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Introducing...the dairy team rookies

July 13, 2013

We take this opportunity to introduce the dairy community to a pair of new Extension Educators who refer to themselves as "The Dairy Team Rookies."

“I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream!” July is National Ice Cream Month. Not only does July signify ice cream, it means baseball, county fairs, and cows! While we are knowledgeable in all three of those areas, cows are our specialty. We were recently drafted by the University of Minnesota Extension’s Dairy Team to serve as an education resource for local livestock producers. Meet “The Rookies”—Brenda Miller and Emily Krekelberg.

Hello! I'm Brenda Miller, the new Extension Educator-Livestock Production Systems located in Todd County. I hail from Winthrop, MN where I grew up on 50-cow dairy farm, Daggett-Brook Holsteins and Ayrshires. My parents own and operate the farm and are active members in the dairy industry. My husband is a diesel mechanic and we have an eight-month-old son.

Growing up, my two siblings and I were active 4-H and FFA members in Sibley County. I exhibited dairy, rabbits, and clothing at the county fair and participated in 4-H dairy bowl and dairy judging. Since my high school didn't have an agriculture program or FFA chapter, I was able to join a neighboring school's program: the GFW Pioneer Express FFA Chapter. During my time in FFA, I showed cows at the Minnesota State Fair, participated in dairy judging, and was in the State FFA band. Furthermore, I was a member of the Minnesota Junior Holstein Association and the Ayrshire Breeder's Association.

I graduated from McLeod West High School in 2004 and went on to the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities where I received a bachelor's degree in animal science-dairy production systems. As a college student, I was on the U's dairy judging team and an active member of the Gopher Dairy Club, Gopher Crops & Soils Club, Beta of Clovia Sorority, and the Delta Theta Sigma Little Sisters.

Before joining Extension, I interned and then worked full-time for Genex Cooperative, Inc. as a Tech Specialist. Now as an Extension Educator with a focus on dairy and beef, some of my duties will include: planning Todd County’s annual “Breakfast on the Farm”, Summer Dairy Tour, Cow/Calf Days, and other educational workshops. In addition, I am a member of the U of M Extension’s Dairy Team and Beef Team and will be involved in their events throughout the year.

Greetings! I'm Emily Krekelberg, the new Livestock Educator for University of Minnesota Extension in Stearns, Benton, and Morrison counties. I grew up on my family's dairy farm near Le Sueur, MN where we milked about 40 Holsteins and raised 100 acres of corn and alfalfa. I am the youngest of five children. My dad still milks a small number of cows on the farm. One of my brothers co-owns and manages a dairy near Kenyon, MN. There, they milk about 320 Holstein cows.

I spent 13 years as a member of Le Sueur County 4-H, and I was very active with the Dairy project, participating in quiz bowl and showing at the county and state level. I served three years as a Scott-Le Sueur County Dairy Princess. I was honored as a Top 12 Finalist for Princess Kay of the Milky Way in 2011.

I attended the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, where I received my bachelor's degree in animal science, with an emphasis in dairy production this past May. On campus, I was involved with Beta of Clovia Sorority, Gopher Dairy Club, Collegiate Agri Women, Agricultural Education Club, Dairy Challenge Team, and American Dairy Science Association-Student Affiliate Division, serving as the ADSA-SAD National President for 2012-2013.

While in school, I was a Dairy Sales Intern for Boehringer-Ingelheim in summer 2011 and an Ag Intern for U of MN Extension in Scott, Carver, and Le Sueur counties in summer 2012.My internship in 2012 initially sparked my interest in working with Extension, and I'm glad to be back as a Livestock Educator! I will work primarily with dairy and beef programming, including serving on the U of MN Dairy and Beef Teams, planning dairy field days, providing educational resources to farmers, and working with other educational programs on regional and statewide levels.

Thank you for welcoming us to Extension. Now follow your sweet tooth and enjoy some fun ice cream facts!

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