Farm Horizons, Aug. 2015

Will the next Princess Kay be a local farm girl?

By Starrla Cray

With dairy princesses from Wright, Carver, McLeod, and Sibley counties among the 12 finalists competing for the title of Princess Kay of the Milky Way, there’s a good chance that Minnesota’s next statewide dairy ambassador could be a local farm girl.

Candidates include:

• Rachel Stender, 17, Lester Prairie, representing McLeod County, daughter of Allen and Lisa Stender;

• Kyla Mauk, 19, Howard Lake, representing Wright County, daughter of Chris and Harlan Mauk;

• Carley Vinkemeier, 18, Norwood Young America, representing Carver County, daughter of Jeff and Tina Vinkemeier;

• Jennifer Oelfke, 18, Hamburg, representing Sibley County, daughter of Jim and Jody Oelfke;

• Kallie Baker, 18, Plainview, representing Wabasha County, daughter of Natalie and Bruce Wood;

• Kylee Fernholz, 18, Hoffman, representing Douglas County, daughter of Mark and Michele Fernholz;

• Michele Green, 20, Greenbush, representing Roseau County, daughter of Doug and Corena Green;

• Samantha Keller, 19, Goodhue, representing Goodhue County, daughter of Ted and Lora Keller;

• Maggie Mills, 18, Lake City, representing Goodhue County, daughter of Kent and Deborah Mills;

• Ellen Sheehan, 19, Rochester, representing Olmsted County, daughter of Jerome and Karen Sheehan;

• McKinzie Smith, 21, Adams, representing Mower County, daughter of Rick and Tracy Smith; and

• Morgan Uphoff, 18, Melrose, representing Stearns County, daughter of Victor and Ann Uphoff.

Coronation and butter heads

Princess Kay is crowned each August the night before the opening of the Minnesota State Fair.

All 12 finalists have their likeness carved in butter and make public appearances during the fair’s 12-day run.

2015 Coronation

This year’s Princess Kay coronation will take place at 8:30 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 26 at the Minnesota State Fair bandshell.


Princess Kay Trivia

Q: In what year was the first Princess Kay of the Milky Way crowned?

A: 1954.

Q: Who is the current Princess Kay?

A: Jeni Haler of Norwood Young America, representing Carver County.

Q: What is Wright County Dairy Princess Kyla Mauk’s favorite dairy product?

A: Chocolate milk. She epecially likes it after a workout.

Q: Who are McLeod County Dairy Princess Rachel Stender’s parents?

A: Allen and Lisa Stender of Lester Prairie. (Rachel helps at her grandpa’s farm, and works at the Lachermeier farm.)

Q: What are Carver County County Dairy Princess Carley Vinkemeier’s favorite and least favorite farm chores?

A: Her favorite farm chore is milking the cows, and her least favorite is cleaning the pens for the calves.

Q: How many cows are milked at Sibley County Dairy Princess Jennifer Oelfke’s family farm?

A: 220 cows.

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