The 2013 Wisconsin Fairest of the Fairs was selected Jan. 9 during the 90th Annual Wisconsin Association of Fairs Convention in Wisconsin Dells. A field of 40 contestants from county and district Fairs throughout Wisconsin participated in the competition, and in the end Steffani Koch, representing the Dodge County Fair took home the coveted Fairest of the Fairs crown.
The Wisconsin Fairest of the Fairs program was created to promote the variety of educational, agricultural, social, cultural and commercial opportunities available at Wisconsin's fairs. It is a position of responsibility to the citizens of Wisconsin and the winner must possess excellent speaking, writing and listening skills as well as organization, time management skills and a great passion for the people and places of Wisconsin.
Koch will serve as a spokesperson for the Wisconsin Association of Fairs, representing the 76 Wisconsin county and district fairs in 2013. Her one-year term begins immediately and responsibilities include traveling to various fairs throughout the state making appearances, working with media and traveling to fairs to promote the educational, social and economic importance of Wisconsin's Fair Industry.
In addition, she will serve as the official ambassador of the 2013 Wisconsin State Fair, Aug. 1-11.This includes greeting fairgoers and special guests, performing as master of ceremonies for several events during the Fair, participating in contests and media appearances.
Koch was selected as Fairest of the Fairs from a field of impressive young women, and replaces the 2012 Wisconsin Fairest of the Fairs, Richelle Kastenson of Racine County. The Fairest of the Fairs is chosen by a panel of three judges representing the fair, media/communications, and agriculture industries. This year's judges were Rae Nell Halbur, Ron Oleheiser and Terri Wilfert.
Koch is the daughter of Franklin and Debra Koch of Mayville and is a first-year veterinary medicine student at University of Wisconsin–Madison. She has an undergraduate degree in dairy science and chemistry from UW–River Falls. Koch has years of volunteer experience as well as leadership skills learned in various positions within her local 4-H and FFA organizations.
Bailey Quam, 22, representing the Lodi Agricultural Fair, was named first runner-up. She is the daughter of Terry and Ardel Quam of Lodi, and attends UW-Madison where she is a senior. Quam also works as a communications and marketing intern for UW Cooperative Extension.
Leah Christenson, 22, representing the Polk County Fair, was named second runner-up. She is the daughter of David and Connie Christenson of Amery and is a senior at the UW-River Falls majoring in agricultural business. Christenson is a past vice president of the Wisconsin Association of FFA.
Brianna Heubner, 20, representing the Juneau County Fair, was named third runner-up. She is the daughter of Paul and Diane Huebner of Mauston and is a junior at UW-Platteville.
Erika Soukup, 20, representing the Manitowoc County Fair, was named fourth runner-up. She is the daughter of Barry and Gwen Soukup of Reedsville and attends the UW-River Falls where she is a junior.
Source: Wisconsin State Fair