Grimm looking forward to state fair
By Janet Kubat Willette
Date Modified: 09/10/2012 2:53 PM
WACONIA, Minn. — Valerie Grimm has learned more about the dairy industry in the past two months than any other time in her 18 years.
Grimm is a Princess Kay finalist. She learned many dairy facts at the May event, which includes seminars and judging and culminates with the finalist announcement. She figures to learn more later this month when the finalists tour AMPI in New Ulm, the plant where the 90 pound butterhead blocks are manufactured.
"I'm real excited to get my head carved out of butter," Grimm said last week on her family's farm outside Waconia in Carver County.
All 12 finalists will have their head carved in butter, one each day of the Minnesota State Fair. Princess Kay has her likeness carved in butter on the opening day.
She is also eager to talk to fair-goers to share some of the knowledge she's gathered over the past couple months. In conversations since being crowned a Carver County Dairy Princess April 14 at the Dairy Day Dinner in New Germany, people have most often asked about milk safety and how many servings of dairy they should consume, she said.
Grimm has been a dairy advocate since before she got her crown. She was a Carver County Dairy Ambassador when she was in junior high and she's advised friends to drink chocolate milk after working out. Her best friend, who isn't a farm girl, now gets dairy princess updates on her smartphone.
Grimm's family didn't realize how closely the Princess Kay finalist announcement was watched until Valerie's name was announced.
"The older people are just nuts about it," said Joel Grimm, Valerie's father.
Valerie's mother, Barb, was at the banquet.
She knew it was her daughter as soon as the first line was read. Valerie did, too.
"I was the first one called," she said. "I was not expecting it."
Instead, Valerie expected to run this year to learn the ropes and come back again next year.
Now, she will serve only one term as a Carver County Dairy Princess. But, it has been a busy term.
The number of requests for princess visits continues to grow, Barb said.
They receive requests from local businesses hosting farmer appreciation events and grocery stores. They promote dairy at community events and participate in parades. They visited a nursing home this spring and may do classroom visits in the fall. They also participated in a 4-H dairy camp.
"I really, really liked the 4-H day camp," Valerie said.
She had good conversations with children and made butter with them by shaking heavy whipping cream in a cold jar.
Carver County has five dairy princesses and 23 dairy ambassadors. Three of the five competed to be Princess Kay and two were named finalists, Valerie and Victoria Haler, also of Waconia.
Grimm has long had the goal of becoming a dairy princess to share her love of the dairy industry.
"It's just always been something that I've been involved with," she said.
The Grimm family milks 40 to 44 Holsteins. Valerie helps when her father asks. Her main tasks at home are keeping the lawn mowed and unloading hay and straw.
Valerie's family will bring her butterhead home after the fair and it will be displayed along with Victoria Haler's at the Dairy Day Dinner when they give up their Carver County reign.