Animal Management Students Vie for Fairfield County Junior Fair Queen

Fairfield Career Center juniors, Danielle Burch (Bloom-Carroll) and Emma Gray (New Albany – Plain Local) are finalists for Fairfield County Junior Fair Queen. Photo courtesy of Eastland-Fairfield Career & Technical Schools.

October 4, 2023
Courtesy of Eastland-Fairfield Career & Technical Schools

Two students from the EFCTS Animal Management program and FFA student organization will compete for the Fairfield County Junior Fair Queen Crown during Fair Week.

Eastland-Fairfield Career & Technical Schools, the Animal Management program, and the Fairfield Career Center FFA chapter are proud to announce that two of its own have been named finalists for the honor to be named Fairfield County Junior Fair Queen. Emma Gray and Danielle Burch are among 10 area teens who will find out who will be named Junior Fair Queen at the Fairfield County Fair on Saturday, October 7. 

The Junior Fair Queen competition is a tradition at the fair that considers and evaluates candidates based on a variety of factors including 4 H and FFA (Future Farmers of America) activities, school and community events, and poise. 

Emma and Danielle are both juniors at Fairfield Career Center (FCC) and enrolled in the Animal Management program. They are both members of the FCC FFA chapter, though they had very different paths to get there.

Danielle, a junior from Bloom-Carroll High School, has been a member of her local FFA chapter for the last four years and has siblings and many friends who are part of the organization, as well. Living in Carroll, just 15 minutes away from the fairgrounds, the Fairfield County Fair has been an annual activity for her and the Junior Fair Queen competition was always something she was drawn to.

Danielle Burch

For Emma, the entire experience is completely new. Being a competitive dancer, competition is not foreign to Emma but she expressed that as a junior from the New Albany-Plain Local school district, there were no opportunities for her to join an organization like FFA or participate in an event like the Junior Fair Queen pageant. Now, she feels like she has found a second home and an entirely new community to enjoy.

“I’ve never had this kind of experience,” said Emma. “So, I just thought it would be something fun to try out and try out the fair because we don’t have this [in New Albany] … I didn’t even know this existed. We don’t have those programs. And so when I came here, I got really into it. But, seeing everybody doing it, I just thought it’d be so fun to try out. And, because I have another person in my class and that was with me, I feel more comfortable.”

For Danielle and Emma, this is their first Junior Fair Queen competition. However, Danielle has served as sort of a mentor to Emma, introducing her to the FFA world and all the people in it. Both shared that the family feeling fostered by FFA, as a whole, has made the Junior Fair Queen and FFA experiences impactful and memorable.

“We’re together all the time to where it just becomes a family,” said Danielle. “Because we’re together all the time, we’re always doing our tasks together.”

Emma Gray

Emma added, “We all have to work together and communicate together and build each thing together. When we go to competitions there are singles events, but there are also events for work as a group. So we need that bond to be able to go and do our events.”

The experience Emma and Danielle are receiving in just their first year as a part of Fairfield Career Center is not a one-off. It is a foundation for the remainder of their high school careers and beyond. Both students expressed that they do not really care where they place. Emma is simply excited to be a part of it; she never imagined she would be named a finalist so, to her, this is a bonus. Danielle is already pleased to be representing Bloom-Carroll and FCC as a finalist. From here, the duo looks to lift up one another and the other candidates. 

The 2023 Queen will be crowned along with two attendants by the 2022 Fairfield County Junior Fair Queen at 7 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 7, during the Fairfield County Junior Fair Panorama.