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home : columnists : princess kay of the milk way June 28, 2017

3/13/2017 2:46:00 PM
The dairy princess journey: It's going to be a great ride

Haley Hinrichs
63rd Princess Kay of the Milky Way


I was scrolling through Facebook and came across a memory from over a year ago. On that day, I became friends with my county dairy princess coordinator. This brought back memories of the journey that brought me to becoming Princess Kay.
My journey began when I was in third grade. I went to the state fair for the first time with my dad to watch my older brother show cattle. Dad is smart. He took me into the dairy building to grab an ice cream cone and to look at the Princess Kay butter sculptures. As I was eating my exceptionally tasty cone, Dad looked at me and said I could get my likeness carved from butter one day. I was a bit surprised by what he said, but that conversation was always tucked away in the back of my mind for years to come.
For the next decade, I didn't give the idea of being a dairy princess another thought. I had friends, who I really looked up to, who were dairy princesses, but I never pictured myself in the role. That all changed, however, when my best friend entered the dairy princess program the summer after our senior year of high school. She was a county dairy princess and also went on to become a Princess Kay finalist. She told me about all the great things she had been doing that summer, from working with elementary students in a classroom to spending days at the Minnesota State Fair sharing her dairy story. She simply loved what she was doing, and it made me happy to see her enthusiastic and excited.
At this point, I still hadn't thought about actually becoming a dairy princess, but my friend convinced me to give it a try. She was the one who told my county coordinator I would participate. She did my hair for every banquet I needed to attend and read over my speeches before judging. She was with me every step of the way.
At every point in the journey to becoming Princess Kay, I would stop and ask myself if everything I had done thus far was worth it. I answered "yes" every time, and I believe most girls who have gone through this program would also answer an enthusiastic "yes." It didn't matter if I were a county dairy princess or continuing my journey to become Princess Kay, the entire program shaped me into the person I am today. I met and continue to meet amazing friends, I am still learning a lot of new aspects of the industry, and I am able to grow tremendously throughout this experience.
Perhaps you have been dreaming about being a dairy princess since you were a little girl, or maybe you didn't even know the program existed until you read this article. Regardless, this is an experience well worth your time. If you live on a dairy farm, work on a dairy farm, or your parents own or work on a dairy farm - the dairy princess program is for you. If you want something that can help you meet new people, gives you the opportunity to share the good news about the dairy industry and develop your leadership skills, then this program is for you. If you have a passion for the industry, I encourage you to apply to be a dairy princess.
More information can be found on the Midwest Dairy website or you are more than welcome to message me on Facebook, @PrincessKayoftheMilkyWay, to chat about this opportunity. To those of you who have already made the decision to take this dairy princess journey, and to those of you considering taking the first step, I wish you well. Soak up every adventure. It's going to be a great ride.






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