Across the state Junior Fair King and Queen Contests serve as staple events during county fairs. For reigning county fair queens, they then have the chance to compete to serve as the Ohio Fair’s Queen. This year a Valley View MVCTC FFA member and the 2019-2020 Ohio FFA State Reporter, Mackenzie Hoog is serving as the Ohio Fair’s Queen. Hoog represents the Montgomery County fair.
Hoog began her reign as the Ohio Fair’s Queen in January during the 2020 Ohio Fair Managers Association (OFMA) Conference. She competed against 79 other queens vying for the position. To be considered, Hoog submitted an application and proceeded through a series of interviews. After the first round of interviews, the top 15 answered a question on stage. Those 15 were narrowed down to five and interviewed once again. On Saturday morning of the OFMA conference in front of other junior fair board members and fair directors, the new Ohio Fair’s Queen was crowned.
“The Ohio Fairs’ Queen is an advocate for not just fair royalty, but junior fair exhibitors, and fairs themselves,” Hoog said. “Whether this is through encouraging agricultural education, or simply showcasing the hard work and dedication put into the process of making both the junior and senior fairs a success.”
Hoog attends county fairs and participates in their activities. So far, she has attended 22 fairs and plans to attend more.
“COVID-19 has definitely made fair season unique,” Hoog said. “I have loved my time visiting the fairs. I have truly realized just how special fairs are and how much people care about ensuring they happen each year.”
Hoog set the goal to make each fair visit a quality one since she realizes she won’t be able to visit every fair this year. She likes learning about what makes each fair special and visiting with the royalty and fair board members.
“One royalty contest in particular I enjoyed attending was at the Holmes County Fair. I was able to meet all the contestants and chat with them before the new king and queen were crowned,” Hoog said. “I then received a grand tour of their fairgrounds from their 2019 Junior Fair Queen, and my close friend, Kylie Ramirez. It was so great to see and meet everyone there!”
The skills and opportunities presented throughout her time as an FFA member have proven useful throughout the year while visiting and speaking at county fairs.
“FFA gave me a solid foundation in how to social network, hold myself in professional settings and be confident in myself and my abilities,” Hoog said.
As an FFA member, Hoog was involved in public speaking, job interview, soil judging, agricultural sales, and served as a chapter officer for three years. Now, Hoog is a student at The Ohio State University studying agricultural communication and plans to apply for her American FFA Degree this year. In the future, she would like to obtain a master’s in organizational leadership and eventually work as either a public relations manager or communications director for an agricultural company.
“Though the fair season has seemed different it has truly brought us back to what the fairs are all about — the junior fair exhibitors and their projects,” Hoog said. “They deserve recognition now more than ever. I am proud to have met as many as I have this past summer and cannot wait to meet even more during the rest of the fair season!”