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  • Val T.

‘Cats & books:Second Runner-Up at Fulton County 4-H Queen Pageant gives Yard different perspepective

BY VAL TSOUTSOURIS

Sports Editor, RTC

Erika Yard finished up her 4-H career by finishing as Second Runner-Up in the Fulton County 4-H Fair Queen pageant.

Erika Yard

Kim Batten, a 2021 Rochester High School grad, was named Queen, and Maddie Heinzmann, who will be a senior at Rochester, was named First Runner-Up.

“I wanted to do fair queen because it seemed like I was always getting awards,” Yard said. “I did well in all my projects, so it’s nice to go in there and give back to the 4-H-ers that have put in as much work and sometimes even more. It’s been an amazing experience to just see all the hard work from a different perspective.”

Yard said she did not need to be talked into entering the pageant; she wanted to do it herself.

“Walking around the fair and I saw Aubrey (Dague) all the time, who was last year’s Queen, and Ginger (Slisher) before her, and obviously the other ones before those two, I got to see all of them, and it’s always like something, ‘Oh my gosh, I kind of want to do that. That seems like something I could be good at.’”

Yard said Erika Enyart and Adrianna and Aubrey Dague helped with coaching and advice. Adrianna Dague was the 2019 Fair Queen and is Aubrey Dague’s older sister.

She said they helped with stage presence and how to handle interviews.

Yard, a 2022 Manchester High School grad, has been in 4-H for six years showing dogs. Yard said she already knew Batten from Dog Club.

“It seemed every year, I was searching between which dogs I showed,” Yard said. “I always had great success with my dogs, and we went to state fair and had success there, and it was just awesome because I got to show them, and then I got to go home and cuddle them.”

Yard said she grew up three miles from the Wabash County-Fulton County border. She said she moved to Fulton County because of the projects.

“So at Fulton County, I get to do cats and books,” Yard said. “And if anybody asks me what’s your favorite things, ‘Cats and books,’ that’s always what I say. And I have an awesome cat that I adopted from the shelter and to be able to show him and show the world how awesome my cat is and to showcase all the knowledge that I’ve learned from books is just awesome.”

Yard was a shot put and discus thrower on the track team at Manchester. She also was a former co-president of the student council, a member of the homecoming committee, a member of the JAG program, a member of the choir and a cheerleader. She said she considers herself a competitive person.

“It does help me,” Yard said. “I feel like it does give me a little extra push, a little extra drive to want to do better. I’m not competitive to the point of being a sore loser, I guess, because Kim and Maddie totally deserved it. And I could not be more grateful to be serving underneath the both of them. But I’m a competitive person, and that definitely helps.”

Yard said she plans on attending Ivy Tech in the fall. After two years there, she plans on attending Ball State. She said she wants to major in liberal arts with a focus in communications.


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