, there are tons of changes coming up in our lives.  New routines like earlier bedtimes, homework, and probably a lot less time with Dad as corn silage harvest is right around the corner.  Vince is reluctant; Liv is so excited.  One thing (okay, probably the ONLY thing) that Vince is looking forward to is the chocolate milk that he gets with his school lunch.

I don’t offer chocolate milk at home.  It is just a convenience issue.  I don’t want to have to inventory both white and chocolate milk in my fridge.  What if the white milk runs out?  Chocolate milk in my alfredo and chocolate milk in my cereal?  No thanks.

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Liv enjoying a cup of chocolate milk at the $1 all-you-can-drink milk stand at the Minnesota State Fair in 2011.

Regardless of what happens at home, this is why it is okay with me if my kids drink chocolate milk in school.

1.  It has the same 9 essential nutrients as white milk.  Also, the amount of sugar/sweetener added in is not that much.  (Did you know that flavored milk only contributes 3 percent of the added sugars in children’s diets?)

2.  Research shows that children who drink chocolate milk usually meet more of their nutritional needs and are NOT heavier than non-milk drinkers.

3.  Out of the 5 “Nutrients of Concern” that children do not give enough of, milk contains a healthy dose of these 3:  calcium, potassium, and magnesium.  Let’s not forget about Vitamin D, because we all know kids get less sunshine time when in school.

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This boy definitely got enough sunshine for sufficient Vitamin D this summer!

 The other really nice thing about chocolate milk is that it is a pick-me-up.  My mind was swimming yesterday after doing 20+ 4-H livestock exhibitor interviews in 90 minutes.  Knowing that I had 5 hours of judging cows and goats in front of me, I needed a bit of energy.  I grabbed a carton of chocolate milk and was ready to go.  So quick and easy.  I think Liv will definitely need this around noon time, as kindergarten is SO exhausting.

Chocolate milk is also being recognized as a great post-race refueling drink.  Hmmm…I do worry that my two-year-old, Ava, will have me running around like crazy trying to keep her busy while she misses her siblings.  Maybe I do need to start keeping chocolate milk in my fridge!

Great MN Get-together

Whether you call it the MN State Fair, the Great MN Get-Together (or even the Sweat-Together), it is such a fantastic event.  I just love it.  A little tiny part of me believes that it wouldn’t go on without me:)

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Our family, 2 years ago.

When I was 18, I spent all 12 days there as a state 4-H ambassador.  I won’t be there for the duration this year, from August 22-September 2.  Vince and Liv start school on the 22nd of August (gasp), so it may be tricky to find a day but I’m determined to make it work.  There are so many wonderful things to DO and so many wonderful things to EAT.

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Be sure to check out the Moo Booth. Lots of learning for kids AND adults in that corner of the cattle barn.

There is even royalty at the MN State Fair.  The 60th Princess Kay of the Milky Way (to be crowned the evening before the fair begins) will be reigning over the State Fair this year, telling her story of growing up on her family’s farm and reminding everyone of the importance of dairy in a healthy diet.  My daughter met the 58th Princess Kay Mary Zahurones, who happens to be from my hometown of Pierz, 2 years ago.

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We went to the old Empire Commons, now called the Dairy Building, to watch a dairy princess have her likeness carved in a 90-pound block of butter, as well as to enjoy a raspberry malt. Look who we found!

So now, start making plans.  You have got to get there!  I can help. With the help of Midwest Dairy, I am running my first ever give-away:  4 free tickets to the State Fair and 4 free malts at the Dairy Goodness Bar — a $60 value.  All you do to sign up is click the link below, and it will direct you to comment on my blog about your favorite things to do at the State Fair.  Be sure to comment on MY BLOG, and not on my facebook page.  Feel free to share the link to my blog with your friends, so they have an opportunity to win as well.
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