MINNEOTA - When the Dairy Princess Kay judges called Brittany Moorse, of Minneota, as one of 12 finalists, she was moved to tears of excitement and honor.
Moorse grew up on her family's dairy farm, maintained through three generations, just outside Minneota and was the only dairy kid when she joined 4-H, about 15 years ago. Now, thanks to her family's leadership and encouragement, her local 4-H has grown to about 30 dairy students with about 60 dairy cows entered.
"My brothers have been fantastic role models," said Moorse. She said her family really tried to encourage others to join dairy at 4-H.
Photo by Katy Palmer
Brittany Moorse, Dairy Princess Kay finalist of Minneota, visits with one of her favorite calves on her family’s dairy farm.
"To represent and mentor them (4-H students) is such an honor," Moorse said.
Moorse, along with the other 11 Princess Kay finalists, will promote the Princess Kay competition and ideals this summer through school promotions, radio ads, grocery store visits, 4-H programs, and Operation: Military Kids Camp.
The finalists will attend workshops with the Midwest Dairy Association at the current Princess Kay's home in Hutchinson to train for and promote the title. Moorse is excited to meet other dairy princesses and appear on the KARE 11 and WCCO news. She is crossing her fingers to promote at a Twins game as well.
Moorse was young when she became interested in the dairy princess process and tagged along to her aunt's dairy princess training. When she was little, her grandma would say, "This could be you someday."
And she knew her grandpa hoped to have a granddaughter become a dairy princess. Moorse only dreamed of it coming true.
However, the honor did not just fall into Moorse's lap. Her family lives by the rule that "the calves need to eat and the cows need to be milked before you can eat." Hard work and dedication, along with confidence and determination, are what propelled Moorse through the competition.
At the luncheon where the finalists were announced, Moorse was overwhelmed with excitement, honor, and humility. All she thought of when she was up on stage was her family, her cows, and all the supporters in her life, including her "amazing" 4-H kids.
Moorse said that when she called her grandpa, he "was so excited he could barely talk."
"My dad said he didn't cry, but," Moorse said, remembering looking into the audience, "he was crying."
In order to become a finalist, she had to apply for entry before a training session, deliver a prepared speech, conduct a mock radio interview, and hold a personal interview, each with three judges.
The radio interviews, Moorse said, were usually basic questions like, "What does being a dairy princess mean to you?" But this year, they asked more controversial questions such as, "Is a small or a large farm more beneficial?" said Moorse. She said the best way to answer is positively and completely, including the pros and cons to support your claim.
The importance of this title left Moorse at a loss for words.
"It means the world to me to be able to represent something I'm passionate about."
Lyon County has not seen a dairy princess in a while. "We're a very small dairy county," Moorse said, "and now to be at the state level; there are no words."
Moorse said everyone she has spoken with around town is excited for her and excited to see their town name on the plaque of Moorse's congratulatory butter head, carved out of a 90-pound block of butter.
Moorse gets to take the butterhead home, as well as all the leftover butter. She is considering having a butter carving contest at the Lyon County Fair.
The Dairy Princess Kay winner will be announced the Wednesday night before the Minnesota State Fair at a formal coronation ceremony.