By: Jamie Adcock
The Dodge County Fairest of the Fair is a long-standing tradition in Beaver Dam that has given numerous young women in the area an experience of a lifetime. 2018 Dodge County Fair hostess, Haley Justmann, has experienced an extraordinary year since her crowning at last summer’s competition. Justmann, a native to Juneau, Wisconsin, has very fond memories of her youth, spending summers at the Dodge County Fair. Serving in this role seemed like a logical step. But the emotional experiences that she is taking away from it all weren’t something that she expected.
Justmann notes that all of the scholarships and perks associated with being Fairest of the Fair are only some of the initial benefits. Serving in this capacity also helped her reach her personal goals and helped her make new connections. Her outgoing personality has always allowed her to speak easily with people and build relationships. But this unique role has made her tremendously more comfortable being in front of an audience, complete public speaking engagements, learned etiquette and allowed her to make new local and regional connections. “I’m willing to take more risks and put myself out there to help make this community an even better place!”, she states.
Her fondest experience of her 2018-19 reign is introducing Chris Janson on stage at his 2018 Dodge County Fair concert. She was able to stay side-stage for the entire concert and be up-close-and-personal with the fresh country music artist. “Being able to watch the crowd from that point-of-view actually brought tears to my eyes. Seeing everyone singing and dancing as one was just incredible.”
She also has fond memories of the convention that she attended with other Fairests in January, earlier this year. She took several new life skills and friendships away from the conference. She had several emotional experiences at this conference as well – reaching personal goals for herself and helping others with their own projects and experiences.
“I would recommend running for this position even if you haven’t been heavily involved in the fair before. It’s a great way to learn some important skills and promote a huge experience for our youth. Our youth are our future and I would much rather see them learning the valuable lessons of raising an animal, mastering a skill, and focusing on a project instead of some other paths they could take.”, states an emotional Justmann to applicants considering submission of their Fairest application. She especially encourages candidates who have a passion for the fair environment and working with local youth.
Justmann spent most of her time growing up at an equestrian facility near Beaver Dam and loved her time in the barn. Justmann jokes that when people ask her if she was born in a barn, she snickers and answers, “No, but I was raised in one!”. Most of her days and weekends were spent at the “barn” – taking lessons, doing chores, building a strong work ethic and making friendships with like-minded youth.
Haley took her strong work ethic and drive to the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, where she graduated in 2018, with a background in Family Social Science and Family Violence Prevention. She currently resides in Beaver Dam and is proud to call the area home with her fiancé. She interned at Cornerstone Funeral Service prior to graduation and is currently starting her career, as a Family Services Coordinator there. She also enjoys serving her community as part of the Beaver Dam Rotary Club. Justmann enthusiastically notes, “Dodge County is my home, and I hope to be here for quite a while.”.
“If you like to have fun, talk to people, and have once-in-a-lifetime experiences, being the Fairest of the Fair is what you want to do!”. After her reign as Fairest of the Fair concludes, Haley will stay in touch with the Fair Association and area youth, while promoting both the Dodge County Fair and local agriculture.
The 2019 Dodge County Fairest of the Fair will serve as hostess of the 132nd Dodge County Fair, in Beaver Dam on August 14-18. A free evening entertainment lineup is scheduled during the fair, as well as 4-H exhibits and competitions, youth exhibits and midway rides. The 2019 Fairest of the Fair Finals will take place on Wednesday, August 14 at 5:00 pm. Final interviews and crowning of the Fairest of the Fair will take place on the WTKM Stage.
Qualified applicants should be 18 years of age as of January 1, 2020. The Dodge County Fair Association is eager to review applications from committed, outgoing, and ambitious applicants. Interested candidates, should complete a very brief online application by 12:00 am on Sunday, June 16 for full consideration in this exciting competition.
If you would like more information about the application process or the Fairest of the Fair contest, please contact Ms. Danielle Clark, Dodge County Fairest of the Fair Program Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This year’s Fairest of the Fair will receive scholarship money, gifts and unique media experiences through public speaking, event emceeing, radio interviews and several media and public speaking opportunities throughout her reign – including various 4-H events. This year’s recipient will also have the opportunity to participate in the 2020 Wisconsin Fairest of Fairs contest at the Wisconsin Association of Fairs Annual Convention, scheduled for January 2020 at the Chula Vista Resort in Wisconsin Dells