Marlene Eick, Pam and I had the great opportunity to judge the Ohio Beef Queen Contest for the Ohio
CattleWomen’s Association this year. For me, it was amazing to see
such an amazing amount of talent from all the contestants and it made for a very tough decision. I can say without a doubt that I would be proud to have any of the girls who participated as ambassadors for Ohio cattlemen and women.
For those wondering, this is not a beauty contest and participants have to meet several tough requirements just to apply! Here is just a few of the things that the participants are judged on: their experience with cattle, knowledge of the beef industry, communication skills, community service, an essay as well as a speech delivered in front of a large group.
This year’s contestants were Rachel Brooker of Clinton County, Katelyn Lutz of Crawford County, Jordan Bonham of Fayette County, Paige Guenther of Hardin County, Kelsey Sheely of Highland County, Kersten Wise of Portage County, Amber Shoemaker of Stark County, and Kaitlyn Hinds of Tuscarawas County.
So what is the point of having a Beef Queen? Well the Queen holds several responsibilities. During her reign she will attend several cattle shows throughout the state to represent the association and be an ambassador. She’ll help facilitate youth projects at some events and hand out ribbons during shows. She sets an example for the county queens throughout the state to follow. Perhaps, the most important role for the queen to fulfill during her reign is to help promote beef throughout the state.
The presence of a queen displaying her sash and tiara catches the attention of some people who may or may not have a direct connection to beef, esp children and women. This amplifies the queen’s ability to connect with more individuals, for her to strike up more conversations about the benefits of beef in the diet, the care that cattlemen give to their herds and answer many other questions about many aspects of the industry.
I found that all the queen contestants were very well qualified for this responsibility not only because they grew up caring for cattle, but because they were passionate for information about the industry they represent. The steep competition made it tough to judge, but I was excited to see three individuals rise to the top of the contest! Congratulations to the 2011 Queen of Beef Katelyn Hinds and the runner ups Kelsey Sheely and Kirsten Wise! I’m sure Ohio will be well served by the excitement to promote beef and the knowledge of the topic!