Amy Kyllo is congratulated by her parents, Paul and Susan Kyllo, after being crowned the 66th Princess Kay of the Milky Way Aug. 21 at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds in St. Paul, Minn.
PHOTO BY DANNA SABOLIK
Amy Kyllo is congratulated by her parents, Paul and Susan Kyllo, after being crowned the 66th Princess Kay of the Milky Way Aug. 21 at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds in St. Paul, Minn. PHOTO BY DANNA SABOLIK

    ST. PAUL, Minn. – Amy Kyllo, a 19-year-old college student from a dairy farm near Byron, was crowned Princess Kay of the Milky Way Aug. 21 at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds in Falcon Heights, Minn.
    “It’s going to be wonderful,” said Kyllo, whose parents, Paul and Susan Kyllo, milk 95 cows and farm 400 acres near Byron, Minn. “It is such a privilege to represent my family and Minnesota farmers. I can’t begin to explain how thankful I am for this opportunity.”



    Kyllo was also named Miss Congeniality from among the 10 Princess Kay finalists, all of whom will have their likenesses sculpted in butter during the state fair. She represented Olmsted County in the competition.
    Elizabeth Krienke, 19, daughter of Kraig and Rachelle Krienke of Lester Prairie in McLeod County, and Brittney Tiede, 18, daughter of Lloyd and Diane Tiede of Le Center in LeSueur County, were runners-up to Kyllo.
    Krienke was also one of three winners of $1,000 scholarships from Midwest Dairy Association, which sponsors the princess program. Rachel Paskewitz, 19, daughter of Alan and Vicki Paskewitz of Browerville in Todd County, and Grace Jeurissen, 18, daughter of Rick and Mindy Jeurissen of Lester Prairie in McLeod County, also received scholarships.
    Kyllo has spent the past summer at home on the dairy, helping her parents and one of her older sisters Carolyn, who farms full-time with her family.
    “It’ll be a huge hole to fill,” said Paul, knowing his daughter was about to begin 12 days of promoting dairy at the state fair.
    Susan Kyllo is confident her daughter will do a great job as Princess Kay.



    “She legitimately loves people, so I think she’ll be very good at telling the farm story,” Susan said.
    The new Princess Kay said she looks forward to doing just that.
    “I’m so thankful I will be able to tell people why I believe milk and dairy farming is so important,” she said.
    “Our biggest challenge is that many people have never had the privilege of meeting a dairy farmer,” she said. “I want to build a bridge for them; bring us together.”
    Kyllo said she is most looking forward to school visits because of the impact she believes can be made with them.
    Kyllo is not the first in her family to promote dairy or wear a crown. Her three older sisters, Rachel, Carolyn and Annette, all served as Olmsted County Dairy Princesses. Annette was also a Princess Kay of the Milky Way Finalist in 2016.
    However, Kyllo is the first Princess Kay from Olmsted County since 1987 when another Byron woman, Amy Polikowsky, wore the crown.
    The new princess takes over for Rebekka Paskewitz, who, in her farewell speech at the coronation, shared her experiences ranging from receiving a marriage proposal during a visit to a long-term care facility, to helping a child understand a princess can wear glasses and braces.
Paskewitz said her journey has taken her to 45 counties and more than 7,800 miles. Her most popular social media post received more than 15,000 views.
    Each of the other nine 2019 finalists for Princess Kay are helping the newly crowned Princess Kay promote dairy during several days of the fair. Princess Kay’s butter sculpture is the first butter sculpture to be carved and for the first time in 2019, her sculpture was a two-day affair.