It's fair season! That means let's grab the kids, grab your fanny pack, and head to the fairgrounds for some great music, carnival rides, and cotton candy! Oh! Don't forget to take a stroll through the animal barns and 4-H buildings to see all the chickens, pigs, goats, horses, and of course, we can't forget the cows.

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For many inspiring young women who love farming, this is the season they live for, and 10 of them have been named finalists for the 71st Annual Princess Kay of the Milky Way.

This year's theme is "Make it Matter...Make it Happen.'

Photo by Carolien van Oijen on Unsplash
Photo by Carolien van Oijen on Unsplash


To be a finalist, each princess must apply, and go through an interviewing process that includes delivering a speech and participating in a mock media interview. The candidates are each judged on their knowledge of the dairy industry, how well they communicate that knowledge, and their true love of promoting dairy farming; and hey! Who doesn't want to have their likeness carved in butter?! I'm just sayin'!

The annual May Leadership event was held in May in Minneapolis and included time for leadership workshops and networking in a variety of educational sessions provided over a two-day weekend.


The 10 finalists will be competing for the title of 71st Princess Kay of the Milky Way in late August.

So you might be asking yourself, "What does our Princess Kay do during her reign?" Princess Kay serves as a goodwill ambassador for one year, traveling across the state of Minnesota to speak at various events, schools, and more, sharing knowledge with others about how dairy farmers care for their cattle, farming, and the role of dairy in healthy eating habits. They also visit and tour other events, farms, and various functions across the state.


The new princess is crowned annually at the Minnesota State Fair, and this year 10 finalists, in no particular order, in the running for the 2024 Princess Kay of the Milky Way are as follows:

  • From St.Joseph, Selena Corona will be representing Stearns County
  • From Albany, Paige Gerads, representing Morrison County
  • From Altura, Katie Ketchum, representing Winona County
  • From Saint Peter, Mackenzie Moline, who will be representing Nicollet County
  • From Owatonna, Afton Nelson. Afton will be representing Steele County
  • From Caledonia, Miranda Schroeder, will represent Houston County
  • From Hutchinson, Rachel Visser, will be representing McLeod County
  • From Ruthon, Katelyn Welgraven, will be representing Pipestone County.
  • From Avon, Grace Woitalla, will be representing Stearns County
  • From Hutchinson, McKenna Wright, will be representing McLeod County


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