Wow! The time has flown, and I am sorry it has taken me so long to update the blog!
March was pretty busy, and April has also been full as well, as I work to finish up college. Only a few more weeks!
Miss Blackhawk Valley Pageant
On March 2, I attended my first pageant as a visiting queen. It was so nice to be back at home in the Quad Cities for the weekend, and it was great to spend time with Shauna (my county director) and my Little Miss. All of the contestants did a great job and it made me excited for the summer and all the pageants I will be attending then.
Miss Greek Illinois Pageant
The very same weekend as Miss Blackhawk Valley, I judged the Miss Greek Illinois Pageant on campus at the U of I. Contestants from several sororities competed in the categories of skit, dress, and poise, and onstage questions. The Delta Chi Fraternity hosted the event and Theresa Scanlin, Miss America 2011 emceed. She was so sweet, and I even got my picture taken with her! It was cool to be on the other side of the competition at this pageant, but I do not envy judges for the work they do one bit. it’s hard work!
Ag Legislative Day
Ag Legislative Day was March 14, and was one of the highlights of my reign so far. For years I attended Ag Legislative Day as an FFA member, preparing and delivering baskets to our legislators, and encouraging them to continue to fund the agricultural education line item. I remember taking the big group photo with the director of agriculture and the governor with 700 of my closest FFA friends and the state queen. Never did I think that one day I would be that girl standing in the middle of the photo. If it was a dream, I really hoped I didn’t wake up that day!
I spent some time with my representative, Mr. Don Moffitt. Rep. Moffitt showed us around and answered many of my questions. Kenny Wallace was at the Capitol, promoting ethanol, so I had the chance to have my picture taken with him. He has a real sense of humor, and I’m glad I got to meet him!
My senator, Darin LaHood, introduced me to the Senate around noon, and I presented my speech on the Senate floor. I got such a thrill from being able to address our legislators. I love public speaking, and as I stood there giving my speech, I couldn’t help but imagine myself speaking from that venue again someday. Maybe I will go into politics, but only time will tell.
After spending my spring break in California, studying agriculture, policy and regulations with a class, I came home for my birthday and pageant reception. It was truly a birthday I will never forget as friends, family, state pageant crew, and IAAF Board members came together to help me celebrate. I had a wonderful time meeting everyone and appreciate the Rock Island County Fair Board and DeAnne Bloomberg (the Rock Island County Farm Bureau Manager) for organizing and putting on the event. It was a great day!
During the last two weekends in March, I went dress shopping for my summer wardrobe. Kathy at Bridal Elegance and Emily in Farina were both so helpful, and it was fun shopping with Cathy and Bill, Darien, my mom, and Grandma. Trying on all of the dresses made me feel like such a queen. It’s a feeling that I can’t seem to get used to but I sure am enjoying it! I now have plenty of dresses to wear all summer long, and Shelly is altering them so they all fit perfectly. I can’t wait to wear all of them!
On Saturday, April 20, I had my official photo shoot at Studio 131 in Springfield. One of my close friends, Cathryn Ayers, came with me and took us to her family’s farm, where we were able to get some awesome pictures in my Miss Illinois County Fair denim jacket. A special thank you to Mr. and Mrs. Russell Vandeveer for the jacket that I will carry with me everywhere I go this summer.
Julie Kinter did my hair and makeup for the afternoon, and as soon as my hair was pulled up, I felt even more like a queen.
The photo shoot was so much fun! Dave and Steve did a great job, and I can’t wait to see all of the photos.
It has been a busy past few months, as school continues to pick up, but only a few more weeks, and I will graduate! I am so looking forward to wrapping up college and being Miss Illinois County Fair full time. The past few months have been very fun, and I am appreciative to everyone who continues to help me with anything and everything that I need. Counting my days until the summer!!
The blog post below was written by Queen Amelia in late February. Due to technical difficulties, it is just now being posted. Thank you for following Queen Amelia on her journey!
I cannot believe it has been a whole month since I was crowned Miss Illinois County Fair! The time has absolutely flown!
I’m not sure how many times I have said that this is a dream come true, but it truly is a dream come true for me. I still wake up some mornings, barely believing that it happened. I cannot put into words how honored and thrilled I am to represent county fairs and agriculture this year. I am so excited to begin traveling the state this summer, that I have a countdown going!
A little bit about me—I was Miss Rock Island County Fair 2012. I grew up on my family’s farm in Orion and was very active in 4-H and FFA. It was through 4-H that I discovered my love for communicating in my bucket calf project. I loved the thrill of getting up in front of people to answer questions about my calf on the microphone. In FFA, I competed in many contests; my favorites included parliamentary procedure, agricultural issues, agricultural communications, public speaking, and job interview. I served as a chapter and section officer, and attended numerous leadership conferences. Through FFA, I discovered my major, agricultural communications. It was through my supervised agricultural experience program of writing for local newspapers that I realized educating the public about agriculture was something I wanted to do full time.
Which leads me to the present…I’m currently studying agricultural communications at the University of Illinois and will graduate this spring, after three years of study. I will begin work for John Deere in September as a marketing representative in their Construction and Forestry division.
In the meantime, I will be fulfilling my duties as Miss Illinois County Fair, and am so excited! Did I say that already? My apologies, but I really am excited!
During my first month as Miss Illinois County Fair, I have had a few radio interviews, as well as some interviews for agricultural publications and newspapers at home and in my county. In early February, I attended the State Fair Press Conference and addressed the press and all of the guests at the event. It was my first official appearance and everyone made me feel very welcome. I was happy to meet so many of the people I will be working with this summer. And there was fair food, too! Mini corndogs and fried brownies make for an interesting breakfast at 8 a.m. I can’t say that I’ve ever had fried brownies before, but if you ever get the chance to try them, go for it!
I’m gearing up for Ag Legislative Day which is coming up in a few weeks. My speech is written for the Senate, and I am ready to go. I’m looking forward to seeing all of the FFA members at the event. I attended for three years in high school as an FFA member, so it will be great to go back and reminisce with members and advisors. I can’t wait to meet many of our state legislators and talk to them about the importance of agricultural funding and the role that agricultural youth programs play.
It has been an exciting first month as queen, and I’m very humbled to represent the state as Miss Illinois County Fair this year. I’m so thankful for all of the help my family, the Rock Island County Fair Board, my pageant director Shauna Learn, Taylor Schulte, Cait Robb, and all my friends have provided. I am excited to get to know the state pageant crew better in the coming months. Please stay tuned for updates to my blog!