Rachel Rynda (RIN-da), a 19-year-old college student from Montgomery, Minnesota, representing Le Sueur County, was crowned the 69th Princess Kay of the Milky Way in an evening ceremony August 24 at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds.
Rynda will serve as the official goodwill ambassador for nearly 2,100 Minnesota dairy farm families. She is the daughter of Francis and Theresa Rynda and attends the University of Wisconsin River Falls.
Ten county dairy princesses from throughout Minnesota competed for the Princess Kay of the Milky Way title. Aly Dieball of Green Isle, representing Sibley County, and Kiley Lickfelt of Hutchinson, representing McLeod County, were selected as runners-up.
Briana Maus of Freeport, representing Stearns County, along with Lickfelt and Rynda were named scholarship winners. Rynda was also named Miss Congeniality.
Throughout her year-long reign as Princess Kay of the Milky Way, Rynda will make public appearances to help connect consumers to Minnesota’s dairy farm families. She will work to bring dairy to life through conversations, classroom visits and various speaking engagements.
Rynda’s first official duty as Princess Kay will be to sit in a rotating cooler in the Dairy Building (located at the corner of Judson Avenue and Underwood Street) for nearly eight hours to have her likeness sculpted in a 90-pound block of butter the first two days of the Minnesota State Fair – Thursday, August 25 and Friday, August 26. This year will mark the first year butter sculptor and Minnesota native Gerry Kulzer will be carving Princess Kay and the finalists in a solo capacity.
Other finalists are scheduled to have their likenesses sculpted as follows:
- Saturday, August 27: Amber Post, Lake Wilson, representing Murray County
- Sunday, August 28: Aly Dieball, Green Isle, representing Sibley County
- Monday, August 29: Briana Maus, Freeport, representing Stearns County
- Tuesday, August 30: Allison Wright, Hutchinson, representing McLeod County
- Wednesday, August 31: Kallie Frericks, Albany, representing Stearns County
- Thursday, September 1: Ashley Holst, Kellogg, representing Wabasha County
- Friday, September 2: Hailey Frericks, Albany, representing Stearns County
- Saturday, September 3: Kiley Lickfelt, Hutchinson, representing McLeod County; and
- Sunday, September 4: Alex Christen, Sauk Centre, representing Stearns County
Throughout the fair, Princess Kay and the other finalists will make appearances near the Butter Sculpture Booth in the Dairy Building and at the Moo Booth in the Dairy Barn. Princess Kay’s Facebook page will provide daily updates and photos of each completed butter sculpture.
Princess Kay candidates are judged on their general knowledge of the dairy industry, communication skills and enthusiasm for dairy. Midwest Dairy sponsors the Princess Kay program, which is funded by dairy farmers through their promotion checkoff.
Midwest Dairy® represents 4,800 dairy farm families and works on their behalf to build dairy demand by inspiring consumer confidence in our products and production practices. We are committed to Bringing Dairy to Life! By Giving Consumers an Excellent Dairy Experience and are funded by farmers from across a 10-state region, including Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Iowa, Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Arkansas and eastern Oklahoma. For more information, visit MidwestDairy.com. Follow us on Twitter and find us on Facebook at Midwest Dairy.