By Tim Thomas
Editor, Kenton Times
Hardin County will crown its 2019 Fair King and Queen in front of the grandstand beginning at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 3. This year’s candidates are: Ada Jessica Breidenbach and Holden Purdy; Hardin Northern Megan Miller; Kenton Meredith Bischoff and Garrett Thomas; Ridgemont Kelsey Stanfield and Jackson Reppart; Upper Scioto Valley Kiley Bailey and Evan Lyle; and Homeschool Gabrielle Weaver and Joseph Scott “Scotty” Mathews. Contest interviews will take place on Saturday, Aug. 31 at the Hardin County Extension Office.
Jessica Breidenbach is a senior at Ada High School and the daughter of Travis and Tracy Breidenbach of Forest. She has been in 4-H for nine years, showing market hogs for six years before switching to beef steers. This will be her third year of taking a beef steer to the fair. Jessica received outstanding achievement awards with both projects. She is a member of Cessna Minutemen 4-H club, where she has served as reporter, secretary, vice president and president. This is also her second year as a member of the Junior Fair Board. In school, Jessica is beginning her fourth year as a member of the Ada Varsity Singers show choir. She is an honor roll student and through that received an academic letter and is a member of National Honor Society. This will be Jessica¹s fourth year as a varsity football cheerleader in which she has received the “most improved” and “Golden Scholar Athlete” awards. She also is a member of Language Club and has been involved in two high school musicals.
In the community, Jessica is a member of Grant United Methodist Church. She has helped with trash pickup and worked with Blue Star Mothers to provide items for our troops through 4-H. She has helped with kindergarten screening for several years and has performed with the show choir at the annual Senior Citizens Christmas Luncheon. After graduation she plans to attend college and major in radiography. As for what makes her the ideal candidate for fair queen, Jessica said, “The Hardin County Fair is one of my favorite places to be. I can¹t remember a time when my family did not attend the fair. It would be an honor for me to represent my school and county. Through Junior Fair Board and 4-H I have been involved in different activities and aspects of the fair that have taught me about hard work and responsibility. I would love to share these qualities with others.”
Holden Purdy is a senior at Ada High School and the son of Matt and Brandi Purdy of Dunkirk. His junior fair activities include showing swine and earning several awards including second place class winner in 2017 and first place class winner in the champion division I for his barrow. Holden also serves on the Junior Fair Board. In school activities, Holden plays varsity football and is involved in the Ada FFA Chapter as vice president. He said hard worked has paid off within his swine fair projects and in class activities and he was honored to receive the Ag Credit 110% award this past year.
In the community, Holden has helped with church activities at Lima First Assembly of God, along with setting up for the F&M Picnic in Ada. After graduation he plans to attend Rhodes State College to pursue a career in law enforcement. “What makes me an ideal candidate (for fair king) is my involvement and success in my high school career. My experiences and helping hand has built me a good reputation among the people in my community. I¹m considered a role model by many.”
Megan Miller is the daughter of Michael and June Miller of Dunkirk and a senior at Hardin Northern High School. Her junior fair activities include being a member of the Blanchard Pleasant Buckeyes 4-H Club for seven years, serving a treasurer for two years and currently serving as president. She has won state awards for Food and Fitness and Sundresses and Jumpers, and Grill Master projects. She also received a best project award for Writing and Reporting for Teens. Megan has been a member of Junior Fair Board for two years, volunteered at the Consignment Sale and served on the Family Consumer Sciences and Front Gate committees. She also has been a member of Family Career and Community Leaders of America. Megan has been involved in many school activities throughout my past few years at Hardin Northern. Since freshman year, she has been a member of Student Council and Family, Career and Community Leaders of America. She was the freshman class senator, sophomore class representative, junior class senator, and senior class senator in Student Council, and I has been the secretary of FCCLA for two years. Megan has been a member of the volleyball team since freshman year, earning a varsity letter this past year as a junior. As a sophomore, she joined the track and field team and received the Most Improved Award. In addition, she became a member of the yearbook staff and joined Fellowship of Christian Athletes, and she continues to be very active in these organizations. This past year as a junior Megan tutored fellow classmates as part of PAWs Tutoring, She also became a part of the Big Brothers, Big Sisters program and was inducted into National Honor Society. She has been involved in the Hardin Northern Day of Service every year of high school, and this past year was on the prom planning committee.
