Wautoma, WI
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0:56 AM CDT
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Issued at 0:56 AM CDT
Friday...Temperatures will range from a high of 39 to a low of 27 degrees with clear skies. Winds will range between 7 and 22 miles per hour from the north. No precipitation is expected.
This Evening ...Temperatures will range from 33 to 27 degrees with clear skies. Winds will range between 8 and 13 miles per hour from the north. No precipitation is expected.
Overnight ...Temperatures will remain steady at 27 degrees with clear skies. Winds will remain steady around 7 miles per hour from the north. No precipitation is expected.
Saturday...Temperatures will range from a high of 43 to a low of 27 degrees with clear skies. Winds will range between 0 and 8 miles per hour from the south. No precipitation is expected.
WISCONSIN’S FAIREST - Steffani Koch (right), representing the Dodge County Fair, will serve as the 2013 Wisconsin Fairest of the Fairs. She is pictured with Jennifer Happ, representing the Kenosha County Fair, who was selected by 42 contestants to received the Congeniality Award.

WISCONSIN’S FAIREST - Steffani Koch (right), representing the Dodge County Fair, will serve as the 2013 Wisconsin Fairest of the Fairs. She is pictured with Jennifer Happ, representing the Kenosha County Fair, who was selected by 42 contestