Princess Kay Finalists

Fulfilling a dream

Maus lives out childhood desire to be Princess Kay finalist

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FREEPORT, Minn. – Ever since she attended her first Princess Kay of the Milky Way coronation at the age of 8, Briana Maus made it her goal to become one of the young women on stage contending to be Minnesota’s official goodwill dairy ambassador.
“I remember their beautiful dresses and waves,” Maus said “But the way they spoke so confidently about something they truly love really stuck out to me. I had a feeling that one day I would be there up on stage.”
This August, Maus will have the opportunity fulfill her childhood dream of gracing the bandshell stage the eve of the Minnesota State Fair. She will be competing against nine other women from across the state of Minnesota for the title of 69th Princess Kay of the Milky Way.
Maus, the daughter of Darrel and Lisa Maus, grew up on her family’s 60-cow dairy farm in Stearns County near Freeport.
The 18-year-old has been helping on her family’s dairy for as long as she can remember and now takes on the responsibility of mixing the total mixed ration and feeding all of the livestock daily.
“I take care of feeding every animal on the farm,” Maus said. “I enjoy being active on the farm because it allows to know pretty much everything that is going on.”
The recent high school graduate has been following the dairy princess program for many years. Her mom serves as the Stearns County Princess Coordinator and her two older sisters, Ashley and Katie, are past Princess Kay finalists.
Maus is looking forward to taking part in the program herself.
“I am so excited for the experience,” Maus said. “Being that it is my first year as a county princess, I never expected to be announced as a finalist this year. I am so grateful and can’t wait to see my butter sculpture in the freezer alongside Ashley’s and Katie’s.”
Her sister, Ashley, was a finalist in 2018 and Katie was one in 2020. They have helped support and coach their sister as she prepares for the upcoming competition.
“It’s really nice to have help so close,” Maus said. “They are always willing to answer any questions I have.”
Maus found her passion advocating for dairy through her involvement in 4-H and FFA. Showing dairy animals at the county and state fair has given Maus the opportunity to share about her project to fairgoers and expand her knowledge on the industry.
She also participated on the Melrose FFA Chapter’s milk quality career and leadership development event team where she learned about the quality of dairy foods.  
Having experience in both the production and manufacturing sides of dairy, Maus is confident in her ability to ensure consumers they are receiving a responsibly produced product from farm to table.  
“I am able to connect with consumers by sharing my knowledge in not only farming but also what happens to the milk after it leaves the farm,” Maus said.
Maus’ interest in manufacturing has led her to South Dakota State University where she will start her freshman year studying dairy manufacturing this fall.
Along with advocating for dairy, Maus has a passion for musical theatre.
Maus credits her involvement in musicals and acting throughout her childhood in helping her gain skills of public speaking, confidence and composure, all of which help her communicate with consumers as a dairy advocate.  
“When I started theatre, I was a little bit shy,” Maus said. “But as I did it more and more, I came out of my shell. It has taught me so much like going with the flow and staying calm and collected if someone has made a mistake.”  
This summer, Maus is in her local theatre’s production of “Footloose” where she will be playing supporting character Wendy Jo.
As Maus prepares for the Princess Kay of the Milky way interviews and coronation later this summer, she has a few goals for herself as an advocate.
“I hope to share my unique story with consumers,” Maus said. “I also want to let them know that even though all farmers do things differently, they all strive to have the same outcome. And, that is to produce a healthy nutritious glass of milk.”

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