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Rebekah Freitag loves being a dairy princess

By Carol Stender

cstender@agrinews.com

ELIZABETH, Minn. — Rebekah Freitag is a first-time dairy princess at 22 and loving it.

The Otter Tail County dairy princess vied with more than 90 other young women for one of 12 Princess Kay of the Milky Way finalist positions. She wasn’t chosen, but Freitag says she’s glad she had the experience.

Freitag took part in the county contest after her mom, Gisele, saw an ad for dairy princess candidates in the local newspaper. Freitag’s parents, Mike and Gisele, sold their dairy herd in 1997, but Freitag says she wanted to do something with the dairy industry.

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She attended Ridgewater College in Willmar and earned a dairy management degree. Freitag has worked at the Brad and Pauline Johnson farm for the last five years. She’s attending college again and plans to graduate with an agricultural education degree from North Dakota State University.

She was older than some of the Princess Kay finalist contest participants, but Freitag says the experience helped her promote dairy products better.

"I am here for the experience," she said. "I never expected to meet so many people who are excited about the industry. People are so willing to go out and promote and to help people understand the industry."

She had help preparing for the event, she said. Two of her friends have been county dairy princesses in the past and her employers’ daughter-in-law is a past dairy princess. Her father also helped her prepare for contest questions.

"When you think of a princess contest, you think of talent shows, but this is more professional," she said. "When I was in high school, I never got exposed to it as much as I did in college. It’s nice to see that these girls are so prepared. It’s nice to see the high school students so mature. They are so alert and so knowledgeable."

The weekend gave her many ideas on how to improve her presentation.

"It gave more confidence to talk in front of people," she said. "I’m ready to take this message back to those I meet."

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