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Fairest contest moves to Wednesday

Mike Heine/The Week

(Published Aug. 27, 2007, 4:09 p.m.)



Six young women, including last year's Fair Royalty, make up this year's contingent of Fairest of the Fair candidates.

The contestants hail from as close to the fairground's park stage as Elkhorn to as far away as eastern Rock County.

"I think they're all remarkable girls," said reigning Fairest of the Fair Sheri Nelson. "I went to school with some of them and have known the others through the fair, showing projects or animals. I truly believe any one of these girls will be a wonderful asset to the Walworth County Fair."

The winner will take over for Nelson, who was later selected as State Fairest of the Fair.

The Fairest of the Fair contest is a day earlier this year. It will be held 5 p.m. Wednesday at the Park Stage.

Nikki Bares

Despite being 21, Bares hasn't left her 4-H activities behind. She's still volunteering, this year a clinician for the 4-H Drill Team.

Bares was a member of the Linn and Genoa City Flamethrowers 4-H clubs. She graduated from Williams Bay High School in 2005 and wants to be come an X-ray technician.

With the fair, Bares had projects in cats, horses, dairy, archery, food preservation, child development, animal science, photography and youth leadership.

Her passion is horses and she was reserve state grand champion for reinsmanship with her Welch mountain pony.

"I've grown up with this fair and, being in 4-H with all the youth leadership projects, it made me want to take another step forward and say, 'This is what I can do for this county fair,'" Bares said of her decision to try to become Fairest.

Amanda Guthrie

This Elkhorn Area High School graduate and Sugar Creek 4-H veteran is seeking the sash a second time.

Guthrie, 21, has outgrown her chances to be in FFA or 4-H, but still looks forward to the fair every summer.

She had shown poultry, beef, photography, sewing and more during her nine active years.

A senior at UW-Whitewater who plans to earn a degree in sociology this May, Guthrie said she'll be a teacher for a "big city" friend.

"I'll bring my college roommate with me now," she said. "She's had fun there with us last year. She's from Milwaukee."

Guthrie has Fairest of the Fair lineage on her side, too. Her cousin, Stacy Adams, was the 2004 Fairest of the Fair. Another cousin, Mindy Rice-Crayton once held the title for the Racine County Fair.

Magdalene Kniep

Kniep extended her FFA run as long as she could, singing with the state FFA Honors Choir up until her 21st birthday this summer.

She graduated from East Troy High School where she was in FFA for three years, participating as a reporter and on the Agriculture Communications Team.

"I love going to the fair," Kniep said. "It's just been in the back of my mind to (become Fairest). I've always had a lot of stuff on my plate. This year, Sheri (Nelson) just pushed me that little bit further to go ahead and try something new. I love new things and experiencing new things to do."

Kniep is in her third year at UW-Platteville, majoring in animal science. She wants to then go to UW-Madison to become a large animal veterinarian.

She's also been a three-year contestant for the fair's Country Idol contest.

Sarina Kyle

As an avid archer, Kyle has aimed and hit the bulls-eye countless times. She aims to be Fairest of the Fair for the first time.

Kyle, 20, of Elkhorn, was in the Springfield 4-H for five years, showing pigs, beef cattle and exhibiting photography and crocheted products. She was also involved in the leadership project.

Kyle has grown up on a family pig farm and enjoyed hanging out with her friends at the fair.

"I'm very personable and I also enjoy talking to people; talking about their experiences and stuff like that," she said. "I'm also very well organized where I know where I'm going and what I need to be doing without too much trouble."

Kyle, who wants to be an athletics trainer, is the Archery Club president at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities and is active at St. John's Lutheran Church in Elkhorn.

Betsy Walter

Walter is a fourth-generation fairgoer who wants to continue promoting the importance of agriculture when she graduates college.

Walter, 19, of Elkhorn, is seeking degrees in dairy science and agronomy from UW-Madison.

She has been a member of the Elkhorn Area High School FFA and the Lakeland and Springfield 4-H clubs a total of 11 years, showing beef and dairy cattle, flowers, houseplants, home environment products and competing in shooting sports.

She loves working with animals, gardening, hunting, fishing and farming. Walter currently works on her parents' dairy farm and has earned the Wisconsin FFA Degree because of it.

"I'm the fourth generation to be involved in this county fair," she said. "I've always looked up to the Fairest. They promote it and it's something I've wanted to do. I loved showing animals and exhibiting at the fair so I want to promote that."

Katrina Veltkamp

Don't let her Janesville address fool you.

This 22-year-old has had most, if not all of her fair experience in Walworth County. That makes the reigning Fair Royalty again eligible for the Fairest competition.

Veltkamp was a six-year member of the Harvesters 4-H Club and participated regularly with dog showing, dairy, poultry, sewing and clothing projects.

She currently is the secretary of the horse and pony board for the fair and teaches the beginner obedience classes for the 4-H dog project.

Being in 4-H was like having extra classes for this home-schooled young lady.

"The benefits of 4-H were there for me," she said. "I want to give back by keeping these projects going and keeping the kids involved and excited about it."

As Fair Royalty, Veltkamp spent much of her time at the fair last year promoting the events with Nelson.

Wednesday at the fair

Events Schedule

Marshal's Day

--- 9 a.m. Dog Obedience & Showmanship, Activity Center

--- 10 a.m. opening ceremony, Honorary Marshals-Main Gate

--- 10 a.m. Clydesdale & Belgian halter class, Draft Horse Arena

--- 10 a.m. class in the old schoolhouse, Park

--- 12 p.m. Nick's Kids Show, Barnyard Adventure Stage

--- 12 p.m. chain saw artist, Dave Watson, Kiddieland

--- 1 p.m. "Moonlight Madness" $20 wristband, Midway until 11 p.m.

--- 1 p.m. pig races, Kiddieland

--- 2 p.m. Nick's Kids Show, Barnyard Adventure Stage

--- 2:30 p.m. chain saw artist, Dave Watson, Kiddieland

--- 3 p.m. pig races, Kiddieland

--- 4 p.m. Nick's Kids Show, Barnyard Adventure Stage

--- 4:30 p.m. chain saw artist, Dave Watson, Kiddieland

--- 5 p.m. pig races, Kiddieland

--- 6 p.m. Nick's Kids Show, Barnyard Adventure Stage

--- 6:30 p.m. chain saw artist, Dave Watson, Kiddieland

Park Stage

--- 1 p.m., Ernest Collins

--- 5 p.m., (new date and time) Fairest of the Fair

--- 6 p.m., Country Idol Contest semi finals

--- 7 p.m., Mike Early's Country dance

Grandstand

--- 11:30 a.m., tractor/truck pulls

--- 6:30 p.m., American Legion/VFW flag ceremony

--- 7 p.m,. tractor/truck pulls

Judging Schedule

--- 7:30-8:30 a.m., wether weigh-in for live show, Sheep Barn

--- 8 a.m., Barrow show, Swine Barn

--- 9 a.m., field crops, garden, and fruit judging, Youth Building

--- 9-9:30 a.m., wether goat weigh-in, Sheep Barn

--- 9 a.m., dog show, Activity Center

--- 9 a.m., flowers and home grounds judging, Youth Building

--- 10 a.m., tanned pelt contest: Rabbit, Small Animal Barn

--- 12 p.m., swine showmanship (prior to Championship Drive), Swine Barn

--- 6:30 p.m., dairy showmanship, Activity Center

--- 7 p.m., lamb carcass contest results, Elkhorn Area High School

--- Open class: Antiques, Horticulture

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