Thursday, February 12, 2009

Giving back

This past week brought two great opportunities to give back to the dairy industry. Last Saturday I spent some time helping our county's dairy princess candidates prepare for judging and the year of dairy promotion that awaits those who are crowned. Between my time as a dairy princess and a dairy ambassador, I accumulated seven years of dairy promotion experience. The skills and knowledge I gained during those years are still with me today. I am truly grateful for the opportunity to share some of that knowledge. I hope the dairy princesses in our county found Saturday's social helpful and work towards becoming the best promoters of the dairy industry they can be.

Then, on Tuesday, I spent the day in St. Paul for Minnesota Milk's Dairy Day at the Capitol. Glen was planning on coming along as well, but a couple of our close-up heifers (bred with sexed semen) looked like they would be calving sooner rather than later, so he decided it was best for him to stay home.

Dairy Day at the Capitol was full of meetings with legislators, a visit with Governor Pawlenty, and house and senate committee hearings. In light of the state's budget deficit it was challenging at times to ask legislators to keep programs like the Dairy Development and Profitability Enhancement Program (the program which coordinates Dairy Profit Teams and Planning Grants), but I was reminded again and again by other dairy farmers that agriculture is the foundation of our state's economy.

Our legislators have a challenging session in front of them. I hope they'll keep our conversations in mind as they choose which programs to fund and which to cut.

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