In the community, Megan has been a member of Transfiguration of the Lord Catholic Parish for 17 years and has volunteered in teaching Vacation Bible School for the past 3 years. She is a member of the Hardin County Key Club. Through this organization, Megan has made and delivered blankets to area nursing homes, served a community meal at Table 1, and assisted at the Ada Kiwanis Pancake Breakfast. She also attended Buckeye Girls State this summer. Megan has maintained a job at two area nursing homes, Arlington Good Samaritan (1 year) and Birchaven (3 months as of September 1). After graduation, Megan plans to attend Xavier University majoring in accounting. After obtaining an accounting degree, she hopes to return to graduate school for a Masters of Business Administration. Her dream job following college is to work as an accountant for Procter & Gamble and move across the world through her job.
“I believe I am the ideal candidate for Hardin County Fair Queen because I understand the importance of the fair in our community and would strive to improve the Hardin County Fair as well as the activities related to it. I believe that the fair provides a positive hobby for students, opening many doors to positive recreational activities as well as possible future career opportunities. Because of this, I would make it a point to promote fair activities to young people of all ages. I would also greatly appreciate this title because I know I would work to be a great role model to young children involved in the fair. I would demonstrate that there are so many parts to the fair that the public may overlook. For example, in addition to the well established livestock programs, there are cooking projects, art exhibits, and so many activities for children such as the kids tractor pulls and the STEM workshop. I would show children that the fair can be fun and educational for everyone, not just those interested in animals, although those projects are very important as well. For these reasons, I believe I am the ideal candidate for Hardin County Fair Queen.”
Meredith Bischoff is the daughter of Jim and Joy Bischoff and a senior at Kenton High School. Her junior fair activities have included being a part of the Kenton OHP FFA Chapter and Jumbo Junior Farmers. She has been showing market goats for nine years, breeding goats for five years and showing market steers for seven years. Her previous non-livestock projects have included gun safety, archery, cake decorating, wood working and a project board. Meredith has received many awards at the fair with her livestock projects including grand champion commercial junior doe twice, reserve champion commercial junior doe twice and grand champion commercial senior doe once. She raises the goats for her Supervised Agricultural Experience. Meredith also had the honor of serving as the 2017 Hardin County Goat Queen. She is also in her second year serving on the Junior Fair Board. Meredith¹s school activities have included four years in the Kenton High School band, Kenton OHP FFA, KHS Robotics, Business Professionals of America, Key Club, KATS International and Quiz Bowl. Through band she is a member of the pep, concert and marching bands. She has been a first chair in band throughout high school. a section leader, and participated in the Bowling Green State University Honor Band. She received the Arion Award or outstanding achievement in band. Through FFA she has competed in soil judging, job interview, parliamentary procedure, veterinary science, milk quality, general livestock and agronomy. Meredith has been to many leadership trainings through FFA such as Washington Leadership Conference, Young Leaders Conference and Women LEAD. She is currently the vice president of the Kenton-OHP FFA. Her FFA awards include Greenhand Degree, Chapter Degree and State Degree. Other activities include Fellowship of Christian Athletes, swim team, gaming club, KHS Ambassadors and a member of the National Technical Honor Society.
In the community, Meredith was a member of the McGuffey Church of Christ for 13 years then moved to the Rushsylvania Church of Christ. She went on a mission trip to Belize in 2016 where they built a basketball court. While there, a hurricane hit, tearing the country apart. For the last few days of the trip, the mission team delivered meals and helped people clean up their yards. Meredith also volunteers at Hardin Memorial Hospital, helping in the ER and making sure the patients on the third floor have everything they need. In 4-H, they held an annual trash pick-up, helped ring the bells for the Salvation Army, collecting socks for Helping Hands and helping to set up the Lake of Lights Christmas display. After graduation, Meredith plans to go to a four-year university to major in zoology with a minor in music. She then plans to go to veterinary school with the hopes of becoming a large animal veterinarian with a specialization in exotic animals.
