Ready to educate

Carla Gunst
Now Media Group


Educating others is something Kati Kindschuh learned early on; whether it was at fairs, with classmates at school or through social media. She has a strong appreciation for teaching others about the agricultural industry.

That's what intrigued this 20-year-old to fill out the application for the 2016 Wisconsin Holstein Association (WHA) Princess.

Even though Kindschuh didn't get involved in the Wisconsin Junior Holstein Association at a real young age like many youths today, the organization has had such a great impact on her life that she wanted to give back to the organization by hopefully becoming the next Princess.

The Brownsville youth was beyond excited when her name was announced as the new Princess at the Wisconsin Junior Holstein Convention, Jan. 8-10 in Wisconsin Dells, and is excited to serve as their next ambassador.

'I ran to be the Wisconsin Holstein Association Princess because I wanted to have an opportunity to serve as an ambassador for the association and as a way of giving back to the organization that has given me so much,' said Kindschuh. 'I really wanted the opportunity to experience events in our association in a different light; for example, I never attended Cow Camp as a junior member but this year I will have that opportunity.'

In her application, the 20-year-old wrote she would choose to promote the association to those potential members who aren't directly associated with registered cattle — kids who either show in the managerial project, share-basis or a number of other non-ownership projects that still allow them to work with registered animals. She feels a logical way to reach these members is by visiting various counties at fitting and showing workshops and educational workshops.

Following up with a simple visit to county fairs to talk with members of the dairy project and promoting the Wisconsin Holstein Association alongside their fellow county showmen is another idea that could make a great impact on recruiting efforts.

The new Princess feels her most valuable asset she will bring to this position is the comfort and genuine interest in talking with breeders, junior members and potential members about the Holstein cow and the Wisconsin Holstein Association.

'Being genuine and easy to approach is one of my biggest assets, which would allow me to successfully promote for the Wisconsin Holstein Association,' she wrote in her application.

In her new role, Kindschuh wants to educate the public about how to become a healthier society through their food choices. She stated by planting the seeds of healthy habits in young children she will be able to impact the lives of people well beyond her small hometown and social circle.

'When visiting schools (as the WHA Princess), I hope to focus on the concept of knowing where your food comes from as well as the nutrient or health benefits of consuming dairy products. In conjunction with those ideas, it is also important to me that I help others learn about how dairy cows are treated here in the Registered Holstein industry,' she commented.

The daughter of David and Dianne Kindschuh, Kati has taken advantage of the many opportunities the Wisconsin Junior Holstein Association has to offer. She placed second in both the intermediate and senior speaking contests in past years, qualifying her to compete at the national level. She also took part in dairy bowl and the junior farm trip, all of which helped her earn a Distinguished Junior Member award, the highest honor bestowed upon older members.

Serving as the State FFA Reporter in 2014-15 is another highlight in Kindschuh's young career. She has earned her State and American FFA Degrees and placed 11th Gold in the Dairy Production Proficiency area.

On their farm, she helps with milking, keeps accurate records of all livestock, registers calves and prepares all show cattle. Kindschuh also contributes articles for Wisconsin State Farmer.

In the future, the 2016 WHA Princess hopes to become an agricultural journalist and educator, giving her the opportunity to reach more people than ever before, teaching the entire process of agriculture from farm to fork, and how much it impacts their daily lives.

One of Kindschuh's specific goals is to serve as Alice in Dairyland and become Wisconsin's most recognizable ambassador for agriculture.

'Some of my biggest mentors are my parents. They have worked their entire lives, and marriage, on the family farm. Although we fell out of the Registered Holstein business after my grandmother passed away, they were willing to support my older siblings and I when we wanted to get more involved in showing outside of our county fair,' Kindschuh acknowledged.

She also noted she has been blessed with an amazing leader and mentor, Joseta Halbur.

'She (Joseta Halbur) was the one who pushed me to become more involved at convention, helping me write my first speech nearly six years ago. Every year since then, she's helped write and edit speeches, fill out award forms and much more. But she's also someone who helps me realize how much I can achieve and what I'm capable of. She definitely makes me a more driven individual,' Kindschuh concluded.

2016 WHA Princess Attendant

Paige Nelson is thrilled for the opportunity, and can't wait to see what's in store for 2016, she shared with banquet attendees after being crowned the WHA Princess Attendant.

Nelson's participation in the state Junior Holstein Association began at a young age as she became immersed in the many activities afforded to youth such as the junior trip, dairy bowl, dairy jeopardy, art and photo contest and Cow Camp.

The 18-year-old's passion lies in showing her dairy cattle at the local, state and national level. In 2015, she placed third in showmanship at their District 1 Holstein Show, seventh in the dairy judging contest at the Wisconsin Holstein State Show and participated in the competitive World Dairy Expo contest as well.

The daughter of Tracy Mitchell and Marc Nelson, Paige currently serves as Ellsworth FFA Chapter President, was a member of the second-place senior dairy judging team at the District 4-H Judging Contest, where she earned 10th high individual overall, and helped her team receive sixth-place honors in the State 4-H Contest.

In addition, the Ellsworth High School senior is an active member of her 4-H Club, serving roles as president, vice-president, secretary, reporter, ambassador and historian. Currently she helps plan her FFA chapter's Food for America event.

The Ellsworth native works part-time at Ter-Rae Farms, Inc., where she is responsible for feeding and caring for calves and assists with milking.

As the WHA Princess Attendant, Nelson would like to promote the Wisconsin Holstein Association to non-farm youth and adults at more dairy breakfasts throughout the state. She is planning to educate youth via classroom visits and at Farm Technology Days.

Nelson's passion and drive to advocate for agriculture will be strong assets in her promotional activities.

'Agriculture, specifically the dairy industry, is my family's way of life, and has been for generations, but to continue this lifestyle it is now more important than ever before to educate non-farm families where their food comes from,' Nelson wrote in her application.'Today people are becoming further and further removed from farms so it is important for us to share our story with them and our knowledge of agriculture and the dairy industry in particular.'

After high school graduation this spring, Nelson plans to attend a four-year university in the fall, with an emphasis on dairy science and/or agricultural business. It is her intent to remain as active as possible in her family's and her grandparent's dairy operation.