PC Fair Queen Kaitlyn Kent counts down to July 25
The 2017 Phillips County Fair Queen, Kaitlyn Kent, has been busy preparing for the fair July 25-30, and she’s hoping for a good community turnout for the many events scheduled. The more people who attend the events, the better the junior livestock sale seems to go, she commented, and for her, one of the best parts of the whole experience is seeing younger kids find a passion for showing their animals.
Kent was crowned fair queen at last year’s Haxtun Corn Festival, and since then she has traveled to other counties, meeting fellow fair queens and promoting Phillips County at parades, rodeos and luncheons.
When the Phillips County Fair rolls around at the end of the month, she will, of course, be riding in her own parade, but she will also be at all the shows and ready to lend a helping hand whereever she’s needed. “Since the county has done so much for 4-H and FFA kids, it’s a way for me to give back,” she said. She is especially eager to see the bull riding scheduled at Bulls Gone Wild Saturday, July 29, at 7 p.m.
Kent credits much of her success in 4-H and FFA to the mentors and people who helped her along the way. Darrell Tomky, she noted, has generously allowed her to ride his horses for years. She has fond memories of riding with him in previous fair parades as a child. Also helping her along the way, Janna and Denise Smith encouraged her interest in raising goats, and Gloria Bergner provides a place for the goats to stay.
It should come as no surprise, then, that Kent has taken great pleasure in being a leader herself and helping others, too. A few years ago, she said, her friend Austin Durbin was at a goat show with his sister and instantly wanted to be involved. Since then she’s helped him in that endeavor, teaching him what she knows about caring for goats. Now they are both members of the Paoli Hustlers 4-H Club, and she expects that they will both be showing goats at the fair. Kent will also be showing a horse.
At the junior livestock sale, Kent will be selling one of her two goats. Looking to the future, she intends to buy a doe so she can start breeding goats. Her goal is to continue to show while she still can and then to sell goats for other 4-H kids to show.
When the Holyoke High School senior isn’t busy caring for her livestock and participating in 4-H, she is active in FFA as the chapter treasurer. She also enjoys roping in her free time, and team roping is her favorite. She has competed in the event at Rodeo Bible Camp in the past, but she is seeking additional opportunities to compete in the future.
In all that she’s done, her parents, Melinda Kent and Troy Kent, have been a big help, she noted, thankful for their support.
With the fair only two weeks away, Kent is readying herself and her animals. She wishes other exhibitors luck and hopes that everyone has marked their calendars for fair week. “I’d like to see as many people out there as we can,” she said. “The fair’s going to be a blast.”