Emma Kuball (Coo-ball), a 19-year-old college student from Waterville, Minnesota, representing Rice County, was crowned the 70th Princess Kay of the Milky Way in an evening ceremony Aug. 23 at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds.
Kuball will serve as the official goodwill ambassador for 1,850 Minnesota dairy farm families. She is the daughter of Nate and Shannon Kuball 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. Makenzie Alberts of Pine Island, representing Dodge County, and Megan Ratka (Rat-KEY) of Cold Spring, representing Stearns County, were selected as runners-up.
Alberts, Kuball and Ratka were also named scholarship winners. Gracie Ash of Milaca, representing Mille Lacs County, was named Miss Congeniality.
Throughout her year-long reign as Princess Kay of the Milky Way, Kuball 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 about the nutritional benefits of dairy and dairy farmers’ continual commitment to environmental sustainability.
Kuball’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) to have her likeness sculpted in a 90-pound block of butter the first two days of the Minnesota State Fair – Thursday, Aug. 24, and Friday, Aug. 25. Minnesota artist and butter sculptor Gerry Kulzer will be carving Princess Kay and the finalists.
Other finalists are scheduled to have their likenesses sculpted as follows:
- Saturday, Aug. 26: Montana Krueger, Arlington, representing Sibley County
- Sunday, Aug. 27: Megan Ratka, Cold Spring, representing Stearns County
- Monday, Aug. 28: Makenzie Alberts, Pine Island, representing Dodge County
- Tuesday, Aug. 29: Josephine Sutherland, Flandreau, S.D., representing Pipestone County
- Wednesday, Aug. 30: Katherine Hills, Monticello, representing Wright County
- Thursday, Aug. 31: Gracie Ash, Milaca, representing Mille Lacs County
- Friday, Sept. 1: Anne Simpson, Pine Island, representing Olmsted County
- Saturday, Sept. 2: Jalyssa Beaudry, Otsego, representing Wright County
- Sunday, Sept. 3: Riley Ward, St. Charles, representing Winona 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 and Instagram will provide regular 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.