by ADAM GRUENEWALD
bout 200 dairy farmers, their families and other people with the industry from across Carver County gathered for the 62nd annual Dairy Day Dinner which packed the Cologne Community Center on Saturday, April 5.
The event, with a “Join Our Team” theme, celebrated the dairy industry with a banquet as well as an award ceremony recognizing farmers and those who make the industry special.
The highlight of the event was the Dairy Day Princesses coronation ceremony which honored Jeni Haler of NYA, Krianna Boelke of Cologne, Lauren Manteuffel of Cologne, Christine Leonard of NYA and Madeline Beuning of NYA. All the candidates spoke on the night’s theme while touting the healthy benefits of dairy products.
Master of Ceremonies Dennis Bjorklund livened up the evening with jokes and personal stories to encourage a festive atmosphere. In his opening invocation, Father Thomas Joseph of St. Nicolas Catholic Church in Carver touted the benefits of the industry, saying that while you can find a large variety of milk in grocery stores such as soy, coconut and others, “nobody can take away the importance of cow milk.” He also thanked farmers for “nurturing and helping us,” adding, “Bless your hands, bless your farm tools and may you find satisfaction in all that you do.”
In her speech, 2013 Dairy Princess Kate Buckentine of Carver praised the “sense of meaning, joy and passion” that those in the dairy industry have.
“There are no words to describe the drive and dedication a farmer has to his cows and his land,” she said. “You are all admired for the challenges you face and accomplishments you make.”
As a way of recognizing those accomplishments, plenty of awards were given out.
The Carver County Farm Family award was given to Buetow Family Farms of Cologne. Unkle Thirsty’s of NYA received the Golden Butter Knife and Andrew Alsleben of Glencoe received the Milk Pitcher Award. Kevin Sons of NYA received the Senior Dairyman award and Sandra Siegle of Cologne received the Farm Woman award.
Also, Boettcher Farms with Bruce and Jill Boettcher of Mayer received the Carver County Farm Bureau DHIA High Herd award and FFA Dairy Judging winners were also recognized with Southwest Metro FFA Chapter member Anna Buckentine of Chaska, Central FFA Chapter member Carly Vinkemeier of NYA and Watertown FFA Chapter member Cole Theamert of Watertown.
According to coordinator Barb Grimm, plans are already underway for next year’s event, which is planned for April 11.
Contact Adam Gruenewald at [email protected]