A huge smile comes across Ellie Jarrett’s face when she talks about 4-H.
“I’ve been in 4-H for 10 years and have taken public speaking, foods, sheep and photography. Photography is my favorite and this year I also showed cattle,” said the petite blond, her blue eyes shining as she talks about her projects.
“I showed sheep for seven years but this was the first year I’ve shown cattle. My dad wanted to me show this year. I always loved helping my siblings get their animals ready to show but I’m just not a competitive person so I didn’t show.”
Jarrett, who is the reigning Miss Daviess County Fair queen, will be competing in the Indiana State Fair Queen pageant on Aug. 18 along with 81 other contestants from around the state.
“I’m a little nervous but I think that’s to be expected. I’m more excited than anything else. I just want to have a good time and meet all the other girls.” The pageant will be judged on interview, evening gown and professional wear. “I’m really looking forward to the evening gown and the fashion show for the queen contestants. The fashion show isn’t judged but it’s just going to be a fun event where you can something that describes your personality.”
In just over the first month, of her reign, Jarrett has already been busy promoting her county.
“I’ve traveled to several of the other counties and met their queens. I went to the Monroe Co. Fair Saturday and had a chance to meet Mariah Huff, the current State Fair Queen. She definitely has some big shoes to fill.”
She will also be attending Strassenfest with the Dubois Co. Fair queen next week. “I’m really excited,” said Jarrett. “I’ve loved meeting all the people, especially all the little girls who wanted to try on my crown. I had a bag of plastic tiaras I handed out to the little girls during fair week.”
A recent graduate of Washington Catholic, Jarrett also spent some time with children at the Legacy Learning Center, a part of the Antioch Christian Church.
“I talked to them about manners. The kids were so excited and several of them if I was a princess. When I asked them what a princess did, one of them said, she was protected by dragons,” said Jarrett with a huge grin and a laugh. “I told them I wasn’t that kind of princess and then talked to them on how important it is to be polite and have manners.”
During the week of the Daviess County Fair, Jarrett spent a lot of time interacting with fair-goers. “I rode the farris wheel with his one little boy 11 times in a row. We just stayed on and had the best time.”
Jarrett said the Daviess County Fair, held in Elnora, features rides and anyone can exhibit projects. “What is held in Washington is actually a 4-H show. It’s all kids that show there,” she said. “And 4-H isn’t all about cooking and cows. It’s not like that anymore. There’s something for everyone and I hope that anyone who’s been interested in participating, even just curious about 4-H, looks into becoming a member.”
She also credits the friendships made through 4-H as a reason to participate. “My dad and grandparents all have close friends who they participated in 4-H with. They have stayed close through the years and they have an incredible bond that all began with 4-H.”
Another reason Jarrett highly recommends 4-H is there responsibility it teaches its participants. “Kids have to take the responsibility to complete their projects. They have to work with their animals
“It’s all hands-on learning and many of the skills they learn, are life skills,” she said
Jarrett will also be competing in the public speaking contest at the State Fair. She will be attending Butler University in the fall where she plans to study Elementary Education and has plans to earn a masters in administration so she can one day become a principal.