For Katy Ward, the Benton County Fair began on Wednesday with her pedal tractor project being chosen as one of the State Fair projects, and ended on Sunday, when she was named among the many honorees in the Parade of Champions, after winning one of the top honors in the Horse Show.
The highlight of her week, however, came on Thursday when Katy, a 2017 Belle Plaine graduate, was crowned the Benton County Fair Queen. She and Princess Macy Arbuckle spent the rest of the week at a variety of Fair shows and events, handing trophies to the winner. Katy will soon begin preparing for the State Fair Queen contest.
Katy said the pedal tractor project included fixing a broken frame — something she was told was would be very difficult to accomplish. She told the story of the tractor in a book that accompanied the project, which she will take to Des Moines for the State Fair next month. Along with her college plans, Katy says her next project will be to work with her grandfather on restoring a full-size tractor.
See photos of the Queen Coronation HERE.
Read more about Katy, in her own words, below:
My name is Katy Ward. I am the daughter of Jon and Diana Ward and I have four younger siblings that show at the fair with me. I live on small acreage a mile off Highway 30 outside of Elberon and I attended Belle Plaine Community High School where I graduated this past May. I plan on attending Kirkwood Community College in the fall to obtain my Agriculture Business and Agriculture Production degrees. I hope to earn my degrees at the end of three years along with a coaching license. While at Kirkwood I plan on joining the Ag business club and working on the student run farm. I am extremely excited to join one of the best Ag programs in the nation. I have had many leadership roles in and out of high school over my high school career. I have been a leader in sports, FFA, and the Win With Wellness team at my school.
My leadership skills in FFA started at the end of my freshmen year when I applied to be on the officer team and became the Officer at Large. This officer position required me to know all the other officer positions and be ready to fill in any one of them at any point I needed to. I helped write articles to send to the newspaper, took pictures at different group events and helped organize different events like AG Olympic and a Meals from the Heartland Food Packaging. Since my role as Officer at Large, I have been the Vice President and President of Belle Plaine FFA. Both the Vice President and President roles have taught me a little bit more about being a leader. I have been to countless leadership conferences and camps over my four years in FFA including 3 years of Chapter Officer Leadership Training meeting with several other chapter officers in the region.
I am also very strong leader in sports as well as FFA. I was the captain of the JV volleyball team for my freshmen, sophomore, and junior years and captain of the varsity team my senior year. I was also the captain of the varsity basketball team my senior year. Although I wasn’t a captain my junior year, I was one of the strong leaders on the varsity softball team that, for the first time in school history, made it the state softball tournament and placed 6th in 1A class.
The newest things I have been involved in my junior and senior year of high school are student council and Win With Wellness leadership teams both of which encourage the student body to become leaders in their own lives and in the community.
This past November I presented the Daughter of the American Revolution award at the Veterans Day assembly. At the senior awards night I was presented the U.S. Army Reserve National Scholar/Athlete Award. I was also recognized by several sports awards for utility, team spirit and hard working in all three of my varsity sports.
Outside of school I am also the President of the local 4H Club and I am a member on the County Council youth committee that organizes different county wide event sand help run shows at the county fair. Not only am I a member of the committee, I am the committee spokesperson that gets to sit in on and vote in Friends of 4H and the 4H foundation meetings all of which lead back to helping 4H members in Benton County grow.
All of the different leadership roles I have been given over my high school career have shaped me into the leader I am today. I think I am a leader that leaders by example. I feel someone who leads by example is the strongest kind of leader because they aren’t standing on top of a pedestal telling people what to do. They are standing on the ground doing what needs to be done. This shows people that yo practive what you preach.
I want to focus most of my time on my studies, but any extra time I have I hope to join a high school basketball coaching staff and help coach young people. I feel sports are a very important influence on students’ lives. To me sports teach kids basic skills they will use their whole lives from leadership and teamwork to mental strength and appreciating everything you have. I hope to one day I will be able to help positively influence kids’ lives and make a difference in their lives like so many people have done for me.