By J.O. Parker
Four young ladies representing Brooklyn, Grinnell and Malcom are seeking the title of the 2023 Poweshiek County Fair Queen.
New this year, the fair queen judging will be done in Heritage Park on Saturday, July 8 and is closed to the public. The new queen will be will be crowned during the bull ride intermission later that evening.
The candidates are: Anna Johnson, Brooklyn; Lexi Kephart, Grinnell; Megan Mauss, Grinnell and Jordan Ranfeld, Malcom.
Following is a brief overview of each candidate:
Anna Johnson – Anna, 16, the daughter of Robert and Krystal Johnson, will be entering her senior year in the fall. Anna lives in Brooklyn and is homeschooled.
Anna works at Brooklyn Vet Clinic.
Her activities are teaching Taekwondo, helping with after school 4-H Cover Kids programing and participating in Nature Club. She is also president of her 4-H Club.
Her hobbies and special interests are playing the piano and spending time with her animals. Her future plans are to attend vet tech/veterinarian school.
When asked why she decided to run for queen, Anna said to be a role model to young kids and encourage them to try something new.
“It is OK to step out of our comfort zone sometimes and try something new,” she said.
Lexi Kephart – Lexi, 15, is the daughter of Steve Kephart and Emina Omanovic-Kephart of Grinnell. Lexi will be a junior at Grinnell High School in the fall.
She is employed as a housekeeper and breakfast attendant at County Inn & Suites in Grinnell.
Her current activities are FFA, high school wrestling, and participating in rabbit and cavy shows through the ARBA (American Rabbit Breeders Association) and ACBA (American Cavy Breeders Association).
Lexi’s hobbies and special interests include horseback riding, mentoring other youth rabbit and cavy breeders, welding, working on vehicles, showing horses, cavies and rabbits as well as breeding them and participating in public speaking events through FFA.
As for her future, Lexi plans to attend trade school and learn pipe welding. She also wants to become a rabbit and horse judge and possibly relocate to Wyoming.
When asked why she would like to be the 2023 county fair queen, Lexi said she wants to show young girls that you don’t have to be a certain way to win.
“And wearing a dress for a short amount of time can offer lifelong opportunities,” she said.
Megan Mauss – Megan, 20, is the daughter of Dan and Nicole Mauss of rural Grinnell. She is a 2021 graduate of Grinnell High School.
Megan works at WinMor Farms in Grinnell.
Her activities include FFA, participating in the Iowa Swine Jackpot Series, serving as a Junior Board member and attending St. Mary’s Catholic Church. She is also a member of the National Junior Swine Association.
Her hobbies include hanging out with friends/family, and showing her pigs.
Her future plans are to pursue a career in the swine industry and also help future youth showman.
When asked why she decided to run for queen, Megan said being a role model for others.
“I would love to represent at the state level, and be a positive role model to the kids in our county and throughout the state.
Jordan Ranfeld – Jordan, 17, is the daughter of Shawn Ranfeld, Deep River, and Sara Hibbard-Ranfeld, Malcom.
Jordan will be entering her senior year at Montezuma High School in the fall.
She is currently working for her dad and at a local care facility.
Her activities include basketball, softball, volleyball, FFA and showing cattle.
Her hobbies and special interests are helping on the farm, playing sports, being with friends, gardening, planting and working in the FFA Greenhouse and playing card games with family.
Jordan’s future plans are to become an ultrasound technician, return home and help on the farm and raise a family.
When asked why she decided to run for queen, Jordan said for the leadership role aspect of being queen.
“I believe it’s a great learning opportunity for me and I would be a great role model for others.”
Little Miss Crowning
Six young girls are vying for the Little Miss Crowning, which will take place on Thursday, July 13 in the showring following the animal costume contest. Those participating are Emma Asberry, 6, daughter of Bailey and Josh Asberry, Grinnell; Abigail Bradshaw, 7, daughter of Kati and Kevin Bradshaw, Deep River; Tillie Roberts, 7, daughter of Trace and Cassie Roberts, Deep River; Hallie Puls, 7, daughter of Marie and Harley Puls, Grinnell; Malia Hay, 8, daughter of Marlo and Sarah Hay, Lynnville and Kaylee Bushong, 8, daughter of Lucas and Nichole Bushong, Montezuma.