- Eyes On
One Wapakoneta High School junior this spring stepped down as a member of royalty.
Aprille Steinke, who served the last year as the Auglaize County Dairy Princess, says Kimberly Brown needs to cherish the position of helping promote the work of dairy farmers and dairy products in the county and the region.
“You need to talk a lot to people and you need to get comfortable with public speaking and just enjoy the moment talking to the little kids and the people,” said Steinke, who enjoyed making ice cream for children in the younger grades. “We need to continue to convince schools to have milk machines like we do here in our schools. You are out there to improve the markets for dairy.
“They need to know we need to have farmers throughout this country to help feed the people in this world and that dairy is a very important part of that,” she said.
Steinke, who plans to attend Wright State University to study animal science and agriculture business after graduating from Wapakoneta High School, learned much about dairy farming from her family. The 17-year-old is growing up on a farm with dairy cows, helping her mother and father, Kim and Richard Steinke.
“She enjoys every moment of her farm life,” her mother said of her quiet and unassuming daughter.
She is also following in the footsteps of her older sister, LeeAnn and she has a younger brother, Luke, who helps on the Wapakoneta area farm.
“Growing up on a farm with dairy cows, I could tell the kids where milk comes from and I could explain the entire process from milking cows to the milk on the shelves at the grocery,” said Steinke, who loves taking care of the newborn calves and milking the cows. “I explain how everything works.”
In her spare time, she also babysits for her nieces and nephews.
As Dairy Princess, she participated in parades throughout the area and talked to area youth about the benefits of drinking milk and consuming other dairy products.
“They need to know that drinking milk is far better than drinking pop,” said Steinke, who served as the reporter for the FFA in 2012-13 and who earned her state FFA degree this year.
Through her involvement with the Wapakoneta FFA, she earned first places in dairy placement proficiency and entrepreneurship proficiency and is now working on earning her FFA American Degree.
At Wapakoneta High School, Steinke is serving as the FFA secretary in 2013-14.
During the last year, Steinke embraced the responsibilities of Dairy Princess.
“During the fair, I passed out ribbons and trophies and I had to show my own animals,” Steinke said. “I had to learn to manage my time well because I had to go back and forth between doing my duties as Dairy Princess and showing my projects. It was fun to be able to do all that.”
The blonde-haired, blue-eyed teen is a 10-year member of 4-H, being involved in the Fryburg Happy Farmers 4-H club.
She also is involved in Youth Ministries at St. Joseph Catholic Church and is involved in community service projects and participates in fun activities with the church and retreats at Maria Stein Center.
As Dairy Princess, she also seized the opportunity to become a better speaker.
“Serving the last year as Dairy Princess, I improved my skills in talking with other people and my abilities as a public speaker,” Steinke said, sharing she was never afraid to speak in public or before large crowds. “I learned to be more confident and I got a better handle on speaking.”
Now she said she is ready to tackle the next challenge — whatever it is and wherever it may take her.