The Benton County Fair Queen will receive her crown at the 5 p.m. Thursday, June 28 ceremony. Both the date of the fair and the time of the ceremony are earlier than usual.

The following eight Benton County teenagers have signed up as Fair Queen Candidates, in biographical sketches submitted by the candidates themselves:

Machaela Ingalls

Machaela Ingalls is the daughter of Loren and Patricia Ingalls. She has two older brothers, Aaron and Tristan and also has a younger sister Emily. She lives outside of Van Horne and attends Benton Community. Machaela is 17 and will be a senior in the fall. After she graduates high school she plans on attending Iowa State and majoring in Animal Science. She will then work towards becoming a large animal Vet.

Machaela is actively involved in 4-H currently serving as her clubs Vice President and is on the Benton County Youth 4-H council. She is also involved in FFA currently serving as the Benton Community FFA chapters President. Throughout Machaela’s three years in FFA she has also served as Treasurer and Vice President and received many awards such as Star Greenhand her freshman year and Outstanding Sophomore her second year. She has participated in many Career Development Events with her favorite being individual Ag Sales where she received a Gold at Sub-Districts and a Silver at Districts. Through 4-H she also received the I Dare You! Award which recognizes leadership. Machaela has also received her academic letter for maintaining her grades over multiple semesters. She also participates in Choir, National Honor Society, Track and Field, and Basketball. Machaela received the honor of being selected by the Van Horne Legion Auxiliary to attend Girls State this summer to learn more about our government system.

She also loves to help anyone in any way she can. By volunteering her time at the Central Presbyterian Church, to being a volunteer track coach for third through eighth graders. Machaela also enjoys being a group leader for St. John’s Lutheran Church during their Vacation Bible School in the summer. Through 4-H she has been blessed with many opportunities to help the community. Such as collecting pop cans and donating the money to the Newhall First Responders.

Machaela loves to spend a lot of her time working with her rabbits, her Beef Heifer Penelope and her Dairy heifers in the summer getting them ready to show at the Benton County fair and the Iowa State Fair. Machaela’s favorite week of the year is the week of the Benton County Fair. She loves being able to showcase all of her handwork with her animals and spending time with friends. Many of her fondest memories are at the fair. Machaela is looking forward to this year’s fair and all of the excitement of the Queen Competition!

Piper LaGrange

Piper LaGrange of Amana is the daughter of Brice and Tricia LaGrange. She has two younger sisters, Trinity and Raynee. Piper attends Benton Community High School as the class of 2019. Following graduation she plans to attend college to major in history and political science then continue on to law school. She hopes to work as a criminal prosecutor in the future.

Piper has been active in the Florence Hawkeyes 4H club serving as the current president and has served as vice president in the past. She enjoys helping her community and its members. Piper is also a member of the 4H County Council and a youth representative for the 4H Foundation. She has volunteered for 4H Junior Camp. Last fall she was awarded the I Dare You Leadership Award through 4H. This award is given to 4H members with personal integrity and a motivation for leadership. Piper also currently works at Maurices, where she holds a part-time management position and has a passion for fashion. She loves helping her customers find their confidence through fashion. 

At school, Piper is active in color guard, winter guard, and speech. She has been a four year member of the Benton Community color guard and is currently a current section leader.  She is so passionate for guard that she was one of the members of the first Benton Community winter guard.  She also performed a state color guard solo the past winter.  In speech Piper performs in large group and individual speech, She consistently earns high ratings at all state events she competes in. Piper is dedicated to her academics and has lettered in band, speech, and academics.  She is also a recent inductee into the National Honor Society.

Piper is excited to be running for the Benton County Fair Queen.  She hopes to be a positive role model for members of the community.  The county fair is her favorite time of year.  She hopes to be able to share her enthusiasm for the county fair and agriculture with the community.

Katelyn Folkmann

My name is Katelyn Folkmann, the daughter of Dean and Julie Folkmann. We live on a hog/grain farm just east of Newhall that has been in the family for over 160 years. I am an only child and only grandchild on both sides of my family. I attended Benton Community high school and graduated at the end of May 2018. This fall I will be attending Cornell College in Mount Vernon planning to major in business finance with minors in Spanish and Theater. I am involved in 4-H, Senior youth, singing in the church choir, assist with vacation bible school and have helped out at many different community activities by working concessions for the various events. In addition to my school activities I have been a dancer for Joan Cooling Dance Center in Vinton for the past fourteen years. In addition to my normal dance classes, I have also been part of the Competition Dance team for 9 years. The dance team has competed at both state and national competitions. During my high school years, I was a member of the Benton Community Marching Band color guard and I played flute in the Concert Band and Woodwind Choirs. I also participated in Concert Choir, Women’s Choir, Madrigal Choir and a 4-year member of the high school show choirs. Three of the four years I was in Show choir I was in Celebration Company, the varsity show choir. I have been active in the theatre by being a part of four plays and three musicals. This past year, I helped student direct the spring play and found many benefits of leadership, helpfulness and preparedness. My senior year I decided to be a part of large group speech and received a division one at both regional and state competitions. I was inducted into the National Honor Society my junior year and became a member of the Thespians as well. I have received an Academic award for every semester of high school. In addition to academic achievements I also I have received a two Band letters, three Choir letters and a Choral Honor award.

