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Fillmore County is home to MSA Queen

By Mitchell Walbridge

Fri, May 3rd, 2013
Posted in All Agriculture

By Mitchell Walbridge

Royal titles of queen and princess are not just limited to the monarchies of the world as Fillmore County is considered home for 20 year-old Minnesota Simmental Association Queen Katie Ristau. But not everyone can be queen, as she worked her way to the top through a complex selection process.

Beginning with the completion of an application, resumé, and a brief essay, Ristau advanced to the next level of the candidate process which involved the composition of a speech that she titled, “An exciting time to be a Simmental.” She delivered her speech twice, once in an interview in front of a panel of judges and once at the annual Minnesota Simmental Association Banquet. Also, during her interview, she was questioned about her knowledge and background in the beef industry, and how she would fulfill her duties as queen.

It’s not every year that there’s an MSA queen from Fillmore County, and the position carries a wide range of duties. As Queen, Katie Ristau promotes the Simmental industry. Her summer will be packed with trips to county fairs and presenting ribbons at open shows. She even has an opportunity to travel to Lincoln, Nebraska, which is where the American Junior Simmental Association National Classic will be hosted. “I’m using my title to be a spokesperson for the industry and to get the word out about how it’s a great industry to be a part of,” she commented. Katie explained that her main goal is to share with others her passion for the beef industry and Simmental breed.

Although the MSA queen represents the entire state, Ristau expressed how important the beef industry is to Fillmore County saying, “We are truly blessed by the quality and quantity of beef cattle that we have in our area.” According to Ristau this is a known fact as the Fillmore County Fair’s Beef Show is one of the most competitive in the state of Minnesota. However, to Ristau, being a part of the beef industry is much more than just being a farmer, “Being a member of the beef industry has several roles… they help our communities grow and prosper,” she explained.

Katie has extensive knowledge of the beef industry. She is the daughter of Doug and Deb Ristau of rural Preston. She has a sister named Kelsey, 23, and brother named Brady, 13, who are also involved in the beef industry. The family has 121 commercial cows, many of which are Simmental-Angus crossbreeds. Kelsey and Brady maintain a herd of 10 registered purebred Simmental cattle that they have bred and exhibit at shows across Minnesota. Katie’s father, Doug, served as President of the Fillmore County Cattlemen’s Board from 2008 to 2010.

The family is no stranger to receiving awards either. In 2008 the Ristau family was awarded the Fillmore County Producer of the Year award from the Fillmore County Cattlemen Association and in 2012 they were awarded Commercial Producers of the Year in Minnesota from the Minnesota Simmental Association. The Ristau family has also had successful beef production the last three years, topping the markets when selling feeder calves at the Lanesboro Sales Commission.

Flourishing success in the beef industry runs in the Ristau family. This is not the first time a Ristau has been in a beef industry royalty position. Katie’s sister, Kelsey Ristau was Fillmore County Beef Princess in 2009 before Katie took over in 2010. In addition to serving as MSA Queen, 2011 Fillmore-Central graduate Katie Ristau is studying at South Dakota State University, majoring in agricultural business and pursuing a minor in animal science. Her field of study truly shows her passion for the beef industry and the Simmental breed.


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10:25:25, May 7th 2013

Thunder6 says:
Great article! I love to see the Youth of Fillmore County receiveing accolades for their accomplishments in the ag industry as they are the future of agriculture. However, I would love to see a few more of the Youth in Fillmore County be acknowledged for their accomplishments in the beef industry. Did you know that the current President, Vice-President, Secretary and 2 Advisory Board members of the MN Junior Simmental Association are from Fillmore County? And that we have cattle right here in Fillmore County that have received National Honors at the Denver Stock Show and the American Junior Simmental Association? Katie is right. It is a known fact that Fillmore County Fair's beef show is among the most competitive is the state. They kick butt at the State Fair! To those of us who raise beef cattle, it's a BIG deal. Many, many hours are spent in the care, selection and breeding of these animals. They become more than just a way of making a living.

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