Busy teen adds `farm queen' to duties


August 08, 2002|By Lorraine Gingerich | Lorraine Gingerich,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

KRISTEN WILLIE reigns over the Howard County Fair this week as farm queen. The Glenwood resident won this year's contest Sunday at the fairgrounds show ring.

Kristen, 18, was crowned by last year's winner, Kate Burgy, and was one of six young women vying for the title.

Kathleen Fry of Ellicott City is serving as first runner-up and will accompany Kristen in many of her duties. Serving as princesses at the fair are Christa Federline of Ellicott City, Jenna Starr of Marriottsville, Dora Tammaro of Cooksville and Erika Thomas of Marriottsville.

Each contestant was dressed in formal wear and carried bouquets, and gave a 90-second speech describing her accomplishments and goals. Later, master of ceremonies Gene Mullinix questioned each contestant based on her personal essay.

Before the contest, participants had submitted essays describing their backgrounds and their involvement in agriculture.

Sponsored by Howard County Farm Bureau women, members seek a knowledgeable and effective spokeswoman for the Farm Bureau and the agricultural community.

Kristen has plenty of experience for that, having a full schedule of daily chores. She drives 20 minutes to her family farm in Mount Airy every morning to take care of her four horses and one colt.

She mucks the stalls, feeds the horses and changes their water before going on to feed other animals. Kristen also has barn cats, rabbits, cattle, lambs and swine to care for. She goes home after her morning chores but has to return in the evening to repeat the routine.

The new farm queen has been showing animals at the fair for years. But she is juggling two jobs as she completes her queenly duties along with showing her animals -- a steer, pigs and lambs. "I have to show my animals [while I'm] in a dress," she said. "That will be fun!"

Queen Kristen spends most of her days in the ring, handing out ribbons to the fair winners. But she is quick to point out that she is not just a figurehead. She enjoys helping the young contestants with their animals.

"Even if I wasn't farm queen, I would still be doing it," she said.

When she isn't working at home or on the farm, Kristen has a part-time job, serves as president of the Centaurs 4-H Club, and is a member of the West Friendship 4-H Club, the American Junior Angus Association and the Howard County Pony Club.

Kristen graduated from Glenelg High School in May and will attend Howard Community College in the fall.

During her reign, the queen will represent Howard County at the Maryland State Fair in Timonium and attend the Maryland State Farm Bureau convention.

Sitting in the show ring, wearing her crown, Kristen reflected on her efforts at the fair and in the farming community.

"People have given to me over the years," she said. "And now it's my turn to give back."

Horsing around

The Centaurs 4-H Club held a Gymkhana on July 20 at the Howard County Fairgrounds. Gymkhana is a term for games and pattern racing with horses, which involves traveling through varying courses and around obstacles.

The Centaur members participated in many activities, including a ribbon race, a catalog race, a rescue race, bobbing for apples and charades -- all on horseback. Club members who took part were Danny, Jeannie and Neil Heckman, Alex and MacKenzie Barnard, Heather and Teresa Beall, Laura Bradley, Aubrey Edkins, Lauren Mundy, Jaclyn Pavlos, Carolyn McGraw, Kristen Willie, and Katie and Erin Becker.

They took their mounts home after the Gymkhana and returned to the fairgrounds in the evening for a camp-out.

During the past month, members collected donations for animals at the Howard County Animal Shelter.

Information: John Pavlos, 410-750-3557.

Fair cleanup

What happens to all that trash that people leave on the ground at the Howard County Fair? Members of Boy Scout Troop 737 clean it up. Through Sunday, the group is meeting at the fairgrounds each day at 7 a.m. wearing old clothes and sturdy shoes for a one-hour cleanup.

They pick up trash outside the exhibit areas and on the parking lot. After the fair ends, they will clean up the midway. The funds they earn are distributed to the personal accounts of the participating Scouts.

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