“I believe I am the ideal candidate for the Hardin County Fair Queen for many reasons. I am extremely hard working, outgoing and I’m a great leader. I plan to attend all fair events, help with whatever is needed, reach out to young members to make them feel comfortable and help them have a good fair experience. I am a very good role model and would be a great person to represent our fair. I hold myself to very high standards and I feel more than prepared to have that responsibility. My family raised me to love the fair and work hard with all my projects. I work hard all year and truly enjoy working with all my animals. The fair is like a second home to me and I love every part of it. It would truly be an honor to be chosen as the Hardin County Fair Queen and it is not an honor I will take lightly. I hold the qualities that are needed to make a good fair queen and I will work very hard to make sure everything is perfect.”
Garrett Thomas is the son of Brian and Becky Thomas and a senior at KentonHigh School. His junior fair activities have included being a seven-year member of Town and Country Creators 4-H Club, where he received four state awards, including two Outstanding of the Day, for tractor safety and ATV projects. He received multiple outstanding livestock interview awards. He has exhibited market hogs and earned showmanship and other awards. Garrett displayed FFA Supervised Agricultural Experience projects and earned 2018 Outstanding Grain Display award winner. During his two years on the Junior Fair Board, he has been 2019 vice president, served on the swine and horse committees and assisted with the dairy beef feeder show, and helped out in the concession stand at the consignment sale. Garrett¹s school activities have included FFA, where he earned the Greenhand, Chapter and State Degrees; served as chapter president two years and vice president; Star Greenhand, top sophomore and top junior; Ag Advisory, Ag Day and FFA Banquet committees; District CDEs in soil judging, parliamentary procedure, small engines and ag power diagnostics. In academics and extracurriculars, Garrett received Academic Letters for maintaining a GPA of 3.75 or higher for three years, member of National Honor Society, Ohio Hi-Point Technical Honor Society; served in marching, concert and pep band and as drum captain; three-year varsity letter in swimming, where he won the Booster Award and served as captain; two-year varsity letter winner in baseball; WBL Academic All-League Athlete and student aide for guidance office. In the community, Garrett was involved in FFA Ag Day for third graders, baseball youth camp counselor, Lake of Lights setup, helped the Hardin County Community Foundation move furniture, passed out luncheons to farmers at the elevator during harvest season, participated in trash pick-up in Dudley and Pleasant townships, Ohio State Fair pork pavilion volunteer, donated canned goods for WBL food drive. After graduation, Garrett plans to attend a four-year university to obtain a bachelor’s degree in ag engineering.
“Ever since I have been a kid I have wanted to be the Hardin County Fair King. I am the ideal candidate for the Hardin County Fair King because I am willing to do what others won’t. I am willing to do what’s right and not just what is easiest. This requires being a strong leader and having a strong work ethic. These are two traits that I pride myself in. My time with 4-H, FFA and Junior Fair Board have given me many opportunities to improve my leadership skills. Working on the family farm has given me a strong work ethic and a will not to quit when things get tough.”
“To be king you need to be the voice for all of Hardin County and I have those communication skills to be able to do that. I can talk to the current and future generations to make sure that I am a great ambassador for this county and the voice of our people. It would be my honor to be able to share all the great memories and represent one of the best senior and junior fair boards in the state. They make sure the fair exhibitors can show at their fullest potential as well as making the fair run smoothly by working many hours,” Garrett said. “Your hometown fair can never be replaced and I want to make sure that everyone looks forward to the week of the Hardin County Fair. Whether people come to the fair for the rides, exhibits or just to walk around and get some fair food they are all a vital part of keeping this fair alive and I would be honored to be able to continue to make this fair great.”
