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Emma Ruether, 2019’s Lincoln County Fair Queen, shows off livestock at the fair Wednesday night. Photo by Kara Jeffers


Emma Ruether was crowned the 2019 Fair Queen on July 6 in a packed Bonfils Auditorium, after sweeping the competition, winning not only the Fair Queen title, but also Miss Photogenic, Best Resume, Best Interview, Best Speech and Best Evening Gown.

This year’s pageant only saw six contestants, compared to last years 13 contestants.

The contestants were Victoria Edwards, Daphne Marsten, Halle Mueller, Emma Niederer, Emma Ruether and Caitlyn Twellman.

The contestants were judged on a resume they prepared, on interviews, on either a speech or a talent, on an evening gown presentation and then the final four contestants were judged on the answer of a question such as “What does the fair mean to you?” or “Why is the fair important?”

The judges were Maria Calvert of Leopold, Cassidy Kilpack of Warrenton, Jaelyn Peckman of Columbia and Ashlee Wadell of Hannibal, and the master of ceremonies on the evening was Sydney Kreuger, 2017 Fair Queen. After an opening dance involving all the contestants and the 2018 Fair Queen, Chloe Momphard, the pageant started out with the talent/speech portion of the competition. Contestants had already been judged on their resumes and had been officially interviewed earlier that day.

The first contestant was Ruether, who gave a speech entitled “When I Grow Up,” which detailed what being a part of FFA has meant to her and how her involvement has led to her decision about her future.

Second was Victoria Edwards who performed a dance called “Tori’s Hawaiian Adventure.”

Third to take the stage was Niederer, who gave a speech called “When You Give Emma an FFA Jacket,” describing how FFA opened her up to the world.

Marsten followed and performed “Can’t Help Falling in Love” by Elvis on her flute.

Fifth to perform was Mueller, who sang and played the saxophone to “Thank God I’m a Country Girl.”

Going last was Twellman with a speech titled “Footsteps Across Missouri,” about the importance and diversity of agriculture in Missouri.

The judges totaled up their scores after the talent/speech and the evening gown competitions and leveled the field down to a final four contestants: Marsten, Mueller, Ruether and Twellman.

After the four contestants had their chances to wow the judges one last time with their answers to a final question, the judges finished tabulating their scores and made their final decisions.

It was then time for last years queen, Momphard, to take her final walk as Lincoln County Fair Queen and pass the crown to her successor. 

The walk was filled with emotion as Momphard held back tears, which made it clear how much being the Fair Queen had meant to her over the past year.

Prizes for Miss Photogenic, Best Resume, Best Interview, Best Evening Gown, Best Speech and Best Talent were then awarded.

Ruether swept the competition winning Miss Photogenic, Best Resume, Best Interview, Best Speech and Best Evening Gown: pretty much everything except for Best Talent, which Mueller won.

Then it was time to name Miss Congeniality, Second Runner-up, First Runner-up and the Fair Queen.

Mueller was the winner of both Miss Congeniality and First Runner-up.

Twellman won Second Runner-up and the 2019 Fair Queen honor was awarded to Ruether.

And for Ruether, being crowned 2019 Fair Queen isn’t just getting a title and a crown. This is something that she has dreamed of becoming since she was a child. 

She looked up to past Fair Queens as role models and women in the community that stand for something good.

“This means a lot to me because ever since I was a young girl, I always came to these queen pageants and saw the Fair Queen around the Lincoln County Fair and I always wanted to be just like them,” Ruether said. “This was kind of just my dream.”

Ruether said that she is very excited about the fair this week, not only because she gets to attend as the newly crowned Fair Queen, but also because she gets to take part in some of the events.

“This week, I also get to take part in the livestock shows and the livestock auction as an exhibitor,” Ruether said. She also said she is looking forward to interacting with the little kids at the kiddie games.

Ruether’s speech was all about how her stint in FFA helped her understand what she wanted to do in life, or as the speech’s title suggested, when she grew up. 

And her next step in life is one in the right direction.

“I am going to St. Charles Community College to use my A+ Scholarship and I am going to major in nursing,” Ruether said. Along with the A+ scholarship, Ruether was awarded several hundred dollars from the Fair Queen Pageant competitions she won.

Her motivation to enter the field of nursing? Family and a love of people. 

Ruether plans on focusing on labor and delivery.

“My aunt and my grandma are both nurses and I wanted to be just like them,” Ruether said, adding, “And I am in love with babies.” 

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