A Fairy in a Dairy: Real Experiences of an Indiana Dairy Princess


Audrie Koester, 2009 Indiana Dairy Princess

Written by Audrie Koester about her experiences as the 2009 Indiana Dairy Princess and how they related to Lucy Nolan’s book, “A Fairy in a Dairy.” 

On a windy October morning, I drove to the Kelsey Dairy Farm in anticipation of the arrival of the ‘Fairy in the Dairy.’  Little girls dressed in their own fairy costumes poured outof vans and cars ready to explore the farm.  The girls piled onto straw bales and listened while I read “A Fairy in a Dairy” by Lucy Nolan.  In the story, Pixie, the farmer’s favorite cow, is secretly a dairy godmother saving the town from a terrible toothpick factory.  She leaves brie in bathtubs and mozzarella in mailboxes along with other dairy treats to help the town realize how special it is.  After the story, each girl received her own magic wand and a surprise guest appeared.  Pixie in her tutu and all was ready to lead the line of girls in through the barns.   Pixie also saved the day by teaching the girls, mothers, and fathers the importance of getting 3-A-Day. 

Through the past year, I have felt just like Pixie saving Buttermilk Hollow.  Only this time, I was saving tired and thirsty Indy 500 Mini Marathon runners from exhaustion.   Along with the ladies from Milk Promotion Services of Indiana, we passed out 10,000 chugs of Prairie Farms Chocolate milk.  I could not seem to open the packs of bottles fast enough.  As soon as the runners eyes saw what was in our hands, their tired faces turned into bright smiles.   Many knew the importance of refueling with chocolate milk, but I was happy to share my knowledge with anyone who had a chocolate milk question.

Later in May we traveled back to the heart of Indiana.  Decorated in cow spots and checkered flags, the Indianapolis Rookie Luncheon drew a crowd to award the Fastest Rookie of the Year for the Indianapolis 500.  The driver seated at my table, Takuma Sato, was eager to learn about dairy farming and how to milk a cow.  After the luncheon, our group traveled to Gasoline Alley.  Acting like Pixie, it was our job surprise the pit crews with cheese baskets and bring the joy of dairy to the drivers.  We could tell each driver was hoping to end the race with an ice cold glass of milk.

In the beginning of July, my mom and I headed back to Indy for dairy promotion.  Exhausted from the heat and a long work week, Indianapolis workers peaked out windows overlooking the downtown circle not expecting to see Buttercup and ice cream sundaes.  The Ice Cream Social on the Circle was drawing a crowd, and many loosened their ties to get a taste of the sweet treat.  Buttercup and I smiled as children with chocolate smeared faces came to give us a hug.  Ice cream was the perfect way to cool down from the work week and spend time with family.

Traveling 3,350 miles across Indiana has been an experience I will never forget.  I would like to thank everyone at MPSI and my mother for taking care of me along the way.  Although my journey ended last week as I passed the tiara to the 2010 Indiana Dairy Princess, Elles Niessen, I hope to find more unique ways to keep the ‘Fairy in the Dairy’ alive.

Audrie Koester