Four vie for Franklin County queen

Submitted photoFranklin County 4-H Fair Queen candidates include (from left) Alexa Brehm, India Burris, Karen Kahles and Kristen Kolb.

Four young ladies have high hopes of being named the 2019 Franklin County 4-H Fair Queen during the annual pageant Sunday, June 30.

While they don't know who the winner will be, each contestant can expect to be part of the court, which also includes runners-up and Miss Congeniality.

The main requirements to be eligible to enter include being a Franklin County resident and being in 4-H, according to Dana Hornung, who is coordinating the pageant along with Jenny Kolb, Kelly Kolb and Kris Ross.

To prepare the girls for the competition, four gatherings are held to help them practice walking on stage, answer impromptu questions and recite a speech.

"They are a very sweet group," Hornung reveals.

The day of the contest, the girls get into business wear and have lunch with the out-of-county judges, bringing along one special guest. After lunch, there's a 3- to 5-minute interview with a judge. Some downtime follows, allowing the girls to prepare for the start of the pageant. Still in business wear, the contestants give their opening speech before changing into evening gowns and answering their impromptu questions. After a break, the court is revealed.

The queen and her court will be very active during fair week, which runs from July 15-20. They will attend the grandstand events and animal shows and hand out ribbons.

In conjunction with the queen's pageant, the seventh annual Franklin County 4-H Fair Princess program will also be held. It is co-chaired by Caroline Koester and Molly Belmonte.

Girls in Mini 4-H who have just completed first or second grade attend a meeting where they learn about community service, writing thank-you notes and basic interview skills. They will compete to be crowned princess and Miss Personality.

Diane Raver can be contacted at or 812-934-4343, Ext. 114.

Pageant details

It will be held Sunday, June 30, at 6:30 p.m. at the Franklin County High School auditorium.

Doors open at 6 p.m.

Admission is free.


Alexa Brehm

Parents: Jeff and Rosa Brehm

Residence: Cedar Grove

4-H club: Rockdale Ranchers

School: Penn Foster graduate

Hobbies: Shearing sheep, processing wool from raw state to completed project, customizing fashion dolls and playing roller derby

Honors: selected for the 2012 Purdue Round-up, 2013-15 Purdue science workshops, 2013-15 Indiana State Fair Youth Leadership Conference, 2016 Franklin County Achievement Trip and 2015 4-H Indiana State Fair Achievement Trip to Washington, D.C.; 2016 Farm Bureau Tenure Award; and 10-year 4-H member

Future plans: to increase her flock of commercial sheep and purchase a heritage flock of Jacob sheep and attend college and pursue a psychology degree to become a counselor

India Burris

Parents: Greg And Misty Burris

Residence: Rushville

4-H club: Metamora Trailblazers

School: 2019 Oldenburg Academy graduate

Hobbies: drawing, painting, reading, working on all sorts of engines, rock climbing, fishing, hiking and being on the farm

Honors: winning the Premier Grand Champion Dairy, Reserve Grand Champion Dairy and Maverick Challenge; Innovative WithIN contender, National Business Honors Society and Outstanding Senior Award for Business.

Future plans: to attend Ball State University in the fall to study Spanish and business administration and open her own business

Karen Kahles

Parents: Steve and Mary Ann Kahles

Residence: Cedar Grove

4-H clubs: East Franklin Flyers, Horse and Pony Mustangers and 4 Paws Dog Club

School: 2019 Oldenburg Academy graduate

Hobbies: reading, playing piano, watching movies, showing her dog, training her horse, riding her bike and spending time with friends and family

Honors: animal and barn projects grand and reserve grand champion awards; state fair entries; 2017 Outstanding Junior Leader Award, 2017 High Achievement Award, 2019 Chicago Achievement Trip and 2019 Foundation Senior Year Scholarship; perfect attendance for three years in high school; Honor's Diploma; 10-year 4-H member

Future plans: to attend Ivy Tech Community College, then Northern Kentucky University to earn a degree in elementary education, have her dream job of teaching third grade

Kristen Kolb

Parents: John and Jennifer Kolb

Residence: Brookville

4-H club: East Franklin Flyers

School: 2019 Franklin County High School graduate

Hobbies: spending time with family and friends, kayaking, livestock and crops judging, spending time outdoors and scrapbooking

Honors: Overall 4-H Fair Achievement Award, 4-H Achievement Trip to Chicago, 4-H Outstanding Achievement Award, grand champion in many projects, Governors Work Ethic Certificate, STGEC, State Crops Judging Team member, National Honor Society president, senior class president, Student Council treasurer, 2019 Indiana 4-H Congress Accomplishment Scholarship, 10-year 4-H member

Future plans: To attend Indiana University to pursue a degree in biology and later become a physician's assistant

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