Miss Jasper County, Lani Ogle, 18, of Sarcoxie, received the honor Friday afternoon of being crowned the 2016 Missouri State Fair Queen.
Ogle, who comes from several generations of agriculture, was one of 55 young women who competed for the title at the Mathewson Exhibition Center Thursday and Friday. Ogle also received best in the interview category during the competition.
Ogle said competing for the MSF Queen title began with her county fair pageant. Winning at a state level was a surprise.
“They sponsored my way to come up here,” she said. “I just came in not expecting anything. I was just going to go in and do my best. The Missouri State Fair has always been a part of our family and a tradition. My family, from my mom and her brothers, showed at the state fair, me and my brother showed at the state fair. So, it’s always been a great part of my life.
“To be Queen is just unbelievable, and outstanding,” she added.
Ogle said her grandmother Marilyn Calvin and her late grandfather have a dairy farm in Mt. Vernon. Her uncle Kenlee Calvin helps run the farm. Her mother and father Russell and Kenda Ogle have a beef farm in Sarcoxie.
During her reign as MSF Queen she wants to bring a “positive vibe” to the fairgrounds.
“I want to help everyone feel that family-welcoming of the fair,” she noted.
She added that agriculture has been a part of her life since she was born. This year she will be showing four Guernsey dairy cows in the Junior Dairy Show at the MSF Saturday, Aug. 20.
Her mother and father said Lani is their youngest.
“We have a son who is 22 and he works at my parents’ dairy,” her mother said. “She’s still in high school. She’s a spirited girl and has always been very independent, quick-witted and quick-thinking, a bright, bright gifted young lady.”
Her father said he was so honored for his daughter to receive the title that he was shaking.
“She never gives up,” he noted. “She don’t let nothing get her down.”
Her parents said they believed Lani wants to remain in the agricultural industry when she enters college and possibly venture into veterinarian pharmaceuticals.
“She loves animals,” her mother said. “She always has a real good sense for animals.”
Ogle will be a senior this fall at Sarcoxie High School.
This was MSF Queen Pageant Co-Director Whitney Kinne’s first year to help with the competition, but she is no stranger to the stage.
“As a first-time coordinator I chalk it up to a great success,” Kinne said. “Our volunteers, and our judges, and our contestants really came together to make an outstanding two-day event.”
Kinne is a 2008 MSF Queen and her co-director Samantha Davis is a 2009 MSF Queen.
“Samantha and I were on that stage together,” she noted. “I was helping crown Samantha the year that I gave up my title. So, for me this is so energizing because there are more than 50 young women who wanted to represent the Missouri State Fair, which is is such a great tribute to agriculture.
“It a great gem of our state and certainly of Sedalia,” Kinne added. “We want to be there to continue that legacy.”
Faith Bemiss can be reached at 530-0289 or @flbemiss.