History made in Princess Kay program

Twins, county representation are a first for finalists

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    ST. PAUL, Minn. – Heavy anticipation filled the Frericks family’s living room as Hailey and Kallie watched the Facebook live video calling out the 10 finalists for the 2022 Princess Kay of the Milky Way competition.
    Hailey and Kallie Frericks, identical twins, are both Stearns County dairy princesses and in the running for the title.  
    “I was called fourth, and the rest of the finalist video we waited to see if Kallie would be called too,” Hailey said.
    The ninth finalist called was indeed Kallie, marking the first time in history identical twins have been named as finalists in the same year. It also marks the first time four finalists reside in Stearns County.
     Joining the Frericks sisters, 19, of Albany representing Stearns County, are Alex Christen, 20, of Sauk Centre, representing Stearns County; Aly Dieball, 19, of Green Isle, representing Sibley County; Ashley Holst, 20, of Kellogg, representing Wabasha County; Kiley Lickfelt, 20, of Hutchinson, representing McLeod County; Briana Maus, 18, of Freeport, representing Stearns County; Amber Post, 19, of Lake Wilson, representing Murray County; Rachel Rynda, 19, of Montgomery, representing Le Sueur County; and Allison Wright, 19, of Hutchinson, representing McLeod County.
    Kallie said she was nervous and assumed there was no way another contestant from Stearns County would make it into the top 10 let alone provide her a chance to run with her sister.
    “Then, I was overwhelmed with this good feeling and happy that we both could do this together,” Kallie said.
    Hailey agreed.
    “We have done everything in dairy together, and this is just the icing on the cake,” Hailey said. “No matter if one or neither of us is crowned, we will be there supporting each other the whole way.”
    These 10 were selected following a leadership training event May 14.
    Janet Bremer, the Princess Kay of the Milky Way coordinator, said this year’s May Leadership and Networking event for the young women was a success.
    “The goal for the May event is to provide these girls with some information and education,” Bremer said. “This provides them with a chance for personal growth and professional development.”
    In July, she will meet with the finalists for another professional development event. This is a chance for Bremer to get to know the girls individually and to guide them further down the road to a potential title as Princess Kay.
    Each girl who competes for the title will learn from a variety of industry professionals as well as the current Princess Kay of the Milky Way, Anna Euerle.
    Words of wisdom and encouragement were shared by Euerle as she introduced each of the finalists. The finalists will spend the summer advocating for dairy in their own counties while preparing themselves for August.
    This year’s finalist group comes from many backgrounds, but they all have their own story to share with consumers, and the sisters are not the only finalists who are connected.
    Ashley Holst, of Kellogg, brings family farm values to the table as a finalist. With her hands-on farm experience and desire to learn about anything and everything, she is excited to learn and share more of dairy’s story.
    “I look forward to being able to connect with consumers and listen to producers,” Holst said. “Dairy is a driver toward building communities and creating a healthy lifestyle, and my family is a part of that.”
    Holst has intentions of partnering with her brother on their family’s farm in the future, but for now, she is bridging the gap between consumers and producers all while being a pre-veterinarian student.
    Wright grew up on her small family farm where she helps with a variety of activities ranging from milking to fieldwork. Wright happened to be volunteering during a bingo event at her church when she stepped away to watch the finalist announcement.
    “I was stuck in the moment as Anna was reading my biography,” Wright said. “Then she called my name, and I was shocked.”
    Wright said it is important to have one-on-one conversations with people about dairy and to accept differences between opinions. She looks at her role as a dairy princess as an outlet to reach people who have thought-provoking questions about the dairy industry.
    Wright recently finished her freshman year at South Dakota State University and spent some evenings in her dorm speaking with her roommate Dieball, a finalist from Sibley County, about the dairy industry and their farm experiences.
    Dieball was the first person Wright called after the completion of the finalist announcement. The phone call was filled with emotions and excitement as the dynamic duo embark on yet another journey together.
    “When Allison called, I was bawling my eyes out,” Dieball said. “Sibley County hasn’t had a finalist in eight years, and the amount of support I have received from the community is unbelievable.”
    Honored is how Dieball explained her feelings about representing Sibley County on a state level. When she heard her name called as the 10th finalist, she jumped for joy because of the effort she put in to preparing for the May event.
    Dieball is looking forward to communicating with consumers about all the hard work farmers put in, day in and day out, to produce dairy for the community to enjoy.
    The next Princess Kay will be crowned Aug. 24 at the Minnesota State Fair.

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