Every year, one young lady is crowned the Indiana Dairy Princess. This year’s Dairy Princess, and today’s guest blogger, is Kamille Brawner, a sophomore at Purdue University.
by Kamille Brawner, 2014 Indiana Dairy Princess
I am from a small town of Hanover, Indiana located in Jefferson County. There are only a few dairy farms in my county, but I am lucky enough to call one of those my family’s farm.
I was raised knowing that going outside to help feed the baby calves was not an option, but something you did when you lived on a fourth-generation dairy farm. Our family farm began with my great-grandpa, B.T. Brawner; then my grandpa, Paul Jo Brawner took over. When my grandpa got older he knew it was time for one of his sons to buy the farm. My dad decided he wanted to choose this path and purchased the farm. He and my mom continued to expand the farm while raising four children.
My brother, Gregory, is the oldest then I have two sisters, LaTisha and Kristen. My brother now works side by side with my father on the farm and my sister Kristen and I continue to be apart of the farm.
I grew up always helping on the farm and being actively involved in the fair. I was a ten-year 4-H member and showed dairy cattle, sheep, and steers. I was involved in Junior Leaders and FFA as well as other clubs in my high school. Through FFA, I was able to be involved in Ag day where I taught third graders about dairy cattle and dairy farming. Being able to do this was always something I looked forward to because I was able to teach others about an industry that I am so passionate about.
After graduating high school and ending my 4-H career, I wanted to continue to be involved in as many ways as possible. I became the co-dairy superintendent at the fair with my sister Kristen and helped get other 4-Hers involved in the dairy project by leasing dairy cattle for them to show. I also joined the Purdue Dairy club and plan to become even more involved within the club through the course of my sophomore year at college.
As a sophomore at Purdue University, I am majoring in Agribusiness with plans to minor in Animal Science. Through this, I also became an Ag Envoy where I will be able to work with businesses and other students in my major. After college, I hope to get a job in agriculture working with farmers and plan to continuing help on our family dairy farm. After my freshman year, I decided the best job for me was to continue to work on the farm.
During the summer, I held the responsibility of taking care of the heifers daily and keeping track of all the records. Every time a calf was born, it was my responsibility to write down the day it was born, the sire (father) and dam (mother) of the calf. Most importantly, I was able to work with my dad and brother doing something we all love to do.
Towards the middle of summer, I found out that I had been selected to represent Dairy Farmers of America in the 44th annual Indiana Dairy Princess Scholarship Program. When July 29th rolled around and it was time to compete against all of the other deserving ladies I was extremely nervous. I did not know what to expect, but my dad told me right before to just have fun and be myself. I began the day with an interview with the judges and then it was time to give a presentation. During my presentation, I spoke about choosing Dairy milk instead of alternative milks. When it was time to announce who had won I knew win or lose I met great people and most importantly I had fun. When they announced my name it did not hit me until he said my middle name. When I realized, I looked over at my parents with such excitement. I do not think my smile could have gotten any bigger. I stood there in shock, as I was crowned by the former princess and given so many gifts that I am forever grateful for.
I am so appreciative of Dairy Farmers of America for allowing me to represent them and now being able to thank the American Dairy Association for allowing me the chance of a lifetime as the 2014 Indiana Dairy Princess. As my reign is just beginning, I already can not thank those enough who have congratulated me and those who have helped me so much within the past couple weeks.