Where does dairy come from? Cows.

However they are not only a big part of our agriculture; one of our prides as the Wisconsin delegation is the Spirit Cow. The inflatable, much-envied cow has not always made this trip to North Carolina.  Tradition began in Madison, Wisconsin, where our delegations all join together for a weekend in which we take over the Capitol. Filling the Senate, Assembly, and Supreme Court chambers, we learn the ins and outs of politics, while forging friendships and lasting memories.

To most, the spirit cow is an honor. Awarded to only one delegation each year, the spirit cow can only be earned. Delegates must uphold our YMCA’s four core values – caring, respect, honesty, and responsibility – and, of course, participate in all matters with enthusiasm and spirit. Over the years, we’ve seen a lot of creativity; in addition to helping others, keeping clean, and being role models to our communities, delegates have dressed up in the infamous “cow suit,” rang cow bells, and come up with cheers of support.  This is, of course, one of the best aspects of Youth in Government – working together, and knowing that those around you really care for and are involved in the program.

As we come to CONA 2010, I hope that the Spirit Cow may be a reminder to us of those that we represent.  May it also be a symbol, not just to Wisconsin, but to each of us, that we were all chosen to be here for a special reason and should participate to our fullest capacity, enjoying each moment! It is only with our unity that we can work to build a brighter future.

May the force be with you all.

~ Catherine Knier