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Midwest Dairy celebrates dairy with the St. Paul Saints

Throwing out the first pitch of the May 4 game versus the Nashville Sounds was Rachel Rynda, 69th Princess Kay of the Milky Way.

Rynda first pitch.jpg
Rachel Rynda, 69th Princess Kay of the Milky Way, prepares to throw the first pitch at the St. Paul Saints versus the Nashville Sounds game on May 4, 2023, at CHS Field in St. Paul.
Noah Fish / Agweek

ST PAUL β€” Cowbells rang at CHS field on the sunny evening of May 4 as it was Dairy Day with the St. Paul Saints.

Liz Stiras, communications marketing manager for Midwest Dairy, said the organization partnered with the team this year, for the first time, as part of a longer campaign that they're doing.

"We're hoping to reach out to adult and Gen Z audiences with this event," Stiras said. "Throughout the night, we'll be using this opportunity to get messaging to this audience about our sustainability commitments and dairy facts."

The promotional schedule for the game included the tag "even the lactose intolerant can enjoy Dairy Day," which Stiras said is true.

"There are some forms of dairy that you can have, even if you are lactose intolerant," she said. "There are different kinds of dairy coming out all the time that are ultra pasteurized that are essentially lactose free."

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Stiras said the goal of the event was to bring awareness to the public of how dairy products and dairy farmers are local, and how dairy farmers are making "high quality milk more efficiently all the time."

"And also to have a good time together, because our farmers are out here with us tonight," she said.

Fans entering CHS Field β€” a ballpark that incorporates elements of Lowertown’s historic architecture β€” received a free cowbell at the entrance. Stiras said partnering with the Saints was a good investment for the organization's checkoff dollars.

"If you look at the Minnesota Twins, you look at the Vikings, this is not on that scale, in terms of investment," Stiras said. "But it's a really good return on investment."

First pitch

Throwing out the first pitch of the Saints game versus the Nashville Sounds was the 69th Princess Kay of the Milky Way , Rachel Rynda.

"I'm excited to be here as we celebrate all things dairy tonight," Rynda said before delivering a first-pitch strike. "I used to play softball, and I was a pitcher in softball, but haven't thrown in a couple of years."

Entering the home stretch of her time as Princess Kay, Rynda reflected on the experience it's been so far.

"This year has just been amazing, and I've gotten to meet so many wonderful people and share my story throughout dairy," Rynda said.

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She said some of her most memorable events were ones with younger Minnesotans.

"Some of my favorite events have been actually the classroom visits where I'm able to share with all the kids what we do on our farm and how important dairy foods are for them and their families," Rynda said. "Also about dairy foods and how they can incorporate them into their diets as well has been super fun for me."

Noah Fish is a multimedia journalist who creates print, online and TV content for Agweek. He covers a wide range of farmers and agribusinesses throughout Minnesota and surrounding states. He can be reached at nfish@agweek.com

He reports out of Rochester, MN, where he lives with his wife, Kara, and their polite cat, Zena. He grew up in La Crosse, WI, and enjoys the talent from his home state like the 13-time World Champion Green Bay Packers and Grammy award-winning musicians Justin Vernon and Al Jarreau.
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