GOSHEN — Ten-year 4-Her Sierra Walter is this year’s Elkhart County 4-H Fair Queen.
The 2013 Fairfield High School graduate was named the 2013 queen at the annual contest at the fairgrounds’ grandstands Friday evening, July 19.
Walter has been deeply involved in the fair and has spent several years in beef, goat, saddle and Jacksonian 4-H clubs. She joked after winning the crown that she would have to spend the rest of her evening doing chores. She currently has a beef steer and heifer and several goats on the fairgrounds, with two horses arriving Sunday.
Walter said being named fair queen shows that a person can face challenges but still accomplish a lot.
For Walter, that challenge has been cystic fibrosis, a disease she has had since birth. Walter has regularly raised money for organizations researching a cure, including donating a quarter of what she receives for her goats and beef animals at the annual fair livestock auction.
She’s done well in the show ring with her animals, but said Friday night that “this is the greatest accomplishment I could have achieved here.”
For the rest of the fair, Walter will spend much of her time with 2013 Elkhart County 4-H Fair Senior Queen Fancheon Resler speaking at fair events and greeting fairgoers.
Walter is the daughter of Jim and Kandy Walter. She plans to attend Ivy Tech in Warsaw this fall with plans to become a paralegal and eventually a lawyer.
First runner-up in the 2013 Elkhart County 4-H Fair Queen Contest was Taylor Poling. Second runner-up was Morgan Kerrn. Third runner-up was Sarah Kezar. Fourth runner-up was Marissa Lorenz. The title of Miss Congeniality, which is voted on by the 50 contestants, went to Allie Herkenroder.
2012 Elkhart County 4-H Fair Queen Stephanie Yoder said Thursday that she wanted to encourage the new queen to “do everything you can to give back to your community and it will change who you are.”
Ending her reign is “bittersweet,” Yoder said. “I’m excited for another girl to experience the fair in a different way that not a lot of people get to see.”