Nobles Co. dairy princesses share lifelong love for dairy industryWORTHINGTON — Kalene DeBoer and Morgan Wieneke, both 18-year-old college freshmen, said being the 2012 Nobles County Dairy Princesses affords them the opportunity to promote the dairy farming industry and erase any misconceptions about growing up on a farm.
WORTHINGTON — Kalene DeBoer and Morgan Wieneke, both 18-year-old college freshmen, said being the 2012 Nobles County Dairy Princesses affords them the opportunity to promote the dairy farming industry and erase any misconceptions about growing up on a farm.
Wieneke said being a dairy princess is special to her because she gets to show pride in the industry and represent her county.
“It’s very important to promote because people don’t realize the huge process and all the work it takes to get that milk, cheese and ice cream in the store,” Wieneke said.
DeBoer said that she’s always loved working on a farm and is now happy to share that experience with others.
“Being a princess involves showing other people what the industry is about,” DeBoer said. “Many people don’t live on a farm, so they don’t know how well we take care of our cows.”
Since being crowned in April, the ladies have promoted the industry in several events, including parades and farm tours.
They both said giving farm tours to kindergarteners in the spring was one of the highlights of their journey.
“It was amazing to me how the little kids were so interested,” Wieneke said. “They looked up to me a lot, which made me feel really good.”
DeBoer agreed that it was nice to have the children get involved and learn about the dairy industry.
“A lot of kids are not growing up on farms and don’t see what takes place, so they don’t know what it’s all about,” DeBoer said. “The program tries to promote what a dairy farm actually looks like.”
The ladies also enjoyed serving ice cream in June at Breakfast on the Farm, a free event sponsored by the Nobles County Farm Bureau. Wieneke said it was a fun way to help people young and old better understand farms.
Their lifelong love for the industry stemmed from being raised on family farms, which they said was a great way to grow up.
“It teaches awesome work ethic, responsibility and team work,” Wieneke said. “The whole family was always involved — I loved it.”
While her family got out of dairy farming in 2007, Wieneke said she has continued to work on other area farms.
DeBoer said she is thankful her family farm has continued to grow.
“My dad started with about 20 (dairy cows), and now we’re milking almost 350,” DeBoer said.
Regarding the dairy industry outlook, they both said the smaller farms are dwindling.
“If you’re not big you can’t survive,” Wieneke said. “Bigger dairys are taking over everything — better milk prices would help with that.”
“In general farms are going to get bigger,” DeBoer said. “You either have to expand or get out.”
They said one of the biggest struggles with living on a dairy farm is getting away for vacations and special occasions.
“You can’t always go because you have to be there to milk,” Wieneke said. “That’s a struggle and can cause conflict.”
“We’ve gone on a couple vacations, but it’s tough,” DeBoer said. “We’ve got a couple of guys that can come in case, but don’t work on a regular basis.”
They plan to stay in the dairy farming industry for life. Wieneke is currently enrolled in the large animal technician program at Lake Area Technical College in South Dakota. Her goal is to eventually manage a dairy or cattle ranch.
While Wieneke is away at college, she said being a dairy princess enables her to stay involved with her county and the dairy industry.
DeBoer is majoring in dairy science technology at Northeast Iowa Community College. She plans to continue working on a dairy farm after graduation.