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Princess Kay finalists selected

Twelve county dairy princesses have been named finalists for the 2006 Princess Kay of the Milky Way title during a statewide event sponsored by Midwest Dairy Association in St. Joseph May 21.

The 12 winners are:

• Emily Carruth, 17, representing Swift County, daughter of Joseph and Jolene Carruth, Danvers;

• Didi Christopherson, 21, representing Nobles County, daughter of Dean and Carol Christopherson, Worthington;

• Lacey Erickson, 18, representing West Otter Tail County, daughter of Greg and Vickie Erickson, Pelican Rapids;

• Michelle Hurley, 18, representing Mower County, daughter of Tom and Lisa Hurley, Grand Meadow;

• Alise Jennissen, 20, representing Stearns County, daughter of Jerry and Linda Jennissen, Brooten;

• Nicole Matthees, 18, representing Goodhue County, daughter of Steve and Mary Matthees, Goodhue;

• Audrey Mohr, 18, representing Brown County, daughter of Ron and Penny Mohr, New Ulm;

• Lois Mueller, 18, representing Stearns County, daughter of Ron and Betty Mueller, Richmond;

• Emily Paskewitz, 20, representing Todd County, daughter of Bruce and Sandy Paskewitz, Browerville;

• Laura Reiter, 18, representing Wabasha County, daughter of Craig and Cathy Reiter, Elgin;

• Amanda Joy Thoe, 19, representing Dodge County, daughter of Jeffrey and Susan Thoe, Hayfield; and

• Kia Vander Kooi, 19, representing Nobles County, daughter of Dave and Deb Vander Kooi, Worthington.

The 12 candidates will compete for Princess Kay just prior to the 2006 Minnesota State Fair. Princess Kay is the state's official goodwill ambassador for the dairy industry, and is crowned the night before the fair opens.

Each finalist will have their likenesses carved in butter during the Fair. The 2006 winner will be the 53rd Princess Kay.

Nearly 60 county dairy princesses participated in the weekend judging, which took place along with a dairy promotion training event for all county princesses.