Gloria Kesler, from the Calumet County Fair was selected as the 50th Wisconsin Fairest of the Fairs at the Wisconsin Association of Fairs annual convention. She was selected from 39 contestants currently representing their counties as Fairest. Gloria will represent the 76 Wisconsin county, district, and state fairs in 2016. Her responsibilities include traveling to the county, district and state fairs throughout the state as the spokesperson for the Wisconsin Association of Fairs, and she will also serve as the official hostess of the 2016 Wisconsin State Fair, presented by U.S. Cellular, August 4-14. Throughout her term, the Fairest of the Fairs will promote educational, agricultural, social, cultural and commercial opportunities offered at Wisconsin’s county, district and state fairs.
Franklin Roosevelt said, “We cannot always build a future for our youth, but we can always build our youth for the future.” My name is Gloria Kesler your 2016 Wisconsin Fairest of Fairs. I am one of the many youth who has been raised for the future of Agriculture and Communications. I am currently attending the University of Wisconsin Platteville, majoring in Agricultural Education (non-teaching).
Growing up on a small farm in Menasha, Wisconsin my parents Robert and Lucy Kesler have taught me some of life’s many lessons such as hard work and determination. Often these lessons were learned while trying to walk a donkey, or helping a newborn calf take its first steps. I was an active 4H member for thirteen years where I grew and flourished in many project areas such as photography and livestock. Though attempting to try my luck in foods, I was unsuccessful and remain a master at burning water. Through many trials and errors I discovered my love of connecting the public to agriculture and sharing my “Ag Story.” Though my story does not contain memories of baking beautiful un-burnt cakes, it goes much deeper. To the roots of my ancestors who started farming once unmanageable land, to my parents who farm in the middle of town. My farm may be surrounded by round-abouts, but its fields have taught me that I cannot out race our family dog and fences cannot keep me from singing (out of tune) to the next county.
Showing at the Calumet County Fair helped me to experience once in a life time opportunities, from showing in Polly Pocket sandals, to earning my first Merit Award for a painting. The county fair created a family that was not related by blood, but by passion. I took my passion to the state level to fulfill my childhood dream of showing in the coliseum. I have raised and shown Pinzgauer cattle with my family for all of my 4H career and continue to help other youth in fitting and showmanship tasks including exhibiting at the Wisconsin State Fair.
As your current fairest I will use my previously learned lessons to share my love of fairs and the opportunities that they have to offer; hopefully sharing knowledge and laughs along the way. I look forward to meeting you at various events around Wisconsin, especially the Wisconsin State Fair, August 4-14 brought to us by U.S. Cellular.
The top 10 contestants were: 2nd place: Sydney Endres, Lodi Ag Fair; 3rd Place: Emily Watson, Walworth County Fair; 4th Place: Jenna Franseen, Racine County Fair; and 5th Place: Emma Wagner, Marquette County Fair.
The remaining top 10 included: Taylor Bowser, Iowa County Fair; Cheyenne Mueller, Manitowoc County Fair; Abigail Martin, Rock County Fair; Shelby Weiske, St. Croix County Fair; and Carley Chaplin, Winnebago County Fair. The Congeniality Award was presented to Gloria Kesler, Calumet County Fair. Congratulations to all for your outstanding accomplishments!