I was very young when I first exhibited at the Lodi Agricultural Fair. I don’t remember everything from those first few years of showing sheep in the grass show ring behind the old swine barn.
However, the one thing I will always remember is looking up to the Fairest of the Fairs throughout the years and thinking to myself, “one day, I’m going to do that!”
This past year, I was finally able to realize that dream. I was honored to be selected as the 2019 Lodi Agricultural Fair’s Fairest of the Fair last March. Throughout the summer I was able to attend many events to promote the Lodi Agricultural Fair.
Some of my favorite memories include nearly winning the ice-cream eating contest at the Dane County Breakfast on the Farm and visiting with attendees at the Arlington Fireman’s Festival Parade about their favorite fair memories.
July marked my 17th year attending the Lodi Agricultural Fair, but this time it was a totally new experience. I was officially crowned as the Fairest of the Fair at the grand opening of the “We’re Wisconsin and We Grow It” grain bin.
This new educational exhibit is definitely one of my favorite highlights from the fair. The fair is constantly coming up with new ways to educate fair-goers about agriculture, which is part of what makes the fair so amazing.
My favorite part of the fair overall this year was attending the shows that I didn’t normally get to see as an exhibitor. I really enjoyed helping with the poultry and rabbit shows, and especially emceeing for the Little Britches Clucks and Ducks show. My theme, as I spoke to exhibitors and fairgoers throughout the fair, was the idea of connections. I wanted exhibitors to recognize and cherish the connections they will make during their show careers. I also wanted to encourage fair-goers to find their connection to agriculture, since agricultural education is one of the most important aspects of a fair. I truly believe that these connections are why fairs are crucial for both youth and the agriculture industry.
Of course I can’t forget my experience at Susie the Duck Day later in the summer. This was my first time ever attending this event. I was blown away by the size of the event and the amount of pride that this community has in their town. Releasing hundreds of rubber ducks for the Duck Derby will forever be one of my favorite summer memories.
More recently, I attended the Wisconsin Association of Fairs Convention in the Wisconsin Dells and competed in the Wisconsin Fairest of the Fairs Contest. It was an honor to represent what I believe is one of the greatest local fairs, not only in Wisconsin, but in the country.
During the contest, I met some incredible young professionals who I hope to keep in contact with for a long time. I was also able to make many professional networking connections that will help me in advancing my own education and career. Being selected as a top ten finalist was just the icing on the cake of an overall wonderful experience.
I am so thankful to have had the Lodi Agricultural Fair’s support behind me so that I could represent myself and the fair to the best of my ability.
Serving as the Lodi Agricultural Fair’s Fairest of the Fair was literally a dream come true. I hope that I was able to inspire at least one young exhibitor to run in the future. All it takes is a love for the Lodi Agricultural Fair and a desire to share that love with others.
I want to thank the fair board and the communities in the area for allowing me to share my love for agriculture and the fair, and I can’t wait to attend many more fairs to come.