BYRON, Minn. - 19-year-old Brenna Connelly of Byron was crowned the 67th Princess Kay of the Milky Way on August 12th. She's currently a student at the University of Minnesota.
Her passion for dairy began at age 6, showing Holsteins at the Olmsted County Fair. She now cares for calves at her cousin's farm. As Princess Kay of the Milky Way, she will serve as the official goodwill ambassador for nearly 3,000 Minnesota dairy farms.
"It's a dream I've looked up to as a little girl, and the dairy farmers I get to represent as Princess Kay of the Milky Way are some of the hardest working, most genuine, innovative, compassionate people that I've ever met, so to be able to share their stories with others, along with my own dairy story, is just an incredible honor and privilege this year," says Connelly.
Per tradition, Connelly's likeness is being sculpted ina 90 lb. block of butter.
Because of the pandemic, her duties as Princess Kay of the Milky Way will be a little different this year. Connelly is looking forward to virtual classroom visits and farm tours. "I think we're still trying to keep some of those traditions alive. Some of our events are going to look very different. We can't really do all of our in-person events right now, so I think this has given us the unique opportunity to switch to a more virtual means," she explains. She will attend in-person events when safe to do so.
Connelly will reign for the next year. The Minnesota State Fair was set to begin August 27th, but it is cancelled because of the pandemic.
Valerie Sauder of Pine Island, representing Dodge County, and Emily Benrud of Goodhue, representing Goodhue County were top ten finalists and will also have their likeness sculpted in butter. Benrud was selected as one of the runners-up. Connelly and Benrud were named scholarship winners.