Schwartau calls Princess Kay nomination ‘special’Schwartau has been helping raise the 410 cows on her family’s Featherstone Townshipo dairy farm all her life. That was part of the reason Schwartau decided to run for the Princess Kay of the Milky Way title earlier this year.
By: Sarah Gorvin, The Republican Eagle
Aly Schwartau comes from a long line of dairy farmers.
The 19-year-old said her ancestors had been milking cows since before they immigrated from Germany decades ago.
“Dairy farming has been in my family for centuries,” she said.
Continuing that tradition, Schwartau has been helping raise the 410 cows on her family’s Featherstone Townshipo dairy farm all her life. That was part of the reason Schwartau decided to run for the Princess Kay of the Milky Way title earlier this year.
“The dairy industry has raised me and I felt it was my turn to give back,” she said.
More than 100 women from across the state competed in the competition last May at the College of Saint Benedict in St. Joseph, Minn. The women were judged on their enthusiasm for and knowledge about the dairy industry, their general ability to communicate and their personal interviews.
The three-day event ended with a luncheon in which the 12 finalists were announced. When Schwartau’s name was called, she said she “really couldn’t believe it.”
“I almost hyperventilated on stage,” she said. “The emcee looked over and asked ‘Are you guys OK?’”
Now Schwartau calls her finalist nomination “special.” If she’s crowned, Schwartau will serve as the statewide ambassador for the dairy industry.
“It’s probably one of the best opportunities a farm girl can have,” she said. “It gives you the chance to tell your story.”
Schwartau, the daughter of David and Jane Schwartau, was crowned a Goodhue County dairy princess last spring, which allowed her to compete for a Princess Kay finalist spot.
Schwartau went through one more round of interviews and judging Tuesday. But she won’t find out if she’s the next Princess Kay until the crowning 8:30 today on the Minnesota State Fairgrounds.
“Since I was little, I always saw Princess Kay and I never dreamed I could be her,” Schwartau said. “I always looked up to her so it would mean the world that I have that chance to be that for someone else.”
As a Goodhue County dairy princess, Schwartau already visits area schools and speaks to kids about the dairy industry and the foods that come from it. If she’s crowned Princess Kay, Schwartau said she’d do many of the same things, only it would be statewide and she would also reach older populations.
“That’s something else that would be so special,” she said.
Whether Schwartau is crowned or not, she will still get her head carved in a 90-pound block of butter.
“It was something that I always saw at the state fair,” Schwartau said, adding that she’s already gearing up for the eight-to-nine-hour carving session in the refrigerated cooler.
If she is crowned, Schwartau said she will have her carving done Aug. 23. If she is not crowned, it will be Aug. 30.
Schwartau will be a sophomore at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities this school year. She is studying animal science with a dairy emphasis and minoring in applied economics.