The selection of 12 young women from dairy farm backgrounds on Sunday, May 18, in St. Cloud has paved the way for crowning Minnesota’s 61st Princess Kay of the Milky Way, the dairy industry’s official goodwill ambassador. The newest Princess Kay will be named just before the opening of the Minnesota State Fair in August, and each of the 12 finalists for the title will be sculpted in butter throughout the Fair.
Carver County’s Jeni Haler and Christine Leonard, both of Norwood Young America, are among the 12 finalists, who were named at the conclusion of a three-day workshop attended by more than 70 county dairy princesses. They include:
• Jeni Haler, 18, Norwood Young America, representing Carver County, daughter of Rick Haler and Connie Haasken;
• Christine Leonard, 20, Norwood Young America, representing Carver County, daughter of Tim and Amy Leonard;
• Meghan Connelly, 19, Rochester, representing Olmsted County, daughter of Kevin and Kathy Connelly;
• Annie Culbertson, 19, Pine Island, representing Olmsted County, daughter of Scott and Tina Culbertson;
• Nicole Krumrie, 19, Litchfield, representing Meeker County, daughter of Dan and Beth Krumrie;
• Audrey Lane, 19, Prior Lake, representing Scott and LeSueur Counties, daughter of Burel and Norleen Lane;
• Sabrina Ley, 19, Belgrade, representing Stearns County, daughter of Kenny and Cheryl Ley;
• Leah Middendorf, 21, Sauk Centre, representing Stearns County, daughter of Steve and Julie Middendorf;
• Sarah Post, 19, Chandler, representing Murray County, daughter of Bill and Merri Post;
• Chelsea Schossow, 19, Houston, representing Winona County, daughter of Keith Schossow and Cindy Terrill;
• Gabriella Sorg, 17, Hastings, representing Dakota County, daughter of William and Juanita Sorg; and
• McCayla Thoe, 20, Hayfield, representing Dodge County, daughter of Jeff and Susie Thoe.
On behalf of Minnesota’s dairy farmers, Princess Kay makes appearances to help explain their commitment to taking care of the animals and resources while providing wholesome, nutritious and affordable dairy products. Midwest Dairy Association manages the program.