Morgan Kohl used to beg her parents to take up dairy farming, and while Mike and Marcy Kohl stuck to raising corn and soybeans near Kranzburg, South Dakota, their daughter pursued all things dairy.
Morgan, a senior at Waverly-South Shore High School, started showing cattle at age 12 and now judges dairy cattle with 4-H and FFA. For the last year, she’s been working at the neighboring farm, MoDak Dairy, where she treats and feeds calves on weekends.
Kohl enjoys sharing information about the dairy industry, she said, and that will be her job over the next year as she serves as South Dakota Dairy Princess.
Kohl was crowned in a ceremony March 27 that kicked off the Central Plains Dairy Expo in Sioux Falls. It’s a position she’s always looked up to, she said, the day after being named princess.
“It’s truly an honor,” Kohl said. “I’m looking forward to the future year.”
Her passion for dairy started young, she said. Without livestock of her own, Kohl worked with family friends and dairy farmers Jeff and Jodi Knutson of Clear Lake to show their cattle. Over the years, she’s showed cattle on the local, state and national levels. She was one of four delegates on South Dakota’s 4-H dairy judging team that competed in the World Dairy Expo in Madison, Wisconsin.
Kohl is the state’s 63rd dairy princess. Two others competed for the title. Brianna Schock, daughter of Briand and Tanya Schock of Salem. Rebecka Hoffman, daughter of Kevin and Judy Hoffman of Dolton, who was named runner-up.
Winners are chosen based on their knowledge about dairy and enthusiasm for the industry, their communication skills and ability to reach consumer audiences.
Kohl gets a $1,000 scholarship from the Midwest Dairy Association’s South Dakota division. She will graduate from high school this spring and plans to attend South Dakota State University to major in animal science.
During her year as princess, Kohl said she is most looking forward to visiting classrooms and farms to talk about dairy farming and the health benefits of dairy.