We caught up with Minnesota's 61st Princess Kay of the Milky Way, the state's goodwill ambassador for the industry, to talk about what her duties are, past "princessing" experience, and her future plans.
Jeni Haler hails from Norwood-Young America, Minn., where her family milks 70 cows. The Princess Kay of the Milky Way competition features 12 finalists from Minnesota's 3,600 dairy farms (and non-family workers on those dairy farms) and the crowning kicks off the Minnesota State Fair each year.
The first duty of business for any Princess Kay is to sit in a refrigerator for at least 6 hours to have their likeness carved out of a 90-pound block of butter. Haler set the record for the latest ending to that carving, beginning at 9:00 a.m. but ending at 7:00 p.m. due to many interuptions for the fair's afternoon parade and press interviews.
Haler also exhibited an animal during the weekend's 4-H competition, a Red and White in the 4-year-old class named Peru. As in past years, Princess Kay isn't able to show her animal in the ring due to her many duties throughout the 12-day fair, but a fellow 4-Her led Peru to first place in her class and reserve champion Red and White.
Jeni is a student at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, double majoring in animal science and Spanish/Portuguese, hoping to work with Heifer International. She will hold the crown until next August.