Grace Seefeldt selected Fairest of the Fair

She will be the face of 2024 Oconto County Youth Fair; Amber Seitz is Fairest Attendant
Warren Bluhm
News Editor

Grace Seefeldt, a graduate of Lena High School, was selected from among four contestants May 18 to serve as 2024 Fairest of the Fair for the Oconto County Youth Fair.

Seefeldt, daughter of Dale and Becky Seefeldt, was active in FFA and 4-H in high school and recently completed her freshman year at South Dakota State University. Her participation was sponsored by Jagiello Dairy Farms LLC.

The panel of three judges picked Amber Seitz, daughter of Mark and Cindy Seitz, to be Fairest Attendant as runner-up. Seitz is a senior at Pulaski High School and was sponsored by Sievert Dairy Farm of Sobieski.

The competition, the first in three years after interest lagged for a couple of seasons, was held at Gillett Secondary School.

Becky Dickson of the Fairest committee thanked the fair board for its support and continued effort in to keep the program going.

“It has been rewarding experience to work with these young ladies and getting to know these outstanding individuals within our communities,” Dickson said.

2021 Fairest of the Fair Isabella Rennie explained that each contestant had an individual interview with the judges and then took part in a group interview. The public portion involved a short self-introduction, reading a 30-second radio ad for the fair and then answering a random question.

For her random question, Seefeldt drew, “What is your definition of a role model?”

“I think my definition of a role model would be someone who takes action and shows good leadership and is always willing to help young individuals no matter what,” she said.

Seitz was asked how she plans to continue to support the Youth Fair as an adult.

“I will always love to come back to the county fair just to see the next generation as they show their exhibits at the fair,” Seitz said. “I think it’s very important to come back and support these exhibitors and support their agriculture endeavors if they’re showing livestock or also come back and support the people who have other projects, because all their passions are important.”

Georgia Gerndt, a Suring High School senior, was asked, “What role does professional image and attire play for the Fairest of the Fair?”

“It plays a huge role because you’re representing yourself as the Fairest of the Fair and representing yourself to the community and how they know you,” Gerndt said.

She is the daughter of Sarah and Wes School and Craig Gerndt, and she was sponsored by North Branch Logging Enterprises.

Kathryn Raddatz, an Oconto Falls High School senior, had the random question, “Please explain the best lesson you have learned by participating in the Oconto County Youth Fair.”

“I would say the best lesson I’ve learned is to always work hard and know that it might not always go your way — you know, there’s many factors when you show your animal,” Raddatz said. “And as long as you know that you put in the work, you should be proud of yourself.”

With that, the judges — Heidi Anderson, Angie Larsen and Jeannie Otto — withdrew to deliberate on their choice, while Rennie and Fair Board President Ryan Schlosser talked about the 2024 Oconto County Youth Fair, scheduled for Aug. 22-25 except for the Horse, Dog, and Small Animal Show, which takes place the previous Saturday, Aug. 17.

Schlosser said a new addition this year is a pig show for students with special needs, which has been scheduled for after the goat show Aug. 23. Improvements to the show ring should be completed in time for this year’s fair, Schlosser added.

Rennie said the Fairest of the Fair earns a $1,000 stipend and a $300 expense allowance, and she will represent Oconto County at the state Fairest of the Fair at the state competition in January in Wisconsin Dells. The Fairest Attendant receives a $500 stipend and $30 expense allowance.

The Fairest of the Fair serves as the “face of the fair,” giving a speech to open up the weekend exhibition at Zippel Park in Gillett. The two young women are expected to attend multiple events and auctions during the fair.

They also are asked to attend Breakfast on the Farm, ride in parades and otherwise promote the fair and agriculture in general, Rennie said.

“It’s an amazing program, I absolutely loved it,” she said. “It was very rewarding, especially being able to give back to all of those people who helped me over the years.”

Seeing the excitement of young people in showing their projects, after doing the same for many years, was especially rewarding, Rennie said.