Sarah Calvert of Spraggs was crowned Greene County Fair Queen on Sunday, Aug. 5. It was the first pageant she ever participated in, but everything else was familiar to the 18-year-old.
Calvert competed against her older sister Johnna Calvert, who was the first runner-up, and second runner up Emilei Grim, who is a cousin by marriage.
“My sister and I are really close, we share a room at home and we discussed running,” she said. “We made a pact that whoever didn’t win would run again next year because we wanted to see more people involved in it. We’re both really big agricultural advocates.”
Calvert said the sisters promised each other there would be no bad blood if one of them won because it is more important to keep educating people about the important of agriculture.
“It’s just a title. It’s not really important, it’s what you do with it,” she said. “I know that my sister, even though she didn’t win, is going to continue to be an agricultural advocate.”
Calvert received the crown from 2018 Greene County Fair Queen Madison Kovach, a longtime friend with whom she has spent a lot of time in the 4-H rabbit barn.
She said the two talked before the contest and Kovach helped her relax.
Albeit nervous, Calvert was really confident in her abilities and had little trouble with the competition because she has been doing public speaking for years. The teen was both president and vice president of the Waynesburg FFA program during high school. The contestants had to deliver a planned speech, answer an impromptu question and participate in a 20-minute interview with the judges.
“I don’t want to say it was easy but I don’t want to say it was hard. I think all of it was equally challenging just because of getting over my nerves a little bit,” Calvert said.
She said she felt the interview went well and she was confident about her speech, too.
“I knew that by the time that it was time for me to give my speech, I knew that I had that covered and I knew that that’s where my strongest suit was going to be,” Calvert said.
However, she was still a little surprised when her name was announced, mostly because she believed in her sister’s and cousin’s abilities.
The Calvert girls grew up in a farm and participated in 4H programs since a young age. Though they are knowledgeable about different aspects: while Sarah loves goats and sheep, her sister prefers rabbits.
“I got my first goat when I was probably 4 or 5 years old but my parents wanted me to wait until I was old enough to start showing,” she said. “So growing up I spent a lot of time in the rabbit barn with the rabbit kids, because that’s where my sister showed. Then I started spending a lot of time in the goat barn and then eventually I moved on to goats and sheep.”
It was very fitting, then, that one of her first tasks as queen was to hand out ribbons for the goat show. Her newly gained title will also give her an opportunity to do one of her favorite things, which is teaching others about agriculture.
“One of my goals is to be able to answer questions and be there for my community and be open to answering questions that anybody may have,” Calvert said
She was part of the 2019 graduating class of Waynesburg Central High School and is headed to Fairmont State University in the fall, where she will study music education. However, she hopes to also get an agricultural education degree in the future.