After a three-year hiatus due to the pandemic, county dairy princesses from across Minnesota convened in person May 13-14 in Minneapolis at the Midwest Dairy Promotion and Leadership Event for networking, leadership workshops and the opportunity to compete as a finalist for Princess Kay of the Milky Way.
The workshop portion of the event offered princesses a chance to learn more about themselves and to equip them with tools to promote dairy. Additionally, they learned how to better advocate for the dairy community while networking with industry peers.
“It was exciting to see the participants at an in-person event where they learned how to improve themselves as an advocate for the dairy community,” says Eric Sonnek, dairy farmer and Princess Committee chair.
To compete as a finalist for Princess Kay of the Milky Way, each candidate submitted an application, participated in a personal interview, prepared and delivered a speech, and took part in a mock media interview. Candidates were judged on their general knowledge of the dairy industry, communication skills and enthusiasm for promoting dairy.
After the judged events, 10 finalists were selected to continue and compete for the title of Minnesota’s 69th Princess Kay of the Milky Way.
Chosen are finalists are:
- Alex Christen. Sauk Centre; representing Stearns County; daughter of Glen and Becky Christen
- Aly Dieball. Green Isle; representing Sibley County; daughter of Jim and Wendy Dieball
- Hailey Frericks. Albany; representing Stearns County; daughter of Steve and Tammy Frericks
- Kallie Frericks. Albany; representing Stearns County; daughter of Steve and Tammy Frericks
- Ashley Holst. Kellogg; representing Wabasha County; daughter of Jary and Celene Holst
- Kiley Lickfelt. Hutchinson; representing McLeod County; daughter of Trudy Lickfelt and Ryan Lickfelt
- Briana Maus. Freeport; representing Stearns County; daughter of Darrel and Lisa Maus
- Amber Post. Lake Wilson; representing Murray County; daughter of Grant and April Post
- Rachel Rynda. Montgomery; representing Le Sueur County; daughter of Francis and Theresa Rynda
- Allison Wright. Hutchinson; representing McLeod County; daughter of Paul and Heather Wright
Princess Kay finalists will have specific duties this summer to help promote dairy, along with attending a July workshop and participating in the Princess Kay judging Aug. 22-24. The winner will be announced the night before the opening of the Minnesota State Fair.
While attending and promoting dairy at the state fair, each finalist will have her likeness carved in an 80-pound block of butter. Princess Kay of the Milky Way will then spend the next year representing the state’s dairy farmers with consumers.
For nearly 70 years, the Minnesota dairy princess program has served as a highly visible public relations campaign for the state’s dairy farmers. Midwest Dairy sponsors the Princess Kay of the Milky Way program, which is funded by dairy farmers through their promotion checkoff.
For more information, visit midwestdairy.com.