Rachel Gurley crowned as 2009 Switzerland County Fair Queen

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The 2009 Switzerland County 4-H Fair festivities kicked off on Friday night, as Rachel Gurley was crowned as the Queen of this year’s fair from a field of 12 contestants, She and her court will now reign over this year’s fair, which will be held from July 11th-18th.

Rachel Gurley will also represent Switzerland County at the Indiana State Fair Queen pageant, and she got a taste of that experience on Friday night, as the local pageant was attended by Haleigh Yergler of Porter County, who is the 2009 Miss Indiana State Fair.

The winner of this year’s State Fair Queen pageant will reign over the 2010 Indiana State Fair.

Also on hand to crown this year’s court was Stephanie Adams, the 2008 Switzerland County 4-H Fair Queen.

Rachel Gurley is the daughter of Jennifer Miller of near Pleasant; and is a 2009 graduate of Switzerland County High School. She was sponsored in this year’s pageant by the Schenck Mansion Bed and Breakfast.

She was the Swiss Wine Festival’s Edelweiss Teen Princess in 2005; and is the reigning FFA “Queen of Hearts”. She was the vice president of her junior and senior classes; and this year earned the Lilly Endowment Scholarship. She was the second runner up in the 2008 Miss Switzerland County pageant. She was the president of the FFA chapter; co-president of student council; and was a member of the Pep Club.

She will be a freshman this fall at Butler University, where she plans on majoring in psychology.

The first runner up in Friday night’s pageant was Shayla Smith.

She is the daughter of Betty Gifford of Pleasant Grove Road; and will be a senior this fall at Switzerland County High School. She was sponsored in the pageant by Gifford Farms.

She served as the secretary of the junior class; and is a member of the cheerleading squad; the volleyball team; Pep Club; Business Professionals of America; student council; FFA; and National Honor Society. She has earned certificates of appreciation from Extendicare and Swiss Villa; and also a community service award from Swiss Villa and the high school.

Following graduation she plans on attending The Ohio State University and major in communication technology.

Earning second runner up accolades was Beth Abbott.

She is the daughter of Tim and Jenny Abbott of Parks Ridge, and was sponsored in this year’s pageant by the Clover Kids 4-H Club.

She is a 2009 graduate of Switzerland County High School, where she was a member of the varsity cross country and track teams; and was also the manager of the softball team. She was involved in FFA, the Fellowship of Christian Athletes; Pep Club; and Conservation Club. She was the 2009 Homecoming Queen at Switzerland County High School; and was the ORVC Mental Attitude Award winner in cross country and track.

She will be a freshman this fall at Western Kentucky University, where she plans on majoring in meteorology and minoring in political science.

Voted Miss Congeniality by her fellow contestants was Katie Hall.

She is the daughter of Shauna Wiley of near Vevay, and was sponsored in the pageant by the Moorefield Celebrities 4-H Club. She will be a senior this fall at Switzerland County High School.

She is a member of the track team, where she earned the Mental Attitude award her freshman year; and was Miss Congeniality of the 2007 Swiss Wine Festival Edelweiss Teen Princess Pageant. She has earned Grand Champion honors with her sheep; and has won the intermediate and senior showmanship awards in sheep. She showed the Grand Champion halter calf and the Grand Champion Angus heifer; and was the intermediate beef showmanship award winner.

Following graduation from high school she plans on attending college to become an anesthesiologist.

Other candidates in this year’s 4-H Fair Queen pageant included: Andrea Brogan, Morgan Nay, Alleisha Palastro, Jessie Ray, Hailee Smith, Halie Thomas, Kim Vann, and Emilee Waldron.