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Fairest of the Fairs

CAYLEY VANDE BERG FROM FOND DU LAC COUNTY CROWNED

2020 WISCONSIN FAIREST OF THE FAIRS


The Wisconsin Association of Fairs and the Wisconsin State Fair Park officials are excited to introduce the 2020 Wisconsin Fairest of the Fairs, who was selected Wednesday evening at the annual Wisconsin Association of Fairs Convention in Wisconsin Dells. A field of 36 talented contestants vied for this coveted position, and Cayley Vande Berg, 20, representing the Fond du Lac County Fair, took home the title.

The Wisconsin Fairest of the Fairs program was created 54 years ago to select an ambassador for the Wisconsin Association of Fairs, which represents 75 county, district and state fairs in Wisconsin.

Each year, the Wisconsin Fairest of the Fairs travels throughout the state promoting the educational, agricultural, social, cultural and commercial opportunities available at Wisconsin’s great fairs. It is a position of responsibility to the citizens of our great state, and the winner must possess excellent communication skills as well as organization, professionalism and a passion for the fair industry.

Vande Berg will serve a one-year term, and her responsibilities include appearances at fairs and events throughout the state, working with media and promoting the importance of Wisconsin’s fair and agriculture industries.

In addition, she will serve as an ambassador of the 2020 Wisconsin State Fair, presented by U.S. Cellular, which will take place August 6 - 16. This includes greeting fairgoers and special guests, performing as the master of ceremonies for several events, participating in various contests, and representing State Fair during select media appearances.

The daughter of Chad and Tammy Vande Berg of Eldorado, Wis., Vande Berg currently studies Dairy Science at the University of Wisconsin – River Falls and works at Milk Source’s Rosendale Dairy. She is not only part of the herd staff but also works with the public relations team, giving tours and educating visitors. Vande Berg has held leadership roles in both the Eldorado Busy Bees 4-H Club and her high school FFA chapter. She has exhibited swine and dairy, along with vegetables, arts and crafts and more. In summer of 2019, she interned with Foremost Farms USA in the Member Services Department. At UW – River Falls she is active in the Dairy Club and the Collegiate Farm Bureau.

“We look forward to welcoming Cayley to the Wisconsin State Fair staff this summer,” stated Kathleen O’Leary, CEO of Wisconsin State Fair Park. “Cayley demonstrated a true passion for educating people about the fair and agriculture industries. She is a hard-working and dedicated employee, student and volunteer who will be a great ambassador for all Wisconsin Fairs. Congratulations to Cayley and all of the 2020 contestants.”

Mikaila Falash, 20, representing the Adams County Fair, was named first runner-up. She is the daughter of Alan and Laurie Falash of Friendship, Wis. and is currently studying Elementary Education at the University of Wisconsin –Stevens Point. Falash is also enlisted in the U.S. Army Reserves where she is a human intelligence analyst, as well as holding two other jobs and volunteering at animal shelters and food pantries in her community.

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, Jo Reynolds, Steve Asplund and Sarah Kikkert.

Reynolds has been the manager for the Warren County Fair in Indianola, Iowa for the past 20 years. She also owns and operates a crop insurance agency and manages a 23-head beef cow herd with her husband. Reynolds has served in multiple director and president positions within the Iowa Association of Fairs and the International Association of Fairs and Expositions.

Asplund is the News Director at WLUC TV 6 in Marquette, Mich., where he has also anchored the early morning news since 1985. He is married to Anne and they have two children and one grandchild. Steve is very active in the community volunteering as a firefighter with the City of Negaunee Fire Department since 1989 and has served as President of the Upper Peninsula Firefighters Association.

Originally from Columbus, Wis., Kikkert is currently the Communications Manager at Hunger Task Force of Milwaukee. She worked for five years at the Wisconsin State Fair in Marketing and Public Relations, where she managed the Fairest of the Fairs program. She is also an active volunteer in the Milwaukee Community and a member of Milwaukee’s Bel Canto Chorus.

Vande Berg was selected from a field of incredibly talented young men and women, and replaces the 2019 Fairest of the Fairs, Meghan Buechel.

Individuals interested in competing in future Wisconsin Fairest of the Fairs contests may contact their county or district fair board for more information or visit WiFairs.com.

The 2020 Wisconsin State Fair, presented by U.S. Cellular, will take place Thursday, Aug. 6 – Sunday, Aug. 16. The fair offers a unique experience to all who attend and is an exceptional value with 30 FREE entertainment stages, exciting rides and games in SpinCity, thousands of animals, endless family activities, events, contests, vendors and culinary delights. For the most up-to-date information, visit WiStateFair.com or connect with us on Facebook,
Twitter, and Instagram.

Lauren Flynn, 18, representing the Rock County 4-H Fair, was named second runner-up. She is the daughter of Ted and Cindy Flynn of Janesville, Wis. and attends the University of Wisconsin – Madison pursuing a degree in Finance. She has been active in 4-H and DECA for many years.

Jessica Moor, 19, representing the St. Croix County Fair, was named third runner-up. She is the daughter of Ann and Jesse Moor of Wilson, Wis. and attends the University of Wisconsin – River Falls, pursuing degrees in Business Management and Animal Science.

Emma Buss, 20, representing the Lafayette County Fair, was named fourth runner-up. She is the daughter of Brad and Roberta Buss and the late Laurie Runde of Platteville, Wis. and attends the University of Wisconsin – Platteville pursuing degrees in Agriculture Business and Dairy Science.

Cole Chapman, 20, representing the Green Lake County Fair, received the Tim Heffernon Congeniality award. He is the son of Jason and Julie Chapman of Dalton, Wis. and is pursing degrees in Agriculture Education and Large Animal Science at Oklahoma State University.



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