GOSHEN — A 19-year-old Purdue University sophomore studying agriculture communication and entrepreneurship was named Miss Elkhart County in an event leading up to the Elkhart County 4-H Fair this weekend. 

Grace McCoy will represent the fair not only during the nine-day event that starts this Friday but at events in the community over the next 12 months, organizers said. 

McCoy, a 10-year-member of 4-H who was involved in Beef Club and 4-H Dairy Feeder Calf Club, will be an excellent ambassador for the fair, according to pageant co-director Mary Dale.

“She has a real passion for agriculture and the 4-H organization,” Dale said. “She interviewed very well.”

The interview portion of the pageant, featuring impromptu questions from a panel of judges, counted for 50 percent of the score, Dale said. 

McCoy is the daughter of Josh and Lana McCoy of Etna Green and a graduate of NorthWood High School. Her entry was sponsored by Schwartz Electric.

The competition at Fairfield Junior-Senior High School featured 38 contestants.

First runner-up was Grace Caffee, second runner-up was Morgan Alexander, third runner-up was Melody Goddard and fourth runner-up was Kara Pounds.

Beginning this year, the Elkhart County 4-H Fair Queen and Senior Queen are being crowned several days before the start of the fair at off-site venues. Organizers said the move will allow more flexibility for queen candidates as well as a temperature-controlled venue for those who are participating.

The 41st annual Senior Queen Pageant begins at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, July 16, at the Greencroft Jennings Auditorium, 1820 Greencroft Blvd., Goshen. This is a free event. 

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