Princess Kay of the Milky Way visits Breakfast on the FarmWORTHINGTON — Being Princess Kay of the Milky Way has allowed Mary Zahurones to see a lot of Minnesota.
By: Aaron Hagen, Worthington Daily Globe
WORTHINGTON — Being Princess Kay of the Milky Way has allowed Mary Zahurones to see a lot of Minnesota.
On Saturday, she made her first visit to Nobles County as part of the Breakfast on the Farm festivities.
“I travel across the state to represent Minnesota dairy farmers,” Zahurones said. “A huge part of my reign is being able to come to agricultural-related events. I love events like Breakfast on the Farm because there are consumers here, there are people that aren’t familiar with having a farmer background and there are people who are dairy farmers or other farmers, and those of the people I’m representing. I like to tell them how I’m representing them and to talk to others about dairy farming and the way that dairy products are coming from family farms, like my own.”
Mike and Steve Bousema hosted Saturday’s Breakfast on the Farm, which had one of the highest turnouts yet.
“It’s a great turnout,” Mike Bousema said. “People have really showed up and I’m glad to see everybody made it.
“We’re glad to see all the interest people have in agriculture and we’re showing them what’s out here and make them aware of all the things that are tied with farming. I’m glad to see their interest.”
The morning started with freshly-made pancakes, and burgers were served later in the morning.
“This has been an incredible experience,” said Kendra Van Beusekom, who is the 4-H Program Director. “This is the first Breakfast on the Farm that I’ve been able to attend and I have been extremely impressed with all the different activities they have for everybody. The pancakes were awesome, the burgers were delicious and it’s just been really fun to see everyone out and about. I think attendance has been really great. We’ve had a lot of kids participate in our booth and it’s just been a lot of fun.”
The 4-H booth featured temporary tattoos and taught kids about soybeans.
“It’s really great to see that we still have so many youth that are coming out that are willing to learn about agriculture because agriculture really is the future of our country,” Van Beusekom said.
A wide variety of John Deere machinery was on display at the Bousema farm on Saturday, giving people a chance to see tractors throughout history.
Other activities, including children’s games and a pedal pull kept attendees of all ages entertained.
“I think we’ve had the best turnout today that we’ve ever had,” said Dean Christopherson, Nobles County Farm Bureau President. “It’s a little bit warm, but we’ve had a lot of people that came out to our Breakfast on the Farm and we’re happy that everybody came.”
And everyone did come to the event, including Zahurones, who helped hand out ice cream and talked about the importance of dairy farmers.
“I can’t emphasize the importance of teaching our young children about dairy farming enough,” she said. “There are so many times I’ve went to a classroom and asked the children if chocolate milk comes from brown cows. I’ll get a resounding yes. That’s something dairy farmers often joke about, but it’s a reality we need to face. The fact that so people have lost their connection to a family farm is quite sad for a lot of dairy farmers because we’re working hard every day to put that milk or cheese or yogurt, wholesome dairy products on someone’s table and a lot of people aren’t familiar with that there is somewhere the milk goes before it comes to the store from the farm.”
A big part of her responsibilities has been traveling around to the different communities. She has emphasized classroom visits, but enjoyed her time in Nobles County.
“Today is awesome,” Zahurones said. “It’s really warm outside, but it’s beautiful and the sun is shining. So many people have been here and I’m just really excited. I know they served over 800 people at the Nobles County Breakfast on the Farm last year and I think we’re getting even more this year. I’ve loving seeing more and more people coming in.”
While her reign as Princess Kay is nearly over, the incoming sophomore at the University of Minnesota won’t stop teaching about dairy farms.
“I’m really excited to be a dairy advocate and that won’t change whether or not I lose the crown,” she said. “I really have a passion for the medical field as well as dairy. I see a place for dairy in the medical field. Being a nurse practitioner is my dream and I would love to be able to talk to people about healthy diets and the healthy products dairy farmers are giving us every day.”
With another successful Breakfast on the Farm in the books, the sights are already on next year.
“After we find a farmer that will host it, we try to find things of different interest,” Christopherson said. “We’ve been to a beef farm, we’ve been to a dairy farm and this is a grain farmer. We try to find a variety of farms we go to.
“We would like not to top it, but to continue the tradition. Maybe we can find something different next year, another niche we can go to or a different farm.”
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Coordinator Aaron Hagen may be reached at 376-7323.