Dodge County names new Dairy Princesses
Valerie Sauder of Pine Island and Katrina Thoe of Hayfield will serve as Dodge County Dairy Princesses for 2019.
They were crowned at the American Dairy Association banquet held April 14 in Milton Township. They will represent Dodge County as public relations ambassadors and spokespersons for the dairy industry over the next year.
Outgoing princess Hannah Elias of Mantorville, who served as princess in 2017 and 2018, was also honored at the banquet. Bailey Delzer, the other outgoing 2018 princess, was not able to attend due to college commitments.
Sauder is the daughter of Stan and Amy Sauder. She is a freshman at the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities majoring in agricultural education. She is active in Gopher Dairy Club, Beta of Clovia Sorority, Block and Bridle, and the Agricultural Education, Communication and Marketing Club.
Sauder grew up on her family’s multi-generational dairy farm – Alberts Pine-Shelter Farm - near Pine Island, and has shown calves and cows for 4-H and FFA at the county and state fairs. She has four younger sisters at home.
Thoe is the daughter of Jeff and Susie Thoe of Hayfield. Now as a sophomore nursing student at Winona State University, she participates in indoor and outdoor track and field, the Green Bandana Project, and Grace Club.
Thoe understood the importance of family owned dairy farms since she was a young age. Thoe grew up on her family’s multi-generational dairy farm – Nifty Holsteins - near Hayfield, where she worked with nearly every aspect of the farm operation, including milking cows, feeding calves and preparing fields/harvesting crops. For the Thoe family, the Dodge County dairy princess crown is something that is familiar to the them, as all three of her older sisters were Dodge County dairy princesses.
The Dairy Princess Program is sponsored by Midwest Dairy Association as a way of building relationships between the public and the dairy industry and showcasing the benefits of dairy products. The program culminates with the crowning of Princess Kay of the Milky Way at the Minnesota State Fair.
Sauder and Thoe, will participate in a statewide dairy promotion training seminar sponsored by Midwest Dairy Association in May. Dairy princesses from around the state will learn skills and information to help build their confidence and knowledge about their role in the dairy industry’s public relations program. The finalists for Princess Kay will be selected at that event.