Emily Annexstad (ANNE-NEX-STAD), a 19-year-old college student from St. Peter, Minnesota, representing Nicollet County, was crowned the 64th Princess Kay of the Milky Way in an evening ceremony at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds, Aug. 23.Annexstad will serve as the official goodwill ambassador for more than 3,000 Minnesota dairy farm families. She is the daughter of Rolf and Jean Annexstad, and attends the University of Minnesota, where she is pursuing degrees in animal science and agricultural communications and marketing.
Twelve county dairy princesses from throughout Minnesota competed for the Princess Kay of the Milky Way title. Jessaca Zuidema (ZYE-duh-ma) of Blomkest, representing Kandiyohi County, and Margaret Socha (SAW-ha) of Corcoran, representing Wright County, were selected as runners-up.
Quinci Scherber of Rogers, representing Hennepin County was named Miss Congeniality. Annexstad and Zuidema were awarded scholarships, along with Samantha Traxler of Le Center, representing Le Sueur County.
Throughout her yearlong reign as Princess Kay of the Milky Way, Annexstad will make public appearances to help connect consumers to Minnesota’s dairy farm families. She will also promote the Fuel Up to Play 60 program, through which she encourages students to get 60 minutes of physical activity each day and eat a healthy diet that includes three servings of dairy.
Annexstad’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 six hours to have her likeness sculpted in a 90-pound block of butter on the opening day of the Minnesota State Fair – Thursday, Aug. 24. This year marks butter sculptor Linda Christensen’s 46th year carving the Princess Kay of the Milky Way winner and finalists at the Minnesota State Fair. Other finalists are scheduled to have their likenesses sculpted as follows:
- Friday, Aug. 25: Margaret Socha, Corcoran, representing Wright County;
- Saturday, Aug. 26: Abby Hopp, Chatfield, representing Fillmore County;
- Sunday, Aug.27: Rebecca Schubert, Rice, representing Benton County;
- Monday, Aug. 28: Anna Broll, Chaska, representing Carver County;
- Tuesday, Aug. 29: Samantha Traxler, Le Center, representing Le Sueur County;
- Wednesday, Aug. 30: Madelin Lindahl, Lindstrom, representing Chisago County;
- Thursday, Aug. 31: Quinci Scherber, Rogers, representing Hennepin County;
- Friday, Sept. 1: Ashley Warren, Watkins, representing Meeker County;
- Saturday, Sept. 2: Jessaca Zuidema, Blomkest, representing Kandiyohi County;
- Sunday, Sept. 3: Shelby Campbell, Maple Lake, representing Wright County; and
- Monday, Sept. 4: Gina Holdvogt, New Munich, representing Stearns County.
Princess Kay candidates are judged on their general knowledge of the dairy industry, communication skills and enthusiasm for dairy. Midwest Dairy Association sponsors the Princess Kay program, which is funded by dairy farmers through their promotion checkoff.
Midwest Dairy Association® represents 7,400 dairy farm families and works on their behalf to increase dairy sales, foster innovation and inspire consumer confidence in dairy products and practices. Midwest Dairy is funded by checkoff dollars from dairy farmers in 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.