By Jess Bengtson
University of Minnesota Crookston junior Alex Christen has been named as one of ten finalists in the Minnesota Princess Kay of the Milky Way competition. Christen, 20, is representing Stearns County and is from Sauk Centre. She is an education major at UMN Crookston and is listed on the Golden Eagles 2022 Women’s Cross Country roster. Christen has gained experience from her family’s dairy farm and throughout FFA she held leadership roles as secretary and historian.
Beginning August 25, the 69th Princess Kay of the Milky Way and each of the nine Princess Kay finalists will have their likenesses carved in butter. Princess Kay and the finalists will share their dairy stories and answer questions from the crowd as they sit for their sculptures inside the 40-degree, rotating sculpting booth.
“Princess Kay of the Milky Way serves as the goodwill ambassador for Minnesota’s dairy farmers, a name selected in a Department of Agriculture contest almost sixty years ago,” Midwest Dairy explains on their website. “She is selected through a three-phase process.”
“First, candidates must be a county dairy princess,” Midwest Dairy adds. “County dairy princess contests happen from January to April. In May, all the county dairy princesses come together for a leadership event and have the opportunity to compete to be a finalist. Ten young women are then selected to continue moving forward with the competition.”
Prior to the Minnesota State Fair in August, another competition will occur between the finalists and the winner is announced the Wednesday night prior to the Fair. Fairgoers can follow the Princess Kay coronation live and see updates on Princess Kay’s Facebook page.
The chosen Princess Kay of the Milky Way will spend the next year representing Minnesota’s dairy farmers.
This year, Gerry Kulzer, artist and Minnesota native, will enter his first year as sole resident butter sculptor following Linda Christensen who ended her 50-year tenure by sculpting the 68th Princess Kay in 2021.Source : umn.edu