Hintzen excited to tell dairy industry's story
By Carol Stender
Date Modified: 09/10/2012 2:54 PM
CARLOS, Minn. — Meg Hintzen beams when discussing her family's Carlos dairy farm.
The Douglas County dairy princess and Princess Kay of the Milky Way finalist's family has a 38-cow dairy.
Hintzen has done just about everything from bottle feeding calves to cleaning barns. The only job she hasn't milked cows because her father, Leonard, handles those chores.
"It makes be excited to talk about our farm because I have loved every moment of growing up here," she said. "It's a fantastic place to live."
Hintzen and her sisters, Molly and Lindy, were all 4-H'ers. Hintzen won Minnesota State Fair trips with her hog projects and showed dairy and "all sorts of animals" including rabbits, beef and goats.
She recalls how her mother, Jodi, took her to the Dairy Building on the State Fair grounds to view the butter sculptures of the Princess Kay finalists. Hintzen was fascinated and had dreams of being a dairy princess one day.
Hintzen followed in her sisters' footsteps when she became a Douglas County dairy princess. She was a candidate to be a Princess Kay finalist, but wasn't selected the first two years she participated.
She decided to take part in a study program that involved dairies in Switzerland in 2011.
"My farm, compared to the ones in Switzerland, is an average large farm," she said. "It was interesting to see how different they do things there. It was interesting to see how they raised the animals. It's a much slower pace."
When she returned, after gaining confidence and armed with more information about the dairy industry, she decided to take part in the princess program for one final year.
"I decided to give it my all," she said. "If I wasn't named this year, I knew that it would still have the opportunity to promote the dairy industry."
She was ecstatic when May Event banquet emcee Eric Sonnek called her name as a finalist.
She plans to be a part of the dairy industry after completing college. The 2009 Alexandria High School graduate will be senior at the University of Minnesota this fall. She will graduate with a degree in animal science with an emphasis in dairy production. She'd like to work in dairy management or consulting.
Hintzen is an intern this summer at the West Central Research and Outreach Center. She is working with dairy scientist Brad Heins on a study of WCROC's organic dairy herd comparing the cow's feed rations and milk production.
"I want to tell my story and show the passion I have for the dairy industry," she said. "And I want to tell people how the other 4,000-plus dairy farmers in the state are working to produce a quality product for the consumers."