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Holiday Cologne – Customer Appreciation Event • Friday July 29, 2016. Lunch 11 am to 1 pm • Pork Sandwiches, Chips & Beverage – ONLY $2!
For most 13-year-olds, representing the state of Minnesota at a convention in New York would seem like an overwhelming responsibility.
But for Aly Dieball of Green Isle, Minnesota, it was just another week in the life.
Aly, daughter of Jim and Wendy Dieball, traveled to Saratoga Springs, New York with her family for the National Junior Holstein Convention. She participated in the national public speaking competition for the third year in a row.
Aly’s road to Saratoga Springs began in March when she represented Sibley County in Minnesota Holstein Association’s statewide speech competition in Willmar. The winner of the competition would represent Minnesota in New York. Aly’s speech on rBST shots given to dairy cows was good enough for first place and a ticket to Saratoga Springs.
In 2014, Aly won the competition and headed to Dubuque, Iowa for the national competition. Last year, Aly won again and presented her speech at nationals in Illinois. And this year, Aly’s speech landed her in the Empire State.
For the third year in a row, Dieball, from a town of about 300 people, would represent her whole state on a national level.
Aly performed her speech in front of a panel of judges in New York. She was scored on content, presentation, knowledge of the subject and her responses to questions at the end of the speech.
Growing up on a farm with over 130 cows, Aly has always been interested in topics of dairy. She chose to speak about rBST shots out of pure curiosity.
“I heard about the shot quite a bit and didn’t know what it was at first, so I thought I would educate myself,” Dieball said.
Although the Dieball farm doesn’t use rBST shots, Aly’s speech convinced judges otherwise. They noted her great depth of knowledge on the topic.
At the family farm, Aly feeds calves, helps with fieldwork, picks up bales, and assists with milking, among other tasks.
“She works hard,” Wendy Dieball said. “You always want the best for your kids, but when they work hard at something and do their best, it makes you happier than anything.”
The trip to New York was Aly’s first time on a plane. While in Saratoga Springs, located about three hours north of New York City, the Dieball family visited a horse track, toured six different farms, took a bus tour of the city, and attended an auction where a cow was sold for $115,000.
Aly will be an eighth grader at Sibley East in the fall. At school, she participates in in tennis, track, band and student guides. She is a constant member of the A-honor roll in school and has danced for 12 years. Aly also is active with the Minnesota Holstein Association and has been involved with 4H since kindergarten, where she currently serves as treasurer.
In the future, Aly would like to attend the University of Minnesota and become a veterinarian. The talented and incredibly busy 13-year-old keeps herself going by following her motto:
“Try your hardest in everything you do so you know you did your best.”
For the past three years, Aly has followed the wise words of her own and succeeded. She plans on participating in the speech competition as long as she can. Aly will attempt to make it four straight first-place finishes in state and four-straight trips to the National Junior Holstein Convention.
Next year’s competition will be in Washington. There’s a good chance Aly will hop on a plane and head west to represent Minnesota once again next June.
The University of Minnesota Extension office named the Stuewe family of Cologne as the 2016 Carver County Farm Family of the Year.
The award is annually given to local farm families around Minnesota. It is presented to families who are involved in agricultural production and are engaged in their agricultural communities.
Paul Stuewe and his wife, Sue, have two children, Dan and Clare. Paul has served on the County Dairy Board and the Mid-County Coop Board.
Sue has been involved with the Carver County Dairy Association for six years. The organization represents farmers in Carver County in parades, hosts food shelves in June and December, and runs a Dairy Booth each year at the Carver County Fair.
Dan graduated from Ridgewater College with a concentration in dairy management and currently works full time on the farm.
Clare will attend South Dakota State University for nursing in the fall. In high school, she was involved in FFA and was named the Carver County Dairy Princess in April.
The farm where the Stuewe family resides and works on has been in the family for three generations.
“The farm started out in the 1920s,” Paul Stuewe said. “My grandpa started it and my dad took over shortly after World War II. I took over in 1991.”
A typical day on the Stuewe farm begins around 6:30 a.m. with milking of their 80 cows. The morning chores are usually finished around 9:30 a.m.
“We basically do just dairy,” Stuewe said. “There will be some grain to sell, but not a whole lot. Most of the acreage covers feed, since we’re milking roughly 80 cows. We have room for 120, and we’re working our way up there.”
Stuewe and his family will attend Farmfest, Aug. 4 to 6th in Redwood Falls. All of the counties in Minnesota will be represented at the event. The Stuewe family will be presented with their official 2016 Carver County Farm Family of the Year plaque in Redwood Falls.
“We are very honored to represent Carver County,” Sue Stuewe said.
“Not too many people can say they have two generations working on a farm, so that kind of makes it fun,” Paul Stuewe said. “I guess [the award] means we’re doing a lot of hard work.”