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6 women crowned dairy princesses

dairy princesses, steele county, madison homuth, madi murphy, afton nelson, anna cox, samantha fredin, ali slater
This year’s dairy princesses for Steele County include, from left: Madison Homuth, Madi Murphy, Afton Nelson, Anna Cox, Samantha Fredin and Ali Slater. They were crowned at the annual dairy banquet Saturday afternoon in Owatonna. Staff photo by Roy Koenig
Rick Bussler, Publisher

Six young women from Steele County will be representing the dairy industry in the coming year after being crowned Saturday afternoon in Owatonna.

This year’s dairy princesses are Anna Cox, Samantha Fredin, Madison Homuth, Madi Murphy, Afton Nelson and Ali Slater.

The crowning took place Saturday during the annual banquet of the Steele County American Dairy Association held at the VFW Club in Owatonna. This was the 71st year of the dairy event.

Cox, 17, is a senior at Owatonna High School. She was the cross country captain and serves as the parliamentarian for National Honors Society. She is the treasurer for the FFA chapter and participates in 4-H by showing livestock. While she did not grow up on a farm, she became interested in dairy by taking part in Cow Camp as an elementary-aged student. She is the daughter of Andy and Lindsay Cox.

Fredin, 22, is returning as a dairy princess for the fourth year. She will graduate next month from Iowa State University with degrees in dairy science and genetics and plans to continue working on her doctor’s degree. In high school, she took part in soccer, track and field, orchestra, Young Life, 4-H, National Honor Society and DECA. In college, she participated in Dairy Science Club, Dairy Challenge, Genetics Club, Aplha Zeta, Kairos and Dance Marathon. She is the daughter of Scott Fredin and Julie Evers.

Homuth, 18, is a senior at Owatonna. During her high school years, she has been involved in Big Brothers Big Sisters, Best Buddies, Miracle League and National Honor Society, which she was inducted into as a sophomore. She plans to attend St. Mary’s University of Minnesota nursing program and become a registered pediatric nurse. Her parents are Jon and Casey Homuth.

Murphy, 18, is a senior at Owatonna. She lives on her family’s dairy farm where they currently milk 200 cows. She is the proud owner of a herd of 12 Jerseys. During fair week, she helps out with clipping and milking the animals. She works at Kid’s Korner Educare in Owatonna. She plans to attend the University of Nebraska-Lincoln to pursue a degree in elementary education. She is the daughter of Kim and Jon Schmidt.

Nelson, 20, is a returning dairy princess. She is currently attending the University of Wisconsin-River Falls where she is pursuing a degree in dairy science. During her high school days, Nelson took part in National Honor Society, band, FFA and dairy judging. At college, her interests include Dairy Club and Block and Bridle Club. She is proud of to a three-time state champion for Dairy Production Placement, Dairy Handling and Dairy Production Entrepreneurship. She is the daughter of Tim Nelson of Owatonna and Stacy Nelson of Glencoe.

New to the princesses is Slater, 18, who is a senior at Owatonna. During high school, she has been involved in both FFA and 4-H. Her favorite accomplishment is attaining Intermediate Champion Female at the District Show with her cow. Her farm is a century farm, which has been in the family since 1884. She plans to attend Rochester Community Technical College in the vet tech program. She is the daughter of Chris and Andrea Slater.

The six princesses will represent the dairy industry at various events around Steele County throughout the summer.

Nelson plans to run for Princess Kay of the Milky Way, which is the statewide competition for the dairy industry. Judging for Princess Kay takes place next month.

This year’s junior dairy ambassadors (4th-11th grade) include: Chase, Claira, Eliza and Penelope Balzer, Ava Cox, Isaac Demmer, Jada Dobberstein, Chloe Garten, Evan and Lukas Halla, Olivia Jacobsen, Liam Linge, Andy, Cali and Kellen Nelson, August Schroht, Colin, Elizabeth and Isabella Schultz and Allison, Cameron and Jayden Wencl.

The Dukes and Suchesses (K-3) are Cora Cox, Ethan Demmer, Mackenzie Jacobsen, Lucy and Milo Kasper, Khyson and Liam Ostrander and Devon Sanford.

Several awards were presented during the annual banquet. Klane Dushek of KOWZ Radio received Milk Pitcher Award while Glenn Johnson and his wife, Deb McDermott-Johnson, retired dairy farmers, were honored with the Lifetime Award and Gail Zollner was awarded the Pull Together Award.

The scholarship award of $500 went to Cox.

Jon Schmidt of Owatonna is the chairman of the ADA Board while Casey Nelson of Ellendale serves as vice chair.

Schmidt shared some notable highlights from 2023, including a record number of 12,000 malts served at various events and 1,200 people attending last year’s Breakfast on the Farm.

He said there are currently 13 dairy farms left in Steele County.

This year’s Breakfast on the Farm will return to the Scott Kasper farm located east of Medford on June 8. New this year will be bus transportation from Medford High School as well as the Steele County Fairgrounds.

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