Farm Horizons, June 2014

Princess Kay finalists include Carver, Meeker County girls

By Starrla Cray

Three of the 12 new Princess Kay of the Milky Way finalists hail Carver and Meeker counties.

Two of them – Jeni Haler, 18, and Christine Leonard, 20 – are both Carver County Dairy Princesses from Norwood Young America.

Jeni is the daughter of Rick Haler and Connie Haasken; and Christine is the daughter of Tim and Amy Leonard.

The third, 19-year-old Meeker County Dairy Princess Nicole Krumrie, is the daughter of Dan and Beth Krumrie of Litchfield.

The girls were selected May 18, at the conclusion of a three-day training workshop attended by more than 70 county dairy princesses.

Princess Kay candidates are judged on a written application, a short speech, a professional interview and a simulated media interview.

“If I could be a dairy princess forever, I probably would want to. Nothing brings me more satisfaction than knowing that I am making a difference in the world, one glass of milk at a time,” Nicole noted on her blog.

Since Nicole was a young girl visiting her grandparents’ farm in Cosmos, she has always loved spending time with cows. She has been employed on a dairy farm since 2010.

Christine also has a passion for the dairy industry, and was selected as a Carver County Dairy Princess in 2012, 2013, and 2014.

Jeni has been involved in the Gotha Go Getters 4-H Club for more than 13 years, and has shown dairy at the Minnesota State Fair for five years.

This August, Jeni will have another reason to attend the State Fair, when each of the 12 Princess Kay finalists will have their likenesses sculpted in a 90-pound block of Grade A butter.

The 61st Princess Kay of the Milky Way will be crowned just before the State Fair opening. The chosen girl will serve as the dairy industry’s official goodwill ambassador, making appearances throughout Minnesota.

The 2013-14 Princess Kay is MarJenna McWilliam, a 20-year-old college student from Winger, representing Polk County. The first Princess Kay, Eleanor Maley Thatcher of Mower County, was selected in 1954.

Dairy farmers sponsor the dairy princess program through Midwest Dairy Association.

Twelve finalists

In addition to Christine, Jeni, and Nicole, this year’s Princess Kay finalists include:

• Meghan Connelly, 19, Rochester, representing Olmsted County, daughter of Kevin and Kathy Connelly;

• Annie Culbertson, 19, Pine Island, representing Olmsted County, daughter of Scott and Tina Culbertson;

• Audrey Lane, 19, Prior Lake, representing Scott and LeSueur counties, daughter of Burel and Norleen Lane;

• Sabrina Ley, 19, Belgrade, representing Stearns County, daughter of Kenny and Cheryl Ley;

• Leah Middendorf, 21, Sauk Centre, representing Stearns County, daughter of Steve and Julie Middendorf;

• Sarah Post, 19, Chandler, representing Murray County, daughter of Bill and Merri Post;

• Chelsea Schossow, 19, Houston, representing Winona County, daughter of Keith Schossow and Cindy Terrill;

• Gabriella Sorg, 17, Hastings, representing Dakota County, daughter of William and Juanita Sorg; and

• McCayla Thoe, 20, Hayfield, representing Dodge County, daughter of Jeff and Susie Thoe.

That’s a lot of butter!

Each year, during the 12-day run of the Minnesota State Fair, the 12 Princess Kay of the Milky Way finalists have their likenesses sculpted in a 90-pound block of butter. Here are a few fun butter sculpture facts from the Midwest Dairy Association:

• A complete butter sculpture takes about six hours to complete.

• 2013 was artist Linda Christensen’s 42nd year of creating butter sculptures for the dairy industry at the State Fair. Linda has sculpted more than 450 butter sculptures throughout the years, including likenesses of David Letterman, former Minnesota First Lady Mary Pawlenty and Big Bird.

• In 2008, a new butter-sculpting booth was unveiled, which is more energy efficient and two feet larger than the previous booth, offering a better view.

• The temperature inside the rotating butter booth is 40°F.

• It takes 21.8 pounds of whole milk to make one pound of butter.

• The history of butter sculpture began in the 1800s when frontier women molded and imprinted their homemade butter.

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