6/18/2012 5:05:08 AM
By Janet Kubat Willette
BYRON, Minn. — Olmsted County Dairy Princess Laura Mesenburg's goal is to get her brother to show a cow at the county fair this summer.
How does her brother, a champion pole vaulter at Byron High School, feel about it?
"He doesn't know yet," Mesenburg admitted.
She and her brother, Robert, 17, live in Byron with their parents, Dan and Amy (Polikowsky) Mesenburg. Amy hails from Poly-Kow Holsteins and was Princess Kay of the Milky Way in 1987.
Amy's brothers, Brad and Brian, continue to run the dairy operation started by their grandfather, Theodore Polikowsky. They have a 90-cow registered Holstein dairy near Salem Corners.
Their father, Marvin, nurtured a love for the dairy industry in Laura when she was a preschooler. She remembers leading Ruedie Girl, the first calf she showed, under her grandfather's watchful eyes.
She started showing at age 5, and when she got her driver's license, she started working on the family farm, a 12-minute drive from their home.
Her parents joke that they didn't see her after she started working on the farm.
"I cannot keep her off the farm," Amy said. "I cannot get (Robert) to step foot on the farm."
For a time, Laura, 19, was pulled in too many directions to show cattle. She was involved in competitive gymnastics and at one point practiced 20 hours a week. She also ran cross country and track in grades 10 through 12.
But her cousin, Randi, encouraged her to stay involved in agriculture.
"I remember being jealous of her for being able to show every year," Laura said.
Randi encouraged Laura to join 4-H and FFA. Randi was also an Olmsted County Dairy Princess.
Laura, who had attended Princess Kay alumni banquets with her mother for years, didn't think of herself as princess material because she was shy.
As she became more outgoing, her thinking changed, and she decided to run for county princess and Princess Kay.
She figured she would run for Princess Kay this year and learn the ropes, never expecting to be a finalist.
As a finalist, she joined Princess Kay Mary Zahurones and 11 other finalists for an event at Zahurones' farm this past weekend. She got to know the other finalists during the May event where the 12 finalists were selected.
Laura, a Byron High School graduate, will be a sophomore at the University of Wisconsin—Eau Claire in the fall. She is studying biology with a minor in Spanish. Her career goal is to be a radiologist.
She is also pulled to the farm. It used to be her getaway, a place to relax as she cared for the animals and joked around with cousins.
"I have a great love for the farm," she said. "I think it's something that's always been inside me."
There are comments -
New online comment policy
Postbulletin.com welcomes your comments. We've made changes recently to encourage more constructive and civil comments, and to prohibit abuse of comment privileges.
All comments are now screened by Post-Bulletin editors prior to publication. Comments that are libelous, defamatory, discriminatory or profane simply will not be published.
Thank you for your cooperation.
Logged in as: