Several hundred dairy farmers from around Carver County, along with their families and other associated with the dairy industry, attended the 61st annual Dairy Day Dinner last Saturday night at New Germany Hall.
The event is intended to honor the county’s dairy farmers and others who have contributed to the industry over the past year. In addition, the annual event includes the crowning of the new dairy princesses. This year, Madeline Beuning of Waconia, Katie Buckentine of Chaska, Bairet Eiter of Chaska and Christine Leonard of Norwood Young America were all crowned equally as Carver County Dairy Princesses.
Vern Oraskovich, a former Carver County Extension agent, served as the Master of Ceremonies at the event, where awards were presented to numerous individuals, families and restaurants.
This year, the Jopp family of Mayer won the Farm Family of the Year Award. The Jopp Century Farm has been in continual family ownership for 143 years and has seen five generations operate the farm. Rick and Colleen Jopp, along with son and daughter Ryan and Heather, were on hand to receive the award.
The special DHIA Award, presented by the Carver County Farm Bureau, went to Boettcher Dairy. The Senior Dairyman Award this year went to Warren Flusemann, and Jan Kugath was awarded the Farm Woman Award.
Rich Schlug won the Milk Pitcher Award, and Party Pizza in Victoria was given the Golden Butterknife award, which is given to the business that best makes use of real dairy products in its menu. Jeni Haler and Caleb Vinkemeier won FFA Dairy Judging Awards.
Also during the program, all of the outgoing Dairy Princesses got to address the audience regarding the year they spent representing Carver County’s Dairy Industry. Last year, two of Carver County’s princesses, Valerie Grimm and Victoria Haler, were state finalists in the Princess Kay of the Milky Way competition. The butter carvings of each of their faces, part of the honor for being a Princess Kay finalist, were on display at the entrance.
Contact Matt Bunke at [email protected]