Machaela Cobler, Osgood, Ind., is only 15, but she’s an accomplished rider and active 4-H member in Ripley County, and she carries a title from a unique program. It’s called America’s Miss Agribusiness pageant and scholarship program.
Indiana Prairie Farmer shares an exclusive interview with Cobler:
Tell us a bit about yourself. I’m 15, attending Jac-Cen-Del High School as a sophomore. My family farms 400 acres near Osgood. My dad, Chad, manages a pig unit for Ag Production in Greensburg. My mom, Kelli, is a veterinarian. My brother, Logan, just started as a freshman at Purdue University.
I have three horses, three dogs, two cats and one sow. I’ve been showing horses for nine years. I show local and nationally; I have been to four world shows, where I’ve placed Top 5 and Top 10. I’m a seven-year member in 4-H. I show horses and swine, with photography and scrapbooking as projects. I’m also active in my FFA group. In May, I received the title National Junior America’s Miss Agribusiness at the national pageant in Alabama.
How did you learn about this pageant? I first learned about it from my friend Izabella Bear. She was telling me about this pageant for girls involved in agriculture. I thought this was a good way to get out of my comfort zone and meet new people who love agriculture just like me. I went to the website, americasmissagribusiness.com, and looked at how the Indiana pageant would go and what I needed to do to compete.
How does the pageant work? America’s Miss Agribusiness asks every girl going to their state or to the national pageant to have at least one sponsor. When I went to the Indiana pageant, I had three sponsors. When I went to the national pageant, I had 13 sponsors. The title of Cover Miss is awarded to the contestant who brings in the most sponsorships. I was awarded Cover Miss at the Indiana pageant.
The purpose of America’s Miss Agribusiness is to promote agriculture, provide scholarships and have food drives to provide for local food banks. This is the first year of America’s Miss Agribusiness. There were about 20 competitors at the national pageant.
Can you relate experiences that show what you learned? I had multiple opportunities to improve my speaking skills. These include going to businesses asking for sponsorships, doing interviews with judges, talking to multiple clubs and saying a 60-second introduction for the pageant onstage. Now I’m able to talk on the radio and present information about Miss Agribusiness with confidence.
How will this program benefit you in the future? This pageant will help me in the future because I will have more confidence when I do interviews. Scholarships will help me with college costs. I have also had the opportunity to meet girls from across the country with similar interests but different experiences. Many of the older girls are in college studying agribusiness.
What are your future goals? My future goals include successfully competing at Quarter Horse Congress with my horse, She Willy Likes It. I would like to attend college and get a job in the medical field, possibly in therapy or radiology.
ACCOMPLISHED RIDER: Machaela Cobler shows her horses in various competitions, including 4-H shows. She participated in the first America’s Miss Agribusiness pageant.
How can others learn more about the America’s Miss Agribusiness program? Go to their website, americasmissagribusiness.com; their Facebook page, America’s Miss Agribusiness; or go to my Facebook page, National Junior Miss America’s Miss Agribusiness. If you follow my page you can see what I am up to this year to spread the word about how agriculture enhances the world of the youth involved.
This pageant is open to all ages, and anyone with a love of agriculture is welcome. You can show horses, cows, swine or even llamas! Some girls rodeo and others are growing up on a farm. Agriculture has many aspects, and every interest is encouraged. I would love to see people sign up to compete at the Indiana Miss Agribusiness pageant in November.
Editor’s note: There is a fee to enter pageants. Details about the company producing the America’s Miss Agribusiness pageant can be found by perusing the website.