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Knorr is Princess Kay finalist

By Carol Stender

Date Modified: 08/30/2013 1:27 PM

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PELICAN RAPIDS, Minn. — When Johanna Knorr goes to the Minnesota State Fair, there's one event that she must see —the Princess Kay of the Milky Way coronation.

"There's just something about the excitement and anticipation," she said.

She will experience it first-hand this year. The West Otter Tail County dairy princess from Pelican Rapids was named one of the 12 finalists for the Princess Kay title.

She's eager to get started promoting the industry.

"I see so many people who don't have that connection to the farm anymore," she said. "They don't know what's going on on the farm, so it's important for me to tell that story."

Knorr's dairy connection is her family's farm west of Pelican Rapids. Her parents, Brad and Jane, have a 58-cow herd of Holsteins and crosses plus Knorr's three registered Holsteins. They farm 150 acres of corn and alfalfa. Knorr feeds the heifers and dry cows and helps with milking.

She has been a member of the Norwegian Grove 4-H club for 13 years. Most of her 4-H project focus on dairy.

For the past four years Knorr has earned a state fair trip with livestock demonstrations. Each demonstration offers a look at dairy production, the care cows receive and milk's journey form the farm to the table. She earned purple ribbons on two of the demonstrations, Knorr said.

As part of the fair's herdsmanship's competition, 4-Hers taking part in the program talk to fair-goers. Knorr recalls the reaction when she set up her posters and talked about life on the farm.

"It was amazing to me how people really want to learn more," she said. "One conversation lasted a half hour. People want to learn everything about dairy farming ... I am excited for every opportunity to deliver the dairy message and one part that's close to my heart is animal care. Everything that we do is done with the cow's best interest in mind."

Knorr also promotes dairy products and dairy nutrition. For her high school original oratory, Knorr discussed the importance of keeping chocolate milk in school cafeterias. Her May Event speech centered on her consumption of dairy products as an athlete. Knorr plays softball and has milk with breakfast, a yogurt with lunch and milk with her noon meal.

"Dairy helps refuel our bodies," she said.

She learned more about dairy promotion during the May Event training.

Princess Kay competition participants also met with judges for a personal interview, a mock radio interview and gave a speech.

Several family members came to the banquet where the finalists were named including her parents; siblings Maggie, Reilly and Logan; grandmother Theresa Rick; and her aunt and uncle, Judy and Mike Revere.

After the ceremony, theyl gathered around Knorr to offer congratulations. Her parents were proud, a brother gave her a big hug and her sister was busy tweeting the news that Knorr would have her likeness carved in butter.

Knorr was off to Pelican Rapids to attend her high school baccalaureate service. She arrived just three minutes before the ceremony. It was enough time for her friends and classmates to offer their congratulations.

"My friends said they saw the Twitter, and one classmate was so enthralled that I would have my head carved out of butter," she said with a smile. "Even when my friend talked about the butter carving, It was a great opportunity to talk about dairy farming," she said. "This is a great opportunity and I am really excited to represent dairy farmers."