Laura Rosenhammer, 21, of Sleepy Eye, recently represented Brown County's dairy industry in competition for Princess Kay of the Milky Way title.
Laura, daughter of John and Patty Rosenhammer, was among 12 finalists competing for the Princess Kay of the Milky Way title. Judging for the contest began on Aug. 22 with coronation at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds on the eve of the state fair.
Each of the young women was judged in five different categories including a personal interview, speech, mock media interview, extemporaneous remarks and a group discussion. A panel of three judges evaluated each event.
The 12 finalist were chosen in May when a smaller county-wide coronation was held where the young ladies are judged on communication skills, knowledge of the dairy industry, personality and enthusiasm for dairy promotion.
The 59th Princess Kay of the Milky Way is Christine Reitsma, 18, of Sauk Centre.
"I could not stop smiling when Princess Kay was crowned," Laura said. "Christine and I had become close friends during judging and I even did her hair for that evening! The dairy farmers of Minnesota are so lucky to have such a wonderful girl representing them."
Princess Kay is the Good Will Ambassador for the state of Minnesota representing the dairy industry and over 4,000 dairy farms in Minnesota.
While Laura was not crowned with that title, each of the remaining 11 finalists spent 12 days at the state fair promoting the dairy industry. Each finalist spent two days helping Princess Kay with promotions and interviews and at least one day in the butterbooth where the finalists have a likeness carved from a 90 pound block of butter.
On Friday, Aug. 31, Laura had the honor of sitting in a 40 degree rotating cooler from 9 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. to have her likeness sculpted in butter.
"Many of my family and friends came to witness this event and it was truly a once in a lifetime experience," Laura added. "I have been watching the Princess Kay coronation and butterhead sculpting every year at the state fair and I'm very happy it was finally my turn to share in that amazing experience."
AMPI of New Ulm makes and donates the butter blocks used in the sculpting so each butterhead is donated back to AMPI.
However, Laura was able to keep about 20 pounds of scraps that she said she will used in baking Christmas cookies this winter, adding that baking is her favorite winter activity.
In addition, two years from now Laura plans to host a sweetcorn feed at her family farm and some of the scrap butter from the sculpting will also be used for that occasion.
This past summer, Laura hosted all the Princess Kay finalists at her families farm when they came to New Ulm to tour AMPI.
Page 2 of 2 - The Rosenhammer family farm was also the background for a music video parody the finalists made to showcase how they are "Farming Ladies." That video can be viewed on YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4IuCcypdfe4 or on the Herald's Facebook page at www.facebook.com/HeraldDispatch.
"Whenever I see that video I am so proud that my family's dairy farm is in the background and that each of the girls could visit my farm and meet my family," Laura said.
Aside from making videos and having their likeness carved in butter, Princess Kay and the finalist remain busy at the state fair with TV newscasts, judging a kids' butter sculpting contest, creating their own one pound butter sculpture and giving power point presentations about their own dairy farms in the "Moo booth."
Laura remains as a dairy princess for Brown County until January. She said she intends to continue promoting dairy and advocating agriculture by serving on the county dairy and agricultural boards and organizations, being involved on campus with student agricultural clubs and helping out the dairy princess program.
Laura is a junior at the University of Minnesota–Twin Cities, majoring in Animal Science with a dairy production emphasis.
Following graduation Laura plans to return to Sleepy Eye and her family's dairy farm to help continue the tradition of top care for the animals and the land and producing healthy products.
The Princess Kay program is funded by dairy farmers' checkoff dollars.
"I am forever grateful for the opportunity to serve as a Brown County Dairy Princess," Laura said. "Dairy farmers are the hardest working and smartest men and women I know."