Isabella Haen, representing the Kewaunee County Fair, was selected as the 2018 Wisconsin Fairest of the Fairs on Jan. 10 at the annual Wisconsin Association of Fairs Convention in Wisconsin Dells. A field of 36 contestants from county and district fairs throughout Wisconsin participated in the competition.
The Wisconsin Fairest of the Fairs program was created 52 years ago to select an ambassador for the Wisconsin Association of Fairs, which represents all 76 Wisconsin county, district and state fairs.
Each year, the Wisconsin Fairest of the Fairs travels throughout the state promoting the educational, agricultural, social, cultural and commercial opportunities available at Wisconsin’s great fairs. It is considered a position of responsibility to the residents of Wisconsin, and the winner must possess excellent communication skills as well as organizational skills, professionalism and a passion for Wisconsin’s fair industry.
Haen will serve a one-year term, and her responsibilities include making appearances at fairs and events throughout the state, working with media, and promoting the importance of Wisconsin’s fair and agricultural industries.
In addition, Haen will serve as an ambassador of the 2018 Wisconsin State Fair, Aug. 2-12. This includes greeting fairgoers and special guests, performing as the master of ceremonies for several events during the state fair, participating in various contests and representing the state fair during select media appearances.
The daughter of Matt Haen and Coleen Blizel of Casco, Haen is a recent graduate of Fox Valley Technical College, where she earned a degree in agriculture business and science technology. She currently works as a herdsperson at Kinnard Farms Inc., where she is responsible for the well-being of 7,200 dairy animals.
“We look forward to welcoming the Fairest of the Fairs to the Wisconsin State Fair staff each year,” says Kathleen O’Leary, CEO of Wisconsin State Fair Park. “Isabella has proven she will be an excellent ambassador for Wisconsin’s fair industry, including state fair.”
Ashley Miller, 21, representing the Sheboygan County Fair, was named first runner-up. She is the daughter of Terrence and Kelly Miller of Sheboygan and is a currently studying early childhood and special education at the University of Wisconsin- Oshkosh.
Madison Stronach, 21, representing the Walworth County Fair, was named second runner-up. She is the daughter of David and Stephanni Stronach of Darien and a junior at UW-Madison, pursuing a degree in community and nonprofit leadership.
Michelle Knapp, 21, representing the Kenosha County Fair, was named third runner-up. She is the daughter of Michael and Colleen Knapp of Pleasant Prairie and a senior at Carthage College, pursuing a degree in criminal justice.
Kaitlin Konder, 20, representing the St. Croix County Fair, was named fourth runner-up. She is the daughter of Kraig and Maureen Konder of Glenwood City and a junior at UW-River Falls, studying agriculture business.
Julia Nunes, 20, representing the Northern Wisconsin State Fair, received the Tim Heffernon Congeniality Award. She is the daughter of Matthew and Amanda Nunes of Chippewa Falls and is pursuing a degree in animal science and agriculture communication at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities.
Haen replaces the 2017 Wisconsin Fairest of the Fairs, Rebecca Starkenburg from the Lodi Agricultural Fair.
Source: Wisconsin State Fair