Being a South Dakota Dairy Ambassador
By: Angel Kasper
Although I didn’t grow up on a dairy farm my love for it started at a young age. As a little girl, one of my favorite things to do was tag along with my dad and grandpa when they went to visit my uncles dairy farm. I loved talking to cows, feeding the calves, and playing in the hayloft.
When I was old enough to help out at the dairy I jumped at the opportunity. I wanted to learn more about what went into dairy farming and of course, spend more time with the cows. While working on the farm I learned how to milk, detect sickness in our livestock, administer medication, and so much more.
I look back at my experience helping out on the dairy farm and I took away much more than just learning how to milk a cow. I learned about passion and love for an industry as I watched my uncles Danny and Mike continue to devote themselves day after day to their farm and their beloved cows. I learned about the bond a farmer can have with his animals and the sacrifice that goes into taking care of them. I learned about tradition when my uncles would teach me about farming practices passed from one generation to the next. I learned about pride and being proud of producing a clean wholesome product. Being on the dairy farm taught me so much more than just farming, it taught me to love what you do! I loved the experience that I had working on the dairy, but being able to work with such great role models and farmers made it even better.
This past year I had the opportunity to serve as a one of the first five South Dakota Dairy Ambassador. I served alongside Katelyn Groetsch, Nelson, Sanne De Bruijn, and Jenna Van Wyk. We were chosen to travel all over the state representing the industry we all loved so much, dairy. We attended a variety of different events from Central Plains Dairy Expo to the South Dakota State Fair, to the very first Dairy Experience Forum. At these events, we had the opportunity to grow our knowledge of the dairy industry, but also talk to multiple consumers about dairy farms and the products they produce.
While serving as an ambassador, I not only grew my passion for the dairy industry butalso found what I loved to do, advocate for agriculture. Throughout the year, I had the opportunity to meet a variety of people from consumers and producers, to my fellow ambassadors, to our advisors Tracey Erickson and Tom Peterson. Because of the many conversations about dairy that I had, I learned how to share the story of agriculture in a positive light.
For me being an ambassador wasn’t about just getting to travel all over South Dakota to the many events. It was about sharing the story of agriculture and the many amazing men and women within it. It was being able to talk to consumers about my love for the dairy industry and the wholesome products that come from it. Being able to answer their questions and help put their mind at ease about the products they were buying was a highlight of my experience because I knew they were able to make a more informed decision about the products they were putting on their tables.
I am so thankful for the opportunities and experiences growing up on a farm gave me. Working on the dairy farm not only grew my love and passion for the dairy industry; it grew my story in agriculture. Being an ambassador helped me learn how to share that story.
Listen to this weeks Farmers Daughter radio segment: SD Farm Families - Farmer's Daughter Feb4th.mp3