Rice County’s First Princess Kay Crowned
The 70th Princess Kay of the Milky Way was crowned Wednesday night, August 24, 2023 at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds.
Emma Kuball of Waterville was chosen from nine other finalists. Last year’s Princess Kay, Rachel Rynda, from LeSueur County and Montgomery laid the tiara on her head.
Kuball, 19, became the first Rice County representative to become Princess Kay. There have been other Rice County finalists over the years but no Princess Kay.
Over the next year, Kuball, an agriculture major at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls, will serve as the official ambassador for Minnesota’s 1,850 dairy farmers.
I did a bit of research and learned the Princess Kay crowning began in 1954.
According to the event's sponsor, the Midwest Dairy Association, more than 1,700 young women from Minnesota dairy farms competed to become one of 15 regional princesses that first year.
A contest to come up with a snappy title drew more than 10,000 entries. The winner: Princess Kay of the Milky Way.
Eleanor Maley Thatcher was the first representatikve of the dairy industry out of Mower Couonty from Grand Meadow. Which just so happens to be approximately 10 miles from where I grew up in Spring Valley, Mn.
According to a listing of all Princess Kays crowned over the years Emma is the first from Rice County. Her family dairy farm is in Rice County. She attended Waterville-Elysian-Morristown High School which is in LeSueur County.
Rice County has had some finalists over the years but according to this listing none captured the top honor.
Rachel Rynda was the first Princess Kay from LeSueur County.
Stearns County by far is the largest dairy producer in Minnesota yet they have had only one Princess Kay.
Christine Reitsma of Sauk Centre was the 2012 Princess Kay of the Milky Way.
Mower County boasted three of the first six Princess Kays but have not had any since 1959.
The most represented county in the competition has been McLeod with four.
Fillmore County has 3. Steele County 3, Dakota County 3, Freeborn County 3, Olmsted County 3.
Goodhue County is a top 10 dairy producer in the state and has one Princess Kay on record. Haley Hinrichs of Goodhue was named in 2016.
The most recent agriculture census from 2017 showed Stearns County with 70,000 dairy cows. Goodhue County ranked 6th with 17,000.
Wabasha County was 5th with 21,000 cows. There have been no Wabasha County Princess Kay of the Milky Way contestants chosen.
Rice County ranked 43rd out of 87 counties in Agriculture sales.
The butter carving begain in 1964.
The last couple years Minnesota artist Gary Kulzer has completed the carvings.
Here is another photo from the Midwest Dairy Association,