BROOKINGS, S.D. - Three South Dakota State University students are among a total of 12 finalists from almost 84 contestants state-wide competing for the title of Minnesota’s 65th Princess Kay of the Milky Way.
Calissa Lubben, dairy production major from Edgerton, Ashley Maus, dairy manufacturing and dairy production major from Freeport, and Rebekka Paskewitz, dairy club member and agricultural education and leadership major from Browerville, were named finalists on May 20.
The 12 finalists will compete throughout the summer for the top position which will be announced on the eve of the opening of the 2018 Minnesota State Fair in late August. They will have their likeness carved in blocks of butter during the fair.
Princess Kay and county dairy princesses make appearances to help explain dairy farm families’ commitment to taking care of their animals and resources, while providing nutrient-rich dairy products. The participant chosen as Princess Kay will make appearances not only during the fair’s 12-day run, but throughout the entire year.
Selection to be a Princess Kay finalist requires knowledge of the dairy industry, as well as strong communication abilities among other professional attributes. Each princess submitted an application, participated in a personal interview, prepared and delivered a speech, and participated in a mock media interview.
“Selection of these students as Princess Kay finalists is an indication of their knowledge of and commitment to the dairy industry, as well as their professionalism and leadership qualities. SDSU, and especially the Dairy Science program, is proud to have them as students,” said Dairy and Food Science Department Head Vikram Mistry.
Several other SDSU students have also received this honor in the past, including Abby Hopp, Margaret Socha, Kyla Mauk (who was named Princess Kay of the Milky Way in 2016) Makaila Klejeski, Chelsea Schossow and Sarah Post.
About the South Dakota State University Dairy and Food Science Department
With expertise in dairy production, dairy manufacturing and food science, the South Dakota State University Dairy and Food Science Department covers the entire spectrum of the dairy industry from farm to product. The department is housed in the renovated Alfred Dairy Science Hall, attached to the state-of-the-art Davis Dairy Plant. About a mile north of campus, the South Dakota State University dairy farm provides the source of milk for well-known SDSU ice cream and cheese products and is home to some 150 milking Holsteins and Brown Swiss cattle. The department boasts 100 percent job placement for graduates, offers more than $150,000 in scholarships to students and confers bachelors, masters and doctorate degrees.
From left, SDSU students Ashley Maus, dairy manufacturing and dairy production major from Freeport, Rebekka Paskewitz, dairy club member and agricultural education and leadership major from Browerville, and Calissa Lubben, dairy production major from Edgerton, were recently named finalists for Minnesota’s Princess Kay of the Milky Way. They will compete for the title during the 2018 Minnesota State Fair.