Kaylee Sorum

My name is Kaylee Sorum. I’m 16 years old, and in 10th grade. My parents are, Kandy Ryan, and Paul Sorum. My mother was born, and raised in Shellsburg Iowa. My father was born, and raised in Waukon Iowa. I have an older sister, Kourtney Boddicker, she is married to, Chris Boddicker, with one child, and another child on the way. I am a proud aunt to their current daughter, Makayla, and look forward to having a nephew! I was born and raised in small town Vinton, Iowa.

I have worked at Tootsies, which is a food and ice cream shop, since I was 14. I also enjoy babysitting my niece. For hobbies I enjoy horseback riding with my dad and friends on our ranch in Decorah, camping with my moms and dad’s families, gator riding, and go cart riding and working with my cattle in Decorah and spending time with family.

I am currently involved in many activities, including the Vinton-Shellsburg FFA Chapter for the past two years, Polk 101 4-H for the past six years, High School Soccer for the past two years, and CRSA Club Soccer for the past year. Throughout the years I have been involved in many activities, including Clover Buds for two years, AYSO Club Soccer for five years, and F.C. United Club Soccer for two years, and Joan Cooling Dance Center for eleven years.

As a freshman, I was a member of the Honor Roll. I received many awards through FFA as a freshman. A few of them are, the Outstanding Freshman Award, Green hand Degree, and Chapter Farmer Degree. I also received my Varsity letter, through Soccer. As a sophomore, I’m a member of the Honor Roll. I will also be receiving a Varsity letter, through Soccer.

I am currently serving as the 2017-2018 Vinton-Shellsburg FFA Chapter Officer-At-Large. I enjoy being an officer for the FFA Chapter. I have learned many new leadership skills, and how to be more outgoing. Talking in front of people use to be one of my worst nightmares! I have learned to grow out of my shell, get involved, and have fun doing whatever I’m doing. Why be scared? Nothing last forever, I have learned that. I enjoy getting up and speaking in front of large groups now!

I am very involved in FFA, whether it be volunteering, competing or showing animals. I have went to two State Conventions for FFA, and one National Convention and District Convention. I am truly blessed and honored to be in such a good program, as well as 4-H. Last year I showed a cow-calf pair at the Benton County Fair, and Radar, and Annie, my two horses. I also showed Radar, and Annie at State Fair. I enjoy being out there, and meeting new people. Through these past two years of being more involved with agriculture, more than I have ever been, has been my greatest journey so far!

Next year I will be serving as the 2018-2019 Vinton-Shellsburg FFA Chapter Co-Reporter. I will continue to love agriculture as much as I do now. I look forward to seeing what my future has in store for me!

Kelsey Perry

My name is Kelsey Perry and I am 18 years old. I live in Urbana, Iowa and am hoping to graduate this spring from Center Point-Urbana High School. My parents are Le Anne and Craig Perry and I have four siblings; Cayla, Cody, Courtney, and Kara. Growing up I have always loved animals and have a deep passion for rescuing animals. I love my dogs and horses and have two guinea pigs and a rabbit that are as cute as can be. Some of my hobbies are playing soccer, kayaking, boating, riding horses, driving horses, and much more! One of the best things my parents have done for me was signing me up for 4-H when I was in fourth grade. At the time I had some experience and background with it but at that age I didn’t really know what it was all about. I have learned so much through 4-H and have made lifelong friends being a part of it. Through the years I have had the opportunity to be Secretary, Historian, Vice President, President, Benton County Council member, and County Council representative for the Council committee just to name a few. While in high school I have had the opportunity to take college classes for free. I am incredibly thankful for this and plan on continuing my classes to get my associates degree at Kirkwood for business within the next year or year and a half. I then plan on transferring to University of Northern Iowa, Iowa State University, or an out-of-state college to compete in college rodeo. After school I would love to travel to Australia and other countries to learn more about other cultures and different ways of life. My biggest goal in life is to go to the National Finals Rodeo and become the World’s champion barrel racer. I have so many future plans that seem so out of reach but the best and only thing I can do is to never give up and that’s exactly what I plan on doing.

Olivia Sash

My name is Olivia Sash and I am a junior at Union High School located in LaPorte City, Iowa. My family includes my two sisters, Payton and Rylee, my parents, Kevin and MaryJo, and my animals. When I graduate from Union High School in 2019, I plan on going to a four year university with a major in business.

