Harper, Engle named 2012 fair royalty
By Fran Odyniec
Rachel Harper, 2012 Madison County Junior Fair queen, was headed over to the Junior Fair office.
Trevor Engle, 2012 Madison County Junior Fair king, was headed to Bob Evans.
Neither said that they were going to Disney World after taking top honors in the Madison County Junior Fair Royalty competition.
However, both looked relieved at the close of the competition.
“Kind of shaky, The competition was pretty intense.” said Harper of the honor resplendent in a blue gown and cradling a bouquet of flowers.
“It was stiff competition, agreed Engle, looking dapper in a three-piece suit with a contrasting light purple tie and vest. “It’s a lot of work.”
Harper’s answer to the competition’s prepared question on how 4-H impacts her life reflects her humble but confident nature.
“I can’t believe what I’ve learned in 4-H,” she said. “4-H has led me to become a leader.”
In her fish bowl question, Harper, who attends Grove City Christian School, set three goals for her reign as queen.
“I will be myself, that’s who I am,” she said.
As representative of the Madison County Fair, “I will tell (at other fairs and festivals) about our fair.”
“I will also tell them to bring their family,” she said.
Asked in a second question how she would address the disconnect between consumers and farmers, Harper replied, “I would tell them to remember that the state contributes a lot to the economy, and to teach the children where we come from.”
Engle, a 2012 graduate of Madison-Plains High School, revealed in his answer to the prepared question a family legacy that makes him proud.
“My great-grandfather started the Mud Run Hustlers in the ’50s,” he said. “I’m the fourth generation in the Mud Run Hustlers.”
Engle’s fish bowl question asked him how he would deal if PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) raised concerns about animals at the Madison County Fair.
“I would answer them with poise and to the best of my abilities,” he said as he would take them on a tour of the fairgrounds. “Everyone has the right to an opinion.”
A second question asked him if rides were necessary for the fair.“They are very necessary for a successful fair,” he said. “Kids ride them.”
Trevor’s mother, Lecia Engle, felt a mother’s pride in her son’s accomplishment.
“Awesome,” she said. “I’m pretty proud of him.”
Lecia added that Trevor is a very confident young man, who is headed for Bowling Green University this fall.
“It makes him good at this kind of thing,” she said.
However, she allowed that she didn’t want Trevor to be over-confident in the week leading up to the competition “so that he wouldn’t be disappointed if he didn’t win.”
With some motherly coaxing, she was able to keep her son focused on day-to-day reality.
“But if he wants to go to Bob Evans, we’ll go to Bob Evans,” Lecia said.
Rachel’s father, Randy Harper, when his daughter came up to him after the competition was heard to exclaim in a laughing way, “You’ve complicated our lives.”
He explained that the family will be doing all the things needed to help Rachel during her reign.
“She really wanted to do this,” Randy said. “I support my kids. This is a good growth process for her.”
Trevor brought his goat project to this year’s fair. Rachel brought her nutrition, cake decorating, and sewing projects this year.
Now they have an even bigger project: representing the Madison County Fair.