Princess Sarah Brauen determined to deliver dairy’s message

By Carol Stender

FOLEY, Minn. — Sarah Brauen of Foley is determined to deliver the dairy industry’s message.

Brauen, a Benton County dairy princess, is one of 12 finalists for Princess Kay of the Milky Way.

"I love the dairy industry and I think it’s so important for more people to know about it," she said.


She describes a recent Rachel Ray Show segment when mentioning the need to promote dairy production and products. The TV show host and chef was making a dish using a specific brand of butter. Brauen says Ray touted it as being antibiotic-free.

"Dairy products are all antibiotic-free," Brauen said. "The milk is tested so many times including at the farm and before and after pasteurization. People need to know these things. They need to know about the hard work and animal care by dairy families."

She milks cows, feeds calves and youngstock and works with the farm’s A.I. and bull selection program. The recent Foley High School graduate plans to attend Bethel College in St. Paul. She will major in nursing and minor in Spanish, but hopes to have an educational farm.

Brauen says she was immersed in the family’s dairy farm activities at an early age. Brauen was in the barns playing in a playpen while her parents milked cows. Now she’s proudly representing the work of parents, Bill and Joan, and other producers.

She’s been president of the local 4-H and FFA chapters, has shown dairy cattle and participated in dairy knowledge contests. She was also a National Honor Society member and involved in the Big Brothers and Big Sisters program.

FFA and 4-H taught her about preparedness, she said. It helped her when preparing for the Princess Kay program. However, the beginning of the Midwest Dairy Association’s May Event started out a bit shaky for her.

Brauen was traveling to the mid-May function that offers both promotional training and an opportunity to vie for one of the 12 finalist spots for Princess Kay of the Milky Way. The problem was Brauen forgot her written speech at home. She had to turn back.

"I was running late," she said. "And I’d just written the speech six hours before that. It was a hectic. I didn’t know how things were going to turn out. The way things were going I thought I’d chalk it all up to experience."


She was surprised when emcee Eric Sonnek called Brauen’s name as he talked about each Princess Kay finalist.

"It was an amazing experience," she said. "When my parents came to me after the banquet, my first words were, ‘We need a new freezer.’"

Brauen’s image will be carved in a block of butter during the state fair.

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