Being in 4-H was a large part of her childhood, and now she wants to give back.
Katie Ott is a 10-year 4-H member and has done projects in sewing, food, photography and fashion. She will study agriculture education at Purdue University in the hopes of becoming an extension educator.
And now the recent graduate of Franklin Community High School can add another fair accomplishment to her résumé: 2016 Johnson County Fair Queen.
Ott, daughter of Brad and Kristi Ott, was one of 18 young women vying to be the face of the fair Sunday. They answered questions from the judges for points that made up half of their score. Formal wear, professional wear and answering a question on stage made up the other half.
Ott stood on stage for the second year in a row. The current queen competed last year but did not place.
Now, she wants to use her platform to make sure people know what 4-H means to her, she said.
“I wanted to use the queen pageant as a way to give back to 4-H,” she said.
In her 10 years in the organization she has been a 4-H Ambassador, Junior Director of 4-H camp, camp counselor of Mini 4-H camp and Vice President of Junior Leaders.
And she wants people who are interested in 4-H and what the organization has to offer to stop her at the fair to chat about what 4-H means to her, she said.
“Any questions they have, they can come up to me,” she said. “I would love to have a talk with them.”
After not placing last year, Ott decided to try again this year. She had learned a lot from the experience last year, and wanted another shot to represent Johnson County, she said.
She spent the day of the pageant making sure she was calm, she said. Her white dress, bedazzled with silver, was borrowed from a friend, and another friend did her hair and make-up.
Ott’s focus the 24 hours before the pageant was to get a good night’s sleep and stay calm before the big event, she said.
Now, she is looking forward to getting to know her court and spending the whole week at the fair with them, Ott said.
Hope Tiffany is her first runner-up. Tiffany also snagged the title of Miss Congeniality and the People’s Choice Award. More than $1,100 will be donated to the Riley Cheer Guild, which was raised through audience members voting for their top choice with monetary donations.
Sable Tearman is her second runner-up. Third runner-up is Megan Webb. Rowan Hayden was named fourth runner-up.
Name: Katie Ott
Family: Daughter of Brad and Kristi Ott
Honor: 2016 Johnson County Fair Queen
Education: Recent graduate of Franklin Community High School. Attending Purdue University this fall.