When I was a kid, I absolutely loved spring. The weather is warmer, the sun is shining, the grass is turning green, and flowers are beginning to bloom. My great aunt would show me how to pick tulips and Lily of the Valley flowers to bring inside for the table. I remember the times I would be greeted by my dad when I got off the school bus. We would go on four-wheeler rides, set gopher traps, plant trees and start our garden. I loved the adventures spring brought. I am sure many of you have your own fun spring memories from growing up, especially from adventures on the farm.
    Spring also marks the time we celebrate Easter, one of my favorite holidays to celebrate surrounded by my family. Growing up, I loved dying Easter eggs with my cousins, going on Easter egg hunts and eating delicious food. My favorite food served at our Easter meal is cheesy potatoes, and these and many other dishes would not be possible without the dairy we know and love. I hope no matter what your holiday looks like this year, you get to enjoy delicious food, take advantage of the warm weather, and spend some time with your closest family and friends.
    I love going on social media during this time to see girls from across our state become county dairy princesses. I am reminded of my own excitement when I became a dairy princess in my home county. Without the support of my county and the incredible experiences I had, I would not be serving as the 67th Princess Kay of the Milky Way. I am wishing each of these new dairy princesses the best as they share their own dairy stories, attend events, meet incredible people, build connections and make the greatest memories. I am forever grateful for the opportunities being a dairy princess has brought me, and I am excited to watch these new dairy princesses take on this role representing Minnesota dairy farmers.
    In May, we will get to meet the 10 finalists for the next Princess Kay of the Milky Way. I cannot wait to meet these young ladies and watch them experience their own finalist journey. If you are a young woman serving as a dairy princess, I highly encourage you to compete in the May Leadership and Promotion Event. It is an amazing opportunity to grow your skills and meet new people who share the same passion for dairy as you.
    As we look forward to the future, I am excited for what the summer will bring. In June, we will celebrate National Dairy Month. This month will be filled with fun events, sharing our dairy stories and celebrating delicious dairy foods. I am looking forward to a month filled with festivals and breakfast on the farm days. I encourage each of you to find fun ways to celebrate June Dairy Month in your home communities, and share your love and passion for dairy with your friends, family and those you meet. With the upcoming spring and summer months, I would love to do more visits across our great state. If you or someone you know want Princess Kay of the Milky Way to attend your next event, classroom, festival or parade, you can request a visit. To do so, visit Midwest Dairy’s website and complete the Request a Princess form. It can be found at www.midwestdairy.com/sustainability/farm-life/request-a-visit-by-a-dairy-princess/.
    I look forward to the next few months of sharing my love for dairy with the people I meet. Wishing you all a safe and successful planting season.
    Princess Kay of the Milky Way, Brenna Connelly serves as the Minnesota dairy community’s goodwill ambassador. Throughout the year, Princess Kay helps people understand the dedication of dairy farmers to wholesome and nutritious food, and the way milk is produced. Princess Kay does many school presentations, represents dairy farmers at the Fuel Up To Play 60 events that are held in conjunction with the Minnesota Vikings, and is very active during June Dairy Month sharing the importance of dairy farming and dairy foods. Brenna grew up in Byron, Minnesota, working on her cousin’s dairy farm. She is a sophomore at the University of Minnesota- Twin Cities, studying Agricultural Communication and Marketing. When she is not showing cattle or participating in dairy judging, she loves to read and travel.