Katelin’s July Newsletter
July 1, 2023
Summer is officially here and that means county fairs will be popping up all over the state. My name is Katelin Stratmeyer and I hold county fairs near and dear to my heart. Participating in county fairs in Southern Illinois and Western Kentucky really shaped my love for agriculture and truly taught me what hard work is. I have been able to use those experiences academically and professionally.
I graduated from Murray State University in 2018 with a Master’s in Agriculture Science and a Bachelor’s in Agribusiness. After working in agriculture retail for a few years I went back to work on my family farm with my brother full time. I reside in Metropolis, Illinois and am the District 18 State Young Leader Committee Representative. During my free time, I am also a board member for the Massac County Youth Fair. Being a board member of the Massac County Youth Fair gives me a chance to give back to my community and help kids like me. Not only did I learn from being involved in county fairs, but I have also made lifelong friends and I still keep in touch with them today. Being from a small town, county fairs also helped me to reach a network of people I would not have met otherwise. I would not change these experiences and connections for the world. I am still in contact with many people I met over the years and honestly it comes in handy knowing so many people across the state.
I strongly encourage youth to get involved in their community and counties especially if they offer a county fair. County fairs offer anything and everything for every child. Activities can range from livestock production, sewing, art, homemaking, and everything in between. There are usually many other activities to do if you don’t want to showcase something such as pedal pulls, great food, or tractor shows. There is something for the whole family to enjoy. If you are interested in participating in your local county fair, but don’t know where to start, reach out to your county Farm Bureau. Any county manager or Young Leader Committee member can point you in the right direction to get involved.
If you no longer meet the age requirement for participating as a contestant at the fair, consider getting involved with your county’s Young Leader Committee. Young Leaders are Illinois Farm Bureau members between the ages of 18 and 35, and are active not only in county fairs, but in communities. It is the perfect committee to be on if you want to be involved in agriculture and give back to your community.