This year's finalists for the title of Princess Kay of the Milky Way have been named. The 12 young women from dairy farm backgrounds were selected at the conclusion of a three-day event for county dairy princesses held in St. Joseph. Each of the 12 will be sculpted in butter during the 2012 Minnesota State Fair. Princess Kay is crowned each year the night before the State Fair opens.The finalists include:
- Kelsey Buss, 20, Hutchinson, representing McLeod County, daughter of Kevin and Lori Buss;
- Valerie Grimm, 18, Waconia, representing Carver County, daughter of Joel and Barb Grimm;
- Victoria Haler, 18, Waconia, representing Carver County, daughter of Rick Haler and Connie Haasken;
- Meg Hintzen, 21, Carlos, representing Douglas County, daughter of Leonard and Jodi Hintzen;
- Kirsten Meier, 19, Watkins, representing Stearns County, daughter of Vernon and Michelle Meier;
- Laura Mesenburg, 19, Byron, representing Olmsted County, daughter of Dan and Amy Mesenburg;
- Kelsey Mussman, 19, Claremont, representing Steele County, daughter of Mike and Julie Mussman;
- Elizabeth Nix, 21, Plato, representing McLeod County, daughter of Tim and Ann Nix;
- Christine Reitsma, 17, Sauk Centre, representing Stearns County, daughter of Paul and Carolyn Reitsma;
- Laura Rosenhammer, 20, Sleepy Eye, representing Brown County, daughter of John and Patty Rosenhammer;
- Aly Schwartau, 19, Red Wing, representing Goodhue county, daughter of David and Jane Schwartau; and
- Maggie Stiles, 18, Lakeville, representing Dakota County, daughter of Mike and Tina Stiles.
Princess Kay serves as the official goodwill ambassador for the state's dairy farmers, and 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, which is in its 59th year.