MarJenna McWilliam, a 20-year-old college student from Winger, Minn., representing Polk County, was crowned the 60th Princess Kay of the Milky Way in an evening ceremony at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds August 21.
McWilliam, who will serve as the official goodwill ambassador for nearly 4,000 Minnesota dairy farmers, is the 60th woman to hold the honor. MarJenna is the daughter of Bruce and LaVonne McWilliam of Winger, and attends North Dakota State University, majoring in English education with a Norwegian language emphasis.
County dairy princesses from throughout Minnesota competed for the Princess Kay of the Milky Way title. Rachael Rostad of Wanamingo, representing Goodhue County, and Katie Schmitt of Rice, representing Benton County, were selected as runners-up. Alydia Lee of Lake City, representing Wabasha County, was named Miss Congeniality. Scholarships were awarded to Johanna Knorr of Pelican Rapids, representing West Otter Tail County; Libby Mills of Lake City, representing Goodhue County; and Schmitt.
McWilliam's first official duty as Princess Kay will be to sit in a rotating cooler in the Dairy Building for about six hours on the opening day of the Minnesota State Fair to have her likeness sculpted in a 90-pound block of butter. Each of the other finalists will have her likeness carved in butter during the fair, as well. This year marks butter sculptor Linda Christensen's 42nd year carving the Princess Kay of the Milky Way winner and finalists at the Minnesota State Fair.
Throughout her year-long reign as Princess Kay of the Milky Way, McWilliam will make public appearances helping consumers make a connection with Minnesota dairy farm families who are dedicated to producing wholesome milk while caring for their animals and natural resources.
Princess Kay candidates are judged on their general knowledge of the dairy industry, communication skills, personality and enthusiasm for dairy promotion. The Midwest Dairy Association sponsors the Princess Kay program with funds provided by dairy farmers.
Midwest Dairy Association is a non-profit organization that provides consumers with information about the nutrition and wholesomeness of dairy foods, and conducts research and promotional programs.