Cleburne Times-Review, Cleburne, TX

Local News

January 1, 2013

County show kicks off queen, ambassador contest

The annual Johnson County Livestock Show and Youth Fair kicks off Saturday with more than a dozen young men and women vying for the title of either queen or ambassador of the show.

The queen and ambassador contest, held at the Cleburne Conference center, is always a favorite event, said contest Superintendent Tracie Daughtery. Once held in the barn at the Sheriff’s Posse grounds, the banquet features a dinner and formal presentation of the two students chosen to receive a $10,000 scholarship from The Marti Foundation. The queen and ambassador are responsible for welcoming attendees to the Sheriffs Posse show grounds, presenting awards and announcing, among other things.

“We always have quality kids throughout the county,” Daughtery said. “I wish that we could see more kids involved in it because of the money and the Marti scholarship. He [George Marti] does a lot for our county.”

Fifteen students from area school districts — 10 girls and five boys — turned in scholarship applications by the early November deadline and now wait for their panel interview, university-scored essay results and banquet-night presentation. The university that has judged the essays won’t be named until the night of the event.

“All the universities so far that have done it have just praised the system,” Daughtery said.  “Because it’s not just grades. They like to see a smart kid, an active kid. It really pulls good round-about average kids in there. Somebody who may have not been top in their class — maybe top 10 — who can still get out there and talk and socialize.”

Daughtery said that although being named queen or ambassador is a great honor, the students must work hard at the show to represent their FFA organization and the county.  

“When the weather turns and it’s freezing cold and you’re standing out there announcing and handing out awards all day long, you’re miserable,” she said with a laugh. “They realize what the volunteers do. They realize then that ‘this is a volunteer’ and there is so much work involved. It’s not glamorous by any means. You know, they are young [and can handle it]. I’ve never had a problem with any of the kids and I’ve been doing it for 16 years.”

Tickets for the banquet are $15. For information, call Daughtery at 817-641-2249.

For more information on the county show, visit johnson.agrilife.org.

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