SIDNEY — New royalty were crowned Sunday during the opening day at the Shelby County Fair.
Jarrett Yinger, 16, and Grace Homan, 16, were crowned the 2017 Shelby County Fair king and queen Sunday night, to enthusiastic applause. There were seven queen candidates and three king candidates this year.
Homan, daughter of Fred and Billie Homan, of Botkins, will be a junior at Botkins High School this fall and shows sheep as a member of the Botkins 4-H Club and FFA.
“I think it’s really cool, because it’s a good way to represent the fair and I want to give back because 4-H has given me a lot of opportunities,” she said after the ceremony. “I’m on Junior Fair board and this, so I will be very busy this week with my own lamb project and cattle projects.”
Yinger, son of Jake and Breezy Yinger, of Jackson Center, will be a junior at Jackson Center High School this fall and is a member of Jackson Center FFA.
“When it comes down to it, it all depends on you,” he said during his speech. “When you first start 4-H and FFA, you don’t know what you’re getting into, but as you go, you get more stuff to put in your bag, such as friends and family, a good work ethic, responsibility.”
He attributed his success and work-ethic to his time in 4-H and FFA.
Homan shared his sentiments, saying that her favorite memories of 4-H were not of presenting at the fair, but the lessons learned from the hard work leading up to it.
“Some of you may not know, but I’m not the luckiest when it comes to my market lamb projects,” she said, before launching into the story of how her lambs have fallen sick or injured just before fair by no fault of her own, but also how last year she won reserve grand champion for her lamb project.
“Through all of those difficult moments, I could have just given up,” she said. “When I think about what the 4-H clover means to me, most people would assume I would think about what I won. Instead, I think about all the good 4-H instills in a person. I think about all that I’ve gained from 4-H. Most people think you just gain that banner, but you gain so much more.”
The judges, Scott Barr of United Way, Amy Breinich of Sidney Alive, Annette Purkey of Farm Service Agency and Ed Thomas of the YMCA, deliberated for over half an hour when deciding who would win the crown. During this time, the master and mistress of ceremonies, 2016 Fair Queen Claire Spicer and 2016 Fair King Mark Seifring entertained the crowd by bringing the contestants and camp counselors to the stage, where they performed camp songs.
Homan has been a member of Botkins Livestock 4-H for eight years, a member of FFA for three years, is part of Junior Fair Board, competes in track and field, basketball and soccer, and has earned awards for her 4.0 GPA.
Yinger was a member of Jackson Center 4-H for five years and has brought photography and market hog projects, before he started showing his market hogs through Jackson Center FFA in 2015. Yinger also participates in basketball, track, show choir and choir.
Evan Burden, 16, of Sidney, and Emily Bohman, 17, of Russia, were named first runner up. Second runner up winners were Morgan Ely, 16, of Sidney, and Bryce Metz, 16, of Botkins. Metz and Allie Voisard, 17, of Houston, were named Mr. and Miss Congeniality by their fellow candidates.
Also competing were Christina Gaerke, 18, daughter of Jason and Judie Gaerke, of Russia; Allison Roush, 16, daughter of Karen and Darrin Ike, of Sidney; Morgan Ely, 16, daughter of Mike and Dawn Ely, of Sidney; Allie Voisard, 17, daughter of Luke and Kim Voisard, of Houston; Emily Holt, 16, daughter of Harvey and Theresa Holt, of Botkins; Emily Bohman, 17, daughter of Jennifer and Steve Bohman, of Russia; Bryce Metz, 16, son of Jeff and Andrea Metz, of Botkins; and Evan Burden, 16, son of Jill and Tim Burden, of Sidney.
Reach the writer at 937-538-4825