Gloria Kesler, representing the Calumet County Fair, is the 2016 Wisconsin Fairest of the Fairs. She was selected Jan. 13 at the 93rd annual Wisconsin Association of Fairs Convention in Wisconsin Dells.
A field of 38 talented contestants from county and district fairs throughout Wisconsin participated in the competition. The Wisconsin Fairest of the Fairs program was designed to select an ambassador for the Wisconsin Association of Fairs, which represents all 76 Wisconsin county, district and state fairs. This year marked the 50th crowning of the Wisconsin Fairest of the Fairs, and 30 of the 49 former winners attended and were honored at this year's banquet.
Kesler's responsibilities include making appearances at fairs throughout the state, working with media and promoting the educational, social and economic importance of Wisconsin's fair and agriculture industries.
In addition, she will serve as an ambassador of the 2016 Wisconsin State Fair Aug. 4-14. This includes greeting fairgoers and special guests, performing as master of ceremonies for several events during the fair, participating in various contests and representing the fair during select media appearances.
Kesler was selected from a field of incredibly talented young women, and replaces the 2015 Wisconsin Fairest of the Fairs, Deanna Schlies of Brown County. The Fairest of the Fairs is chosen by a panel of three judges representing the fair, communications and agriculture industries. This year's judges were Bob Meyer, Stacie Crystal and Gail Zastrow.
The 20 year old is the daughter of Robert and Lucy Kesler of Menasha and is a junior at University of Wisconsin - Platteville majoring in agriculture education with a minor in public relations. She is involved in the university's Pioneer Farm where she assists the Wisconsin Beef Improvement Association with livestock, training beef cattle for show, data collection and more. She also works on her family farm. In her free time, she stays involved in her community through her church, 4-H activities and teaching youth about photography and public speaking. She also won the Miss Congeniality award, which is voted on by the contestants.
*Sydney Endres, 21, representing the Lodi Agricultural Fair, was named first runner-up. She is the daughter of David and Patty Endres of Lodi. She is a junior at UW-Madison where she is double majoring in dairy science and life sciences communication.
*Emily Watson 23, representing the Walworth County Fair, was named second runner-up. She is the daughter of Nathan and Diane Watson of Elkhorn and is a junior at Gateway Technical College. She plans to become an agriculture teacher.
*Jenna Franseen, 23, representing the Racine County Fair, was named third runner-up. She is the daughter of David and Julie Franseen of Racine. She is double majoring in marketing and international business at UW-Madison.
*Emma Wagner, 19, representing the Marquette County Fair, was named fourth runner-up. She is the daughter of Clark and Pat Wagner of Montello. She is pursuing a degree in life sciences communication at UW-Madison.
Source: Wisconsin State Fair