Four young women will compete in the Carroll County Farm Queen contest on Aug. 2 -- opening day of the county 4-H/FFA Fair.
The winner will serve as an ambassador for agriculture in the county in the coming year and will be eligible to compete in the state contest Aug. 29 and 30 for a $2,000 scholarship.
Candidates will be judged on their poise and knowledge of agriculture, said contest coordinator Jane Wolfe of Woodbine.
Mrs. Wolfe said she met Tuesday with the candidates to discuss issues facing farmers today, such as property and water rights, animal welfare and the use of pesticides. "All of them care a lot about farming," she said of the young women.
Candidates must be unmarried daughters of Farm Bureau members between the ages of 16 and 20. The winner will receive $250.
The three judges will speak individually to the candidates before the contest, Mrs. Wolfe said. During the contest, each young woman will answer a question about agriculture.
Last year's queen, Laura Kaminski of Manchester, will crown the winner of the contest, which begins at 7:30 p.m. at the fairgrounds. The candidates are:
* Beth Bonde, 16, of the 5500 block of Buffalo Road in Mount Airy.
She will be a senior at South Carroll High School and is active in the Carroll County 4-H Rabbit Club. She has raised and shown rabbits in local, regional and national shows for eight years.
She has played volleyball, basketball and lacrosse for three years at South Carroll and is a member of the Varsity Club and the National Honor Society.
Miss Bonde also has been the president of the Fashion Trends 4-H Club. She plans to major in fashion merchandising in college. She would like to work as a buyer for a major department store and eventually open her own clothing store.
Her parents are Ellen and Avind Bonde.
* Melissa Ann Harrison, 17, of the 1900 block of Gillis Falls Road in Woodbine. She also was a candidate last year.
She will be a senior at South Carroll and is active in the Carroll County 4-H Beef Club, the Carroll County Livestock Club and the Maryland Junior Angus Association.
Miss Harrison has been the Maryland Angus Queen.
She is on the honor roll at South Carroll High and has been a member of the school chorus and the West Howard swim team. She has been a teacher's aide and has been active in youth ministry at St. Michael's Catholic Church. Miss Harrison would like to attend Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University to study animal husbandry.
Her parents are Ann and Michael Harrison.
* Rachel Harrison, 19, of the 2100 block of Gillis Falls Road in Woodbine.
She will be a sophomore at Towson State University and has been active in the Woodbine Easy Riders 4-H Club and the Carroll County 4-H Livestock Club.
She has won many honors with her quarter horse, Sweet Eldorado, and represented Maryland twice at the All-American Quarter Horse Congress in Ohio.
She also has raised beef cattle, sheep and hogs and has worked on crafts, foods and plant 4-H projects. Miss Harrison was on the dean's list at Towson State, where she is studying biology. She hopes to become a veterinarian.
Her parents are Jeff and Sue Harrison. Rachel and Melissa are cousins.
* Heather Hull, 17, of the 1000 block of Sullivan Road in Westminster.
She will be a senior at Westminster High School and is a member of the Pleasant Valley 4-H Club and the Carroll County Teen Council. She was Miss 4-H last year.
She recently won a trip to the National 4-H Congress in Chicago in December as a result of her work in photography.
Miss Hull is involved in Students Against Drunk Driving, the Key Club and Students Helping Other People. She also is a member of the National Honor Society. She plans to major in mass communications in college.
Her parents are Illona and John Hull.