    In school, I keep myself busy with the many activities that I am involved in such as, dance team (6 years), silver cord (6 years), color guard (3 years), jazz band (3 years), group and individual speech (3 years), fall play (3 years), spring musical (3 years), Future Problem Solvers (1 year), Mentors in Violence Prevention (1 year), National Honor Society (1 year), FFA (3 years), and golf (2 years). Out of school, I am an active member of the Bruce Boosters 4H club and a member of the Benton County Council.

    Through 4H and FFA, I have shown boer goats at both the county and state level. I work hard with my animals to ensure that they not only look the best, but act well around others. I do this to make the fairs safer for people to enjoy, and lessen the worry about animals getting loose.

    I was inducted into my high school’s National Honor Society because of my high grade point average, and my involvement in community service and extracurricular activities in school. Because I am so heavily involved in extracurricular activities, I know how to plan out my schedule and manage my time wisely.

Shelby Karr

My name is Shelby Karr. I am the daughter of Mike and Chris Karr. I have one younger sister Ellie. I live on a farm outside of Newhall and I attended Benton Community High School where I graduated this past May. I plan on attending Iowa State University this fall hoping to obtain a degree in Agricultural Education with a Communications option. During my time at Iowa State I plan on getting involved in many clubs and possibly a sorority. I am very excited to attend one of the top Ag schools in the country!

I am involved in many activities and have had numerous leadership roles in and out of high school. I am a member of Eldorado Young Master Farmers 4H club and have been a very active member for 9 years. I exhibit sheep, dairy cows, and photography. The past couple years I decided to go out of my comfort zone and show pigs and meat goats. It is very important to me to always try new things and challenge myself to try something new. I believe we cannot learn anything or gain any new skills unless we try new things. I have served as my clubs secretary for three consecutive years and I am currently the president. I have received many awards through 4H including Grand Champion Market Lamb at the Iowa State Fair, secretary’s book award, outstanding senior, intermediate, and junior, sheep award, and Citizenship award.

I was an active member in my schools FFA Chapter all four years. I have been on the officer team for the past two years; serving as reporter and sentinel. My leadership and service skills have grown tremendously throughout my time in FFA. I have participated in many conferences and community service events. Some of them include adopt a highway, Meals For The Heartland, Celebration of Ag, 360 Leadership Conference, Washington Leadership Conference, National Convention, and more. Giving back to my community is something that has always been important to me, so I always try to get involved in any community service events that I can. I have received numerous awards through FFA including my Iowa Degree, Leadership Award, Scholarship Award, 2nd in state with my sheep proficiency, and much more.

For three years I have been a member of Benton County Council Youth Committee. This committee organizes events that happen throughout the county and help run the county fair. I have been a member of marching band and concert band all four years of high school playing the flute and piccolo. This past year I was selected to be an assistant section leader for the flutes. In order to be a section leader one must demonstrate leadership, musicianship, and be a positive role model. As assistant section leader I worked alongside of the head section leader to help make new members feel welcomed and help with music memorization.

I have also been a member of National Honors Society, concert choir, and was a cross country manager. Despite being involved in all of these clubs, I have been able to receive academic awards twice annually, at my school, for three consecutive years.

I believe all of these leadership roles and opportunities I was given throughout my high school career are what shaped me into the person I am today. I am now more confident in my abilities to be a leader and I know I can be a positive role model for the people of Benton County. I hope I can make a difference or impact someone’s life like so many people throughout my lifetime have done to me. I hope to make the most out of my last couple months in 4H. I am very excited for the fair and I look forward to be part of this year’s queen competition!

Madeline Moen

My name is Madeline Moen, my parents are Erick and Leslie Moen. I am the oldest of four kids. I have two younger brothers named Sam and Gunnar and I also have a younger sister named Eleanor. My family lives on an acreage just outside of Vinton where we raise small herd of boer goats and handful of dogs. I graduated from Vinton-Shellsburg High School in May of 2018. Following my graduation from High School I will then be attending Iowa State University in the fall of 2018 majoring in Animal Science. Throughout my high school career I have participated in several different school and community activities such as the Bruce Boosters 4H Club, My high school FFA chapter where I served as the 2017-18 Treasurer, National Honor Society, and soccer. My active participation in these activities and good scholastic record has a led to me receiving numerous awards such as the Academic Achievement Award, the Chapter Leadership Awards, the Outstanding Junior Award within my FFA Chapter, and a proficiency award in goat production. Through FFA I’ve been able to earn my Green hand, Chapter, and Iowa Degrees. I was also voted a team captain for my junior and senior seasons. I’ve been lucky enough to maintain a job at the Vinton-Urbana Veterinary Hospital for a little over 2 years now. My employment there has really given me the hands on experiences and real life view into the job of a veterinarian, a career I one-day hope to enter into in the future.