Phone: 612-624-5551
unews@umn.edu
24-hr number: 612-293-0831

Advanced Search

Feature

Christina Rettmann poses with her butter-head sculpture.

Christina Rettmann poses with her buttery doppelganger.

Morris student crowned Princess Kay of the Milky Way

By Rick Moore

Originally published on September 1, 2004

Christina Rettmann, a junior at the University of Minnesota, Morris, has been crowned the 51st Princess Kay of the Milky Way. As Princess Kay, Rettmann will serve as the official goodwill ambassador for Minnesota's dairy industry, according to the Midwest Diary Association. She'll make a variety of public appearances over the course of her yearlong reign to educate citizens about dairy farmers' commitment to providing safe, high-quality milk and dairy products.

Rettmann, who is studying elementary education at Morris, knows firsthand about that commitment, growing up and working on a dairy farm in Buffalo Lake, Minnesota--about 75 miles west of the Twin Cities. "[Being crowned] was one of the best feelings in the world because my family's been milking cows for more than a hundred years," she says. "I want people to respect that dairy farmers are working hard for them to produce things they need in their diet."

For Rettmann, who was chosen August 25 from a field of 12 county dairy princesses, it's a good thing she's used to hard work. There has been precious little time to bask in her reign, much less demand the princess treatment. She's been at the State Fair every day from 7:30 a.m. to about 6 p.m. talking to kids about the benefits of dairy products in their diets, answering questions outside the cattle barn, appearing in parades, and greeting visitors at the Empire Commons building.

"I'm planning on having a big sweet corn feed and letting people roll their ears of corn on my head," says Rettmann.

It was in that building that Rettmann performed her first major Princess Kay duty on day one of the fair--posing in the public eye for a few hours on a revolving platform while a sculpture of her head was carved out of an 85-pound block of butter. Her butter head now sits there majestically--for the remainder of the fair--with its broad smile, deep dimples, and hair as soft as... well, butter.

"Actually, people do say it looks like me," says Rettmann. She's not as convinced, but then again, she feels that most of her pictures don't look like her, either. "People say, 'You look much better than your butter head,'" she adds.

Best/bust of all, she gets to keep her head after the fair. She plans to see if some of the grocery stores back home might want to display it for friends and supporters who weren't able to make it to the State Fair. Rettmann isn't about to forget about her people back in Buffalo Lake and the surrounding area. In fact, she figures her butter head might meet its ultimate fate about a year from now at the Renville County Fair. "I'm planning on having a big sweet corn feed and letting people roll their ears of corn on my head," she says.