51st Princess Kay of the Milky Way to Be Crowned at Minnesota State Fair Bandshell August 25

Aug 24, 2004, 01:00 ET from Midwest Dairy Association

    ST. PAUL, Minn., Aug. 24 /PRNewswire/ -- Minnesota's newest Princess Kay
 of the Milky Way will be crowned in ceremonies beginning at 8:30 p.m. on
 Wednesday, Aug. 25 at the Minnesota State Fair Bandshell. The new princess
 will be the 51st young woman to wear the crown.
     Princess Kay serves as the official goodwill ambassador for Minnesota's
 dairy industry and the state's nearly 6,000 dairy farmers. The program is
 sponsored by the Midwest Dairy Association-Minnesota Division to help promote
 the dairy industry and its products.
     According to Mel Kunstleben, Chairman of the Minnesota Division and
 Paynesville dairy farmer, the Princess Kay program has been a continuous
 source of pride for Minnesota dairy farmers.
     "When we celebrated Princess Kay's 50th Anniversary last August,
 we learned what a wonderful tradition the Princess Kay program has become,"
 said Kunstleben. "It's a very unique way of reaching consumers with the
 message that we have a wholesome, nutritious product, and that we care for our
 animals and the land we live on. Dairy farmers use their own checkoff dollars
 to fund the princess program, and it works well for us."
     The current Princess Kay is Tae Vander Kooi of Worthington in Nobles
 County. She will pass on the crown to one of 12 county dairy princesses who
 are vying for the 2004-2005 title. The coronation serves as a kickoff to the
 Minnesota State Fair, where Princess Kay and the other finalists make numerous
 public appearances.
     One of Princess Kay's first official duties after her coronation is to sit
 for nearly eight hours in a rotating cooler on opening day of the fair, while
 her likeness is sculpted in a 90-pound block of butter. The 11 other
 contestants will also have their likenesses sculpted in butter throughout the
 remaining days of the fair. The butter is processed by Associated Milk
 Producers, Inc. of New Ulm.
     During her yearlong reign, the new Princess Kay will take part in public
 appearances, promotional events and media interviews. The 12 candidates were
 chosen from a field of about 80 county dairy princesses during a statewide
 competition held in May. Princess contestants are judged on their general
 knowledge of the dairy industry, communication skills, personality and
 enthusiasm for dairy promotion.
     Midwest Dairy Association is a non-profit organization funded by dairy
 farmers to build demand for dairy products through advertising, marketing,
 nutrition education and research. During the past three years, cheese and
 fluid milk advertising programs were responsible for selling an additional 1.5
 billion pounds of milk annually, according to USDA reports. Since the national
 program began in 1984 per capita consumption of dairy products has grown from
 519 pounds to approximately 600 pounds.

SOURCE Midwest Dairy Association