Kelsey Stanfield is the daughter of Scott and Diana Stanfield of Rushsylvania and a senior at Ridgemont High School. Her high school activities and awards include FFA in Mount Victory Champs and Ridgeway Junior Boosters, since 2010. She has had multiple “outstanding” ranked projects, a state qualified project in 2019 and a 4-H Camp counselor in 2019. Kelsey has been a member of FFA since 2016 and is the present secretary. She placed ninth in the National Science Fair this year and earned scholar awards the past three years. She won first place at the State Science Fair in 2018. During her two years on the Junior Fair Board, Kelsey has served on the poultry and rabbit committees, the announcement committee and Shop and Crop. Kelsey’s school activities have included National Honor Society, Quiz Bowl, class officer serving as president of the sophomore and junior class; pep, jazz, marching and concert band, and Ridgemont Golden Gopher Gatekeepers (Triple G) by carrying out a seasonal depression awareness campaign and Easter positivity promotion. In the community, she has served on the Hardin County Key Club and its current vice president. Service projects have included hanging handwritten, encouraging notes in school bathrooms and serving guests at Table One. After graduation, Kelsey plans to pursue a bachelor’s degree or higher with a double major in writing or English and communications, with a goal to pursue a career as a spokesperson.
Kelsey said she would make the ideal candidate for Hardin County Fair Queen because, “After participating in the fair through many outlets such as FFA, Junior Fair Board and 4-H, I have developed a strong dedication to the Hardin County Fair and the activities involved with it. Because of the opportunities of growth and leadership provided to me by the fair and groups and activities associated with the fair, I have become a well-rounded member of my community which better enables me to serve the fair and its purpose. I have actively participated in the fair from my first poultry show in September 2011 to the present as I prepare for the fair through Junior Fair Board and caring for my livestock. During my time in fair, I have placed in showmanship each year for poultry and have had the honor of serving as poultry queen throughout the preceding fair. These opportunities have allowed me to demonstrate that I am a leader and active within the fair. Last year, I hosted the poultry showmanship clinic to aid younger members with learning the skills required to do well in showmanship. I also aided with the crop and shop events, the announcing and arranging the rabbit show, and the carrying out the poultry show as well as helping with other tasks around the fair. I am an ideal candidate for Fair Queen because I have demonstrated initiative, leadership, participation, and achievement through the fair and other school and community activities and have shown true potential to be a fantastic role model for other fair participants and representative of the Hardin County Fair.”
Jackson Reppart is the son of J.T. and Tricia Reppart of Ridgeway and a senior at Ridgemont High School. His junior fair activities include submitting projects as part of Ridgemont FFA, such as a lamp, bird house and plasma cutting. As a member of Ridgemont Company R, Jackson has performed in the show choir showcase at the fair. He also is a member of the Ridgemont Marching Band which participates in the Hardin County Band Show. Jackson’s school activities center on Ridgemont FFA, where he said he has acquired knowledge, talent, leadership and communication skills. He has received the Greenhand and Chapter degrees, and the 2019 Leadership Award. He was a member of the Ohio State FFA Chorale and during the upcoming National FFA Convention, he will participate in the National FFA Chorus. Jackson is a member of Ridgemont Company R and helps lead the male section in vocals. He has participated in junior high and high school musicals annually at Ridgemont. He has been involved in Ridgemont Gatekeepers and has developed an understanding of what it takes to aid in students’ mental health. Jackson has been in the Ridgemont music program since fifth grade and participates in the marching, pep, concert and jazz band. He earned the Director¹s Award in 2016 and is the current band president. Jackson was inducted into the National Honor Society as a sophomore and is the group’s vice president. He also is a member of Ridgemont Quiz Bowl. His community activities include Food For America, Fuel Up to Play 60 Field Day, Ridgemont Princess and Superhero Family Fun Day, Ridgemont Talent Show, Empty Bowls and Encore!-Union County musicals.
After graduation, Jackson plans to attend Kent State University to pursue a career in music education, specializing in music composition. He plans to become a teacher. “As a well-rounded individual, I am the ideal candidate for the Hardin County Fair King,” Jackson said. “While I may not be involved in showing livestock, I represent the other components that make up the Hardin County Fair. The fair isn¹t only for exhibitors but also for the patrons. I am continuously at the fair whether it be performing, supporting my peers, or simply enjoying the home-made food from local stands. I believe that all of these factors make up the Hardin County Fair, the King and Queen, and everything they symbolize.”
