Reitsma proud to represent dairy farmers
By Carol Stender
Date Modified: 09/10/2012 2:55 PM
SAUK CENTRE, Minn. — Christine Reitsma is excited to be a voice for the dairy industry.
Reitsma is a Stearns County dairy princess and was recently named one of 12 Princess Kay of the Milky Way finalists.
It's a privilege to work for dairy farmers who "take such pride in what they do," Reitsma said.
Reitsma was raised on a Sauk Centre dairy farm.
The Reitsma's milk 100 cows in a tie-stall barn and raise alfalfa, corn and soybeans on 400 acres.
Her parents, Paul and Carolyn, have given their six children a unique opportunity to be connected to the farm. Each can name and keep any calf born on their birthday and keep the calf's eventual offspring.
She doesn't think the cows like her May 23 birth. Only five calves have been born on that day. One of her siblings has 30. The difference in cow numbers is the source of good-natured ribbing in the family, she said.
Working together on the farm bonds the family, she said.
"We are together almost everyday whether we are working on the land, milking the cows or being around the cats, cows and dogs," she said.
Reitsma is a member of Sauk Centre's FFA chapter. She has been on the chapter's livestock and dairy judging teams and was a member of the chapter's state winning parliamentary procedure team.
Reitsma will attend the University of Minnesota and majot in agricultural applied economics with a minor in production and marketing. Her goal is to be a dairy consultant.
Reitsma is the first dairy princess in the family. Neighbor Tara Meyer is her mentor.
Her parents attended the banquet where the finalists were selected. As banquet emcee Eric Sonnek began announcing the finalists, he first gave clues to their identities. Each listened closely trying to figure out who would eventually be finalists.
"I couldn't stop shaking for 10 minutes," she said. "I was so proud to represent the dairy farmers."
She had a busy week following the banquet. Reitsma completed her high school finals, wrote a commencement speech and graduated.