GOODHUE -- When you dig into that ear of corn at the 2021 Goodhue Lions Chicken Barbeque, think of Emily Benrud.

The Goodhue County dairy princess vied for the 2020 Minnesota Princess Kay of the Milky Way crown. One of 10 finalists, she had her likeness carved into butter -- a tradition that continued despite the State Fair being canceled due to the pandemic.

“With my butter sculpture, I plan to give some of it away to friends and family. With the rest of it, I plan to donate it to the Goodhue Lions Chicken BBQ that takes place each August. It will be perfect for people to use to butter their corn at the BBQ,” she said in her statement posted on the Princess Kay Facebook page.

Thankfully, butter freezes well.

Brenna Connelly, 19, of Byron and representing Olmsted County, was crowned the 67th Princess Kay of the Milky Way at a private ceremony that was streamed virtually on Aug. 12. Connelly will serve as the official goodwill ambassador for nearly 3,000 Minnesota dairy farm families.

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To enter, participants must have some personal connection to a dairy farm, such as their family farm or workplace. Dairy princesses are selected at the county level, and those individuals have the opportunity to become the next Princess Kay.

Goodhue County Dairy Princess Emily Benrud was a 2020 Princess Kay of the Milky Way runner-up. Minnesota Dairy Princess Program
Goodhue County Dairy Princess Emily Benrud was a 2020 Princess Kay of the Milky Way runner-up. Minnesota Dairy Princess Program

Benrud’s carving was Friday, Aug. 21. She and Maggie Molitor of Rockville, representing Stearns County, were selected as runners-up. Benrud, Connelly and Katherine Maus of Freeport, also representing Stearns County, were named scholarship winners. Molitor was also named Miss Congeniality.

While sculpting was closed to the public, fans can watch the butter sculpting and hear from the finalists at www.facebook.com/PrincessKayOfTheMilkyWay.

Minnesota sculptor Gerry Kulzer, an artist and teacher from Litchfield, did the sculpting. Longtime sculptor Linda Christensen assisted him virtually from her home in California.