Eight vie for Winneshiek County Fair Queen


Eight vie for Winneshiek County Fair Queen


Becky Walz
News Editor


The Winneshiek County Fair will kick off on Tuesday, July 9, with the Fair Queen coronation. This year's event, to begin at 3:45 p.m., will be held in the grandstand due to the crowd size in past years. Eight young ladies will vie for this year's crown and the chance to represent Winneshiek County at the State Fair. 

Candidates for Winneshiek County Fair Queen include the following:

Cassidy Ann Buddenberg graduated from South Winn High School in May and is the daughter of Bruce and Julie Buddenberg of Decorah.

While in high school, Cassidy played volleyball, ran track, and was the secretary of her FFA chapter. She has been president of the District 1 Holstein Jrs. And is an active member of the Co-Champions 4-H Club.

The 18-year-old shows dairy cattle, is the 2013 District 1 Distinguished Jr. member, and was the 2012 Winneshiek County Alternate Dairy Princess. She is also a member of the South Winn Dairy Judging team that placed third at Nationals in Madison last fall and recently traveled with the team to Scotland to compete internationally.

Cassidy plans to attend Iowa State University in the fall.

Brianna Lee Carolan is the 18-year-old daughter of Brian and Shelly Carolan and Susan Carolan all of Decorah. She recently graduated from Decorah High School, where she was active in band and tennis, was the captain of the color guard, and a football and basketball cheerleader. 

Brianna has been a nine-year member of the Hesper Helpers 4-H Club, in which she has served as president and vice-president. She has served on the Senior County Council, Junior Council, and has been a camp counselor. 

Brianna has assisted with the dog show and has shown for many years. She loves being a nanny, working at Silvercrest, and hanging out with friends. Brianna volunteers her time by designing the Green Lea Manor birthday bulletin board.

Randi Jo Carolan, the 17-year-old daughter of Jarod and Wendy Carolan of Decorah, will be a senior this fall at Decorah High School. In school, Randi is involved in volleyball, softball and FFA. 

In FFA, she has been part of the Dairy Judging Team, Conduct of Meetings team, Parliamentary Procedure team, and is currently serving as chapter secretary for the second year. She is a member of the Burr Oak Blazing Builders 4-H Club and has shown various livestock at the Winneshiek County Fair for the past seven years. 

Randi was on the State-qualifying Conducts of Meetings team and has won the Collegiate Sheep Showmanship award at the Winneshiek County Fair and best Dairy Production Placement Proficiency in her FFA chapter for the past two years. 

Kayleigh Mae Hauber is the 17-year-old daughter of Kevin and Jamie Hauber of Ridgeway. She will be a senior this fall at Crestwood High School and is also enrolled at Northeast Iowa Community College. 

In high school, Kayleigh has been on the high honor roll, has received all of the silver cord honors and the certificate of excellence in academic achievement. She is also a letterwinner in softball.

Kayleigh has earned both her Chapter and Iowa Degrees in FFA and is currently serving as the chapter’s vice president.

Kayleigh has been a member of the Ridgeway Lincoln Leaders 4-H Club, holding many offices, including her current role as president. She also serves on the Senior County Council.

The teen enjoys riding horses, hunting with family and friends, working with her cattle, helping on the farm, and showing cattle at fairs. Kayleigh is also a seventh-grade CCD teacher at Tri-City Parishes in Canton.

Brittany Ann Nelson is a 2013 graduate of Decorah High School and the 18-year-old daughter of Mark and Cathy Nelson of Decorah.

She is a member of the Washington Prairie Peppers 4-H Club and the Decorah FFA Chapter. She has earned the Iowa FFA Degree, the “I Dare You” Leadership Award and the Senior Volunteer Award.

Brittany enjoys showing sheep, Guernsey cows and chickens at the fair, as well as volunteering throughout the community and helping those in need.

The teen’s hobbies include working on her grandpa and uncle farms and hanging out with friends. 

Brittany’s future plans are to attend Northeast Iowa Community College in the fall to study dairy science.

Becca Rae Lensing, 18-year-old daughter of Marty and Lisa Lensing of Decorah, was the valedictorian of her 2013 South Winn graduating class. She will be attending Cornell College in the fall. 

Paula was a member of speech, participating in both group and individual contests, and has earned many Division I ratings, including All-State Honors. Becca had roles in five high school musicals and plays and student-directed two others. She was also involved in golf.

During high school the rural Decorah teen served as color guard captain, was a football manager, involved in Drama Club, Spanish Club, SODA, and a student representative on the SW Advisory Committee.

Becca is a nine-year member of the Calmar Creators 4-H Club, active in her church, and volunteers her time at the Calmar Food Pantry.

Her hobbies include going to the movies, listening to music, and scrapbooking.

Mariah Kay Schmitt is the 18-year-old daughter of Carl and Terry Schmitt of Fort Atkinson and is a recent Turkey Valley graduate. While in high school, Mariah was a letterwinner in band as a flutist; she received numerous Division I ratings. She also plays the piano and organ at church. Mariah remained active in volleyball, basketball, and softball while in school, and worked with fifth-graders through the Boomerang program.

In 4-H, the Fort Atkinson teen has done working exhibits, educational presentations, and extemporaneous speaking. She has held many offices including on County Councils. At the fair Mariah has exhibited livestock as well as many other projects.

Last summer, she was a member of the Champion 4-H Club Dairy Judging team that recently competed in Scotland and has helped start an FFA chapter at Turkey Valley. Mariah was the first from her school to win the Greenhand, Chapter, and Iowa FFA degrees.

Mariah’s future plans include attending Iowa State University to study public service administration in agriculture and dairy science.

Emily J’Ann Smith is the 17-year-old daughter of Eric and Dainna Smith of Decorah and will be a senior this fall at Decorah High School.

Currently Emily is the sentinel of her FFA Chapter, has earned her Greenhand and Chapter degrees, and scholastic pin. She has also won awards for best record book, chapter display, agriculture issues, job interview, and parliamentary procedure.

In school, Emily is a National Honor Society member, varsity football cheerleader, and a varsity wrestling manager. 

She has volunteered many hours in the community, including Mentor-for-a-Day, tutoring high school students, monthly activities at Stoney Brook Assisted Living, the annual meatball supper, and putting rabbit cages together at the fair.

Emily is a member of the Burr Oak Blazing Builders 4-H Club, where she has held many offices. She is also a member of the Winneshiek Senior County Council, Burr Oak Lutheran Church, American Junior Shorthorn Association, and the Iowa Junior Shorthorn Association.

The teenager enjoys raising and showing club calves; boating, tubing, and skiing on the Mississippi; and hanging out with family and friends.


Other Tuesday fair events

8:30 a.m — 4-H/FFA Dog Show; 11:30 a.m. — Grandma's Homemade Bread Contest and Apple Pie Contest; 12:30 p.m. — Skid Loader Rodeo adjacent to Horse Arena; 1 p.m. — Kid's Cookie Decorating Contest; 1 p.m. — 4-H/FFA Pet Show followed by 4-H Clover Kid Pet Show and Hobby & Shop Creations Contest; 2 p.m. — Bread & Butter String Band; 3:45 p.m. — Coronation of the 2013 Winneshiek County Fair Queen and her court, followed by Jim Busta Band with Molly B; 4:30 p.m. — Rabbit Show; 5-7 p.m. — 4H-FFA Fun & Games; 7 p.m. — Bill Riley Talent Search

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