Upper Scioto Valley
Kiley Nichoel Bailey is the daughter of Jason and Michelle Bailey of Belle Center and a senior at Upper Scioto Valley High School. In junior fair activities, Kiley said she has participated in 4-H since the age of 9, showing rabbits and chickens, and cattle including heifers, beef feeders and steers. Throughout these years, she also has taken woodworking, scrapbooking, fishing, cooking and photography. This year she is one of the 2019 Hardin County Beef Ambassadors and has traveled to several Ohio county fairs representing the beef industry while exchanging ideas on improving the beef industry and county fairs with other royalty. One of the highlights was attending the Ohio State Fair and learning how they did things at that level. In her junior fair career, Kiley said she has won Outstanding Beef Exhibitor, first place beginner showmanship, placed in the top 10 in the steer show and top ten in Born and Raised, Supreme Grand Champion Heifer. In her USV-OHP FFA career, Kiley has been secretary, reporter, and now president. While in FFA she has participated in soil judging, fruit sales, livestock judging, officer training an public speaking. She has earned the Star Farmer Award, Star Greenhand, beef proficiency and 110% Ag Credit Award. As a student of USV, Kiley has been able to participate in volleyball, drama, softball, cheerleading, tack, student council, FFA, knowledge bowl, good news club, Relay for Life and Business Professionals of America. With the student council she helped run the schools’ Relay for Life that helps raise money for cancer and helped with various activities with the elementary and middle school. Good News Club is an after school program for kids that I helped with. She also has participated in many FFA activities including Adopt a Family, which helps the local community for Christmas. In the community, Kiley said she has participated in several different volunteer activities through 4-H, FFA, school, and church. A few of the activities are trash pickup, fair cleanup, and setup, planting flowers at the fairgrounds, and more. Helping with the Veterans Food Pantry, Eagles Mother’s Day banquets, traffic patrol at the Allen County Fair, Good News Club, Christmas cards to nursing homes and adopt a family. She attends Crossroads of Lima for church and Sunday school and has helped with fundraisers for missionary trips, Bible schools, and participated in many activities.
After graduation, Kiley plans to attend Rhodes State to start her journey toward studies in social work. She would like to focus on child welfare and foster care.
“I would like to say what an honor it is to be the Upper Scioto Valley queen candidate. Many people are qualified, however, I feel that I am the best for the job. I believe that I possess the qualities that make a great Hardin County Fair Queen. ³One should be well rounded to be able to relate to others, in which I believe I am with my involvement in my community and school shows. I live on the family farm where I have learned more about agriculture than you can ever learn in a book. While living on the farm my grandparents, parents and uncles have instilled in me the importance and understanding of agriculture in our everyday lives,” Kiley said. “My family had me participating in the Hardin County Fair before I was in 4-H or FFA. The fair is way more than food, rides, and even taking projects. I believe that the fair has a greater purpose to help educate and involve the community in all aspects of agriculture. With my many different leadership roles and knowledge I feel that I possess all the right qualities to be queen. ³I have been striving to be queen ever since I was four years old, when my Uncle Alan High won Hardin County Fair King. I know that I have a lot to live up to in my family for they have done so much in their lives in agriculture but I will continue to do my best to make them proud along with my community. As the queen I will do my very best to represent my family, school and Hardin County throughout the state of Ohio.”
Evan Lyle is the son of Howard and Cristal Lyle of Alger and a senior at Upper Scioto Valley High School. In junior fair activities, Evan said he is in his 9th year of showing market swine. He has been on Junior Fair Board for two years and currently is secretary. He is a former member of the Jumbo Jr. Farmers 4-H Club where he won three state awards; two for electricity and one for tractor safety. Also, he has held the offices of president, vice president, and treasurer for the Jumbo Jr. Farmers. In school, he is a four-year member of the FFA where he has participated in creed speaking, soil judging, livestock judging, Adopt-A-Family, Envirothon and FFA State Band. He have recently received his FFA State Degree. He was reporter, president, and currently the Executive Vice President of Communication for his FFA chapter. Evan also is a six-year member of the Drama Club and have been nominated five times for TAB Awards. He is a four-year member of the Scioto Sound Show Choir, a four-year Marching Band member, six-year Pep Band member and a six-year member Concert Band member. He is a four-year member of the Student Council and the golf team. He also is a member of the National Honor Society. In the community, Evan is a member of the Alger First United Methodist Church and youth group. Through youth group he has volunteered in helping with Backpack Blessings, Vacation Bible School, Operation Christmas Shoeboxes, and yard clean up throughout the community. I have worked for Lyle Construction and was the student liaison for WKTN radio my freshman year of high school.
After graduation, he plans to attend a four-year college and major in history.
“I believe that I would be the ideal candidate for Hardin County Fair King because I am friendly, approachable, outgoing, hardworking, punctual and dedicated,” Evan said. “I believe that this would be a great opportunity for me to represent my school and my county.”
Gabrielle Weaver is the daughter of Dr. DeWayne and Melissa Weaver of. Kenton. She is a homeschool senior. For 8 years she has been involved in the Hardin County Jr. Fair through the Goshen Youth and Tailwaggers 4-H clubs. She has taken the Jr. fair dog project in obedience, showmanship and agility, the dairy beef feeder project, as well as the dairy heifer project. She was crowned the dairy beef queen for 2017 and 2018 and have also participated in the Jr. Fair 2018 Showman of Showman competition. Gabrielle’s extracurricular activities include dancing with Daughters of Hope Dance Ministry Team which includes performing and visiting at nursing homes and various banquets. She is a brown belt in Tae Kwon Do, and has taken private piano lessons.
In the community, she attends the First Baptist Church youth group and participates in community work days and mission trips with her church. She also has volunteered for numerous VBS programs where she is a member of the drama and teaching teams.
“I think the ideal candidate for the Hardin County Junior Fair Queen should really love and care about the fair and the impact it has on the participants. They should want to encourage younger members to join a 4-h club and help keep our fair going for future generations. The queen should be willing to go around and talk to people and represent the welcoming spirit of Hardin County. They should be a friendly and kind person to be the picture of Hardin county. I think what would make me a great queen is that I really care about our fair, I love the atmosphere of the community. I love how close and strong our community is, how we can pull together to put on this amazing fair and how so many participate in it somehow. Our community works so hard to put on our fair and it makes me proud of Hardin County and I would love to show my appreciation by being able to represent it as queen. I love how the fair is so supportive of the Jr. Fair participants.” Gabrielle continued, “The Hardin County Fair has had a big impact in my life. I have learned the meaning of showmanship and having a good attitude-win or lose, how you need to try your hardest no matter what. I’ve had the opportunity to help and encourage younger members throughout the fair with their projects. While I was dairy beef queen I have been able to visit multiple other fairs to help support the Hardin County dairy beef industry and to promote and get ideas to make the Hardin County Fair even better. It has been a blast getting to meet royalty from other fairs and getting to talk to the people. I’ve really enjoyed this experience and I think it would be tremendous to get to do that as the Hardin County Fair Queen.”
Joseph Scott “Scotty” Mathews is the son of Scott and Lee Ann Mathews of rural Kenton. He will graduate June 2020 from his family¹s homeschool which he has attended since kindergarten. His experiences at the Hardin County Fair include open class entries in the art department, woodworking department and exhibiting dairy beef feeders. He has been a 4-H member for six years as a member of the Lynn Valley Farmers. He has served as a volunteer for the Republicans, Heartbeat of Hardin County, and flood clean-up in Findlay. He is involved in the First Baptist Church by participating in dramas, helping serve funeral meals, Vacation Bible School, and special ministry projects. He has been on two mission trips, most recently having gone to Cameroon, Africa the summer of 2018. Scotty has worked as a clerk for the Appleseed IGA in Arlington, Aaron’s Landscaping, and baling for his family’s livestock and grain farm.
After graduation, Scotty plans on attending a four-year college majoring in government and economics. He hopes this will enable him to pursue his lifelong dream of becoming a public servant.