UNDATED (WJON News) - Two area girls are finalists for “Princess Kay of the Milky Way”.

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Megan Ratka is a graduate of RICORI High School.

Even though she didn’t grow up on a dairy farm, she has been active in showing dairy cows through the 4-H lease program.

So actually, neither of us grew up on dairy farms. We were both part of the 4-H lease program, where I began showing dairy cattle in elementary school. And just having this dairy community become so welcoming to me and teach me so much when I didn't come from a dairy farm really sparked my passion for dairy and made me want to give back as a dairy princess sharing their stories.

Ratka is planning a busy summer, even before the preparations for the pageant begin.

As a Stearns County Dairy Princess, there are lots of events coming up from parades to customer appreciation events. And I think I'm most excited for our county fair activities, where I will be handing out ribbons at dairy shows and working in the malt stand.

Gracie Ash is a graduate of Millaca High School. She is excited about the opportunity to represent the dairy farmers in her area.

I just think it's a great opportunity to build relationships; relationships and connections are so important in this world. Princess Kay is just a really great way to foster those relationships and truly build real natural connections.

Gracie says she’s had a lot of support as she begins to prepare for the pageant.

I've been talking to a lot of people just to get a bunch of insights. But somebody who's really pushed me to do this and really encouraged me was somebody I leased cattle from for 4-H. His name is Eric Sonic. He's just been a really strong source of encouragement and pushing me to grow out of my comfort zone, which I'm really happy about.

The princess program is sponsored by the Midwest Dairy Association. The Princess Kay of the Milky Way pageant has been held for over 60 years.




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