A young woman from Todd County has been crowned the Minnesota State Fair’s 65th Princess Kay of the Milky Way.
Rebekka Paskewitz, a 20-year-old college student from Browerville, was crowned Wednesday night. She’ll serve as the official goodwill ambassador for nearly 3,000 Minnesota dairy farm families. She also had her likeness carved in butter on Thursday, the first day of the fair.
Paskewitz, the daughter of Alan and Vicki Paskewitz, is studying agricultural education at South Dakota State University in Brookings.
Twelve county dairy princesses competed for the Princess Kay title. Blaize Dankers of Plainview, representing Wabasha County, and Korissa Lindquist of Kerkhoven, representing Kandiyohi County, were runners-up.
Katherine Gathje of Richmond, representing Meeker County, Ashley Maus of Freeport, representing Stearns County, and Julia Mullenbach of Rose Creek, representing Mower County, were named scholarship winners. Lindquist was also named Miss Congeniality.
Princess Kay candidates are judged on their general knowledge of the dairy industry, communication skills and enthusiasm for dairy. Midwest Dairy sponsors the Princess Kay program, which is funded by dairy farmers through their promotion checkoff.
During her yearlong reign as Princess Kay of the Milky Way, Paskewitz will work to connect consumers to the state’s dairy farm families through conversations, classroom visits and speaking engagements.
But her first official duty was to sit in a rotating cooler in the Dairy Building (at the corner of Judson Avenue and Underwood Street) for nearly six hours Thursday to have her likeness sculpted in a 90-pound block of butter. This year marks butter sculptor Linda Christensen’s 47th year carving the winner’s likeness.
Other finalists are scheduled to have their likenesses sculpted as follows:
• Friday, Aug. 24: Melendy Miller, Plainview, representing Wabasha County.
• Saturday, Aug. 25: Laura Grimm, Waconia, representing Carver County.
• Sunday, Aug. 26: Julia Mullenbach, Rose Creek, representing Mower County.
• Monday, Aug. 27: Amy Broll, Chaska, representing Carver County.
• Tuesday, Aug. 28: Megan Hollermann, Burtrum, representing Todd County.
• Wednesday, Aug. 29: Blaize Dankers, Plainview, representing Wabasha County.
• Thursday, Aug. 30: Ashley Maus, Freeport, representing Stearns County.
• Friday, Aug. 31: Katherine Gathje, Richmond, representing Meeker County.
• Saturday, Sept. 1: Catherine Thompson, Plainview, representing Olmsted County.
• Sunday, Sept. 2: Korissa Lindquist, Kerkhoven, representing Kandiyohi County.
• Monday, Sept. 3: Calissa Lubben, Edgerton, representing Rock County.
Throughout the fair, Princess Kay and the other finalists will make appearances near the Butter Sculpture Booth in the Dairy Building, at the Moo Booth in the Dairy Barn and onstage at the Miracle of Birth Center.
Princess Kay’s Facebook page will provide daily updates and photos of each completed butter sculpture.