August 25, 2017
Natalie Ayers from Green City, Mo., is the 2017 Missouri State Fair queen.
"When I was 4 years old, I started watching the Missouri State Fair Queen Pageant and I knew someday I wanted to be the Missouri State Fair queen," Ayers says. "As a livestock exhibitor and longtime fairgoer, I am looking forward to serving as an ambassador for the Missouri State Fair during the fair and in the coming year."
Ayers received the highest score of 49 contestants vying for the title in the two-day competition, held in the Mathewson Exhibition Center. Ayers will reign over the remaining state fair events and be an ambassador for the state fair and Missouri agriculture throughout the coming year.
She is 19 years old and studies science and agricultural journalism at the University of Missouri. As queen, she will receive a $2,000 scholarship to continue her education. She entered the pageant as Miss Sullivan County and is the daughter of Rick and Jonna Ayers.
A member of the Green City FFA Chapter, she represented Area III last year as a state officer for the Missouri FFA Association. She is a College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources (CAFNR) ambassador and a member of Sigma Alpha at the University of Missouri. She has been chosen for the Litton Leadership Scholars Program for the upcoming year.
Participants in the queen pageant were judged in multiple areas including interview, speech, talent and evening gown.
Emma Leamer was named first runner-up and will receive a $1,000 scholarship. Second-runner-up went to Jessica Hoelting, who will receive a $500 scholarship. The third-runner-up honor went to Rebecca Helton, who will receive a $350 scholarship. The fourth-runner-up honor went to Stephanie Schumacher, who will receive a $250 scholarship.
Recognition plaques went to contestants ranking highest in each of the four competitive categories: Ayers received top ranking in interview and speech; Leamer received top ranking in evening gown; and Brittany Burns received top ranking in talent.
Source: Missouri State Fair
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