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Six to be crowned county dairy princesses

WILLMAR -- Six young women will be crowned as the 2010 Kandiyohi County Dairy Princesses at the Kandiyohi County Dairy Princess Banquet and Coronation at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 20 at the Kandi Entertainment Center in Willmar.

The young women include Michaela Bengtson, Samantha Cunningham, Julie Gatewood, Brenda Hinseth, Amy Schueler and Michelle Tait. Outgoing 2009 Dairy Princesses and Princess Kay finalists Bethany Urban and Emily Schueler will crown the successors.

The princesses will represent the dairy industry during many public appearances throughout the upcoming year. They will attend the upcoming Ag Show at the Willmar Civic Center.

Bengtson, 18, is the daughter of Jerome and Kristine Bengtson of Kandiyohi. She is a senior at New London-Spicer High School and is involved in many activities, including her church youth group, FFA, FFA choir, National Honor Society, and senior class treasurer, Atwater Threshing Days and the Hugh O'Brien Youth Leadership program.

She has been a FFA chapter officer for four years, chapter president two years and a Region V officer. She lives on a 34-cow dairy farm and plans to attend Ridgewater College for agriculture education through their program with the University of Minnesota.

Cunningham, 17, is the daughter of John and Laura Cunningham of rural Atwater. She is a senior at Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City High School and is in volleyball, basketball, softball, band, choir, 4-H and FFA, where she is on the dairy team and shows cattle at the Kandiyohi County fair.

Being involved in 4-H taught her the responsibility of taking care of her animals. Her family has been involved in the dairy business for over 30 years. Cunningham plans to attend Ridgewater College and transfer to the University of Minnesota or Iowa State for the veterinarian program.

Gatewood, 18, is the daughter of Gene and Shelly Gatewood of Willmar. She is a senior at Willmar High School and participates in student council, key club, choir, orchestra and is the secretary of the FFA chapter. She is also active in 4-H, On Call, dairy ambassador for six years, and is a Sunday School teacher. The family farms 300 acres and milks 66 Holstein cows and raises all of their replacement heifers. They also raise sheep and many other assorted animals. She plans to attend Ridgewater College in Willmar and pursue a nursing degree.

Hinseth, 17, is the daughter of Craig and Kathy Hinseth of New London. She is a senior at NLS High School and is active in 4-H, in which she served as secretary, and FFA, in which she is currently the chapter treasurer. She also has been a dairy ambassador for three years, is involved in the PALS program and a Sunday School teacher. Her family milks 40 cows and farms 160 acres. She works on the farm, for a neighbor's farm, at babysitting, and at Jo-Ann Fabrics and at Games Lake. She plans to attend Ridgewater College and study to be a legal administrative assistant.

Schueler, 17, is the daughter of Jim and Sue Schueler of Raymond. She is a senior at MACCRAY High School and is involved in FFA, Students Against Destructive Decisions and is a dairy ambassador. The family milks 50 cows. She also helps with raising goats, two horses, ducks, geese and around 30 pigs. She plans to attend Ridgewater College for farm management and operation. In the future, she plans on owning a dairy farm with a 100-plus dairy goats and milking cows.

Tait, 17, is the daughter of Mike and Brenda Tait of Kandiyohi. She is a senior at Community Christian School in Willmar and is involved in volleyball, ski club, yearbook committee, choir and band. She is also involved in her church, plays handbells and bass and has designed and sewn lots of unique fashions. She plans to go to college and would like to study fashion design or culinary arts.

Banquet information is available from Shereen Hauge. For more information, call 320-599-4483. Tickets are $15 for adults and $8 for children 12 and under. Tickets are available from the current dairy princesses, the princess candidates and county board members.