Williams County’s agricultural community is celebrating an historic accomplishment by one of its younger members.
Crista Wortkoetter has become the Ohio Fair Mangers’ Queen for 2017. This is the first time a girl from Williams County has made it to the final five contestants let alone win the contest.
She was crowned Jan. 7 at the state convention in Columbus.
She won among a field of 79 queens from across Ohio. There are 94 county or local fairs in Ohio plus the state fair. Her job this summer will be to visit as many of those fairs as she can before she goes back to school in October.
Wortkoetter is going to school in New York and was home on Winter Break when she attended the contest. She qualified as the 2016 Williams County Fair Queen.
The work of being the OFMA Queen begins in June after school lets out. She will travel to all the county fairs she can make.
“I go back to school a week after the last fair,” Wortkoetter said.
The organization will help out on expenses, but the local fair will help as well, she said.
Winning the crown was a shock, but she is pleased she can represent Williams County to all the other fairs across the state. Making history as the first to do so made an impact as well,” she said.
“It was humbling for me,” Wortkoetter said. “My family was excited, they are in shock as well.”
Wortkoetter was the first Williams County entrant to ever make it to the top 5 finalists and now the first to win it all as well. Other entrants from the county have made it as far at the top 16, she said.
She credited Sharon Kissinger who runs the local fair pageant with her win.
“I couldn’t have done it without her,” Wortkoetter said. “She was excited for me.”
For Kissinger, Wortkoetter’s making the top 5 removed an item off her bucket list. Kissinger has been working the local pageant for 20 years and has had several girls make the top 16.
Kissinger told Wortkoetter that anything else would just be bonus.
“When they announced she won, that put me over the top,” Kissinger said. “I was just ecstatic.
“She’s a great girl, she did a wonderful job.”
Wortkoetter spent her free time at the convention wandering through the trade show where she she ran into several Williams County fair board members.
“They were all there Saturday night,” Wortkoetter said.
The news spread quickly through social media as her pages lit up following her coronation. She didn’t have too much time to celebrate as she had to fly back to school.
“I got so much support on the plane,” she said of her friends through social media. “It was amazing to see.”
Reflecting on her win, Wortkoetter was still basking in the glow.
“It’s an honor to represent Williams County,” Wortkoetter said.
She will be eager to show the rest of the state what can happen to someone who wins the Senior Fair contests and what the fair does for its people.
“There is a huge support system making this all worthwhile,” Wortkoetter said.
The Fair Board released a statement that expressed pride in Wortkoetter’s accomplishment.
She is a veteran 4-H and FFA exhibitor and a talented student at Edon High School.
“We would like everyone to take a moment to congratulate this young lady on a remarkable achievement,” the press release stated.
James Pruitt may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org