Rosenhammer is twelfth Princess Kay finalist announced
By Janet Kubat Willette
Date Modified: 09/10/2012 2:56 PM
SLEEPY EYE, Minn. — Laura Rosenhammer used skills she learned in dairy judging when she competed to be a Princess Kay finalist.
The Brown County Dairy Princess looked the judges in the eye, varied her voice and talked loud and clear.
Sheused the skills and is one of 12 Princess Kay of the Milky Way finalists.
This was her second year in the competition. Her name was announced last.
"I was mentally prepared not to hear my name," Rosehammer said.
The announcement brought tears to her mother, Patty (Zeug) Rosenhammer, a 1985 Princess Kay finalist, and a bevy of text and voice messages to her father, John.
"I never realized how many people are watching and waiting for that moment," Rosenhammer said. "The support has been so awesome."
Rosenhammer is the third finalist in a row from Brown County and this is her third year as a Brown County Dairy Princess. Both her mother and her aunt, Diane (Zeug) Storkamp, were Princess Kay finalists. The Zeug family is from Redwood County. Her parents met at the Princess Kay coronation in 1985. Her father was watching coronation with her mother's cousin and they were introduced.
Rosenhammer and her mother have watched the competition together since 2002.
"I've watched a lot of girls go through this waiting for my turn," she said.
It's her turn.
Rosenhammer didn't spend hours working on her speech before competing at the May event. Rather, she was up until four in the morning making haylage before leaving for St. Joseph.
She attended sessions offered at the May event before her judging and incorporated those facts and figures into her speech, which she delivered right off the cuff. She prefers to speak from the heart, rather than presenting a rehearsed speech.
FFA adviser Mary Hoffmann was instrumental in her preparation for the Princess Kay competition, Rosenhammer said. She offered tips and encouragement.
"I ran because Brown County dairy farmers are very important to me and I want to promote their product," she said, "and they've given me so much support as a girl in the dairy industry that I want to give back to them."
Being Princess Kay or even a finalist gives her the opportunity to reach more people.
Rosenhammer, 20, has promoted dairy in Brown County in several ways since being crowned in January and in previous years. She has visited classrooms and day cares, rode in parades and handed out dairy products after a 5K run in Sleepy Eye. She created the promotion in Sleepy Eye, Rosenhammer said.
Promoting agriculture and being a leader isn't new to Rosenhammer. Her barn office wall is nearly filled with articles about her and her family's involvement in agriculture and the greater community. She has been showing cattle since 2000.
She and her four siblings are the third generation on Roseview Dairy, which was started by her grandparents Mildred and Dennis in 1959. The couple are still involved in the operation, which is now managed by her father and uncle Greg. Roseview Dairy has a herd of 180 cows,
including both registered and grade Holsteins. They raise their own replacement heifers and sell their bull calves.
Rosenhammer has her own herd of 15 registered Holsteins. She started the herd in 2003 with a calf from Olmar Farms.
Her career goal is to come back to the farm.
She will be a junior this fall at the University of Minnesota. Meanwhile, she is interning at AgQuest Financial Services in Morgan. Her summer is being spent learning about crop insurance and agricultural loans. After work, she comes home to milk cows and helps with fieldwork.