The future of agriculture is women, Wisconsin Fairest of the Fairs Isabella Haen told the audience Thursday at the annual June Dairy Month Kickoff Breakfast at The Rendezvous in Luxemburg.

Haen, who was 2017 Kewaunee County Fairest of the Fair, was chosen to represent the State Fair and all county fairs last January. She had been working full time at Kinnard Farms after receiving an associate degree in agricultural business and science technology from Fox Valley Technical College, and she was active in FFA and other ag programs as a student at Luxemburg-Casco High School.

She said after her year as ambassador for the Wisconsin Association of Fairs, she hopes to return to Kinnard, where her team cared for more than 7,000 cows.

“Today women comprise 43 percent of the world’s agricultural labor force, which rises to 70 percent in some countries,” Haen said. “From the classroom to the farm, to the board room, women in agriculture are helping pave the way for a better future.”

Leaders have a responsibility to make sure the next generation is educated, encouraged and empowered to take on new challenges in feeding the world, she said.

Haen also outlined many of the features of the upcoming Wisconsin State Fair, which is scheduled for Aug. 2-12 in West Allis.

Also attending Thursday’s Kickoff Breakfast were this year’s Kewaunee County Fairest and Junior Fairest of the Fair, Charlene Robinson and Macy Ledvina, who invited the crowd to the 2018 County Fair, July 19-22 at the Fairgrounds in Luxemburg.

The Kickoff Breakfast serves as a warmup to the annual Breakfast on the Farm, coming up Sunday, June 17, at Junion Homestead Farm in rural Casco. After a nondenominational church service at 7 a.m., breakfast will be served 8 a.m.-noon with other activities including tours of the farm, a petting zoo, antique tractor show and more.

[Picture: Wisconsin Fairest of the Fairs Isabella Haen, left, shares a moment at the Kewaunee County June Dairy Month Kickoff Breakfast with Megan Salentine, who was Kewaunee County Junior Fairest to Haen’s Fairest of the Fair last year.]

CORRECTION: Isabella Haen graduated from Luxemburg-Casco High School. The original version of this story contained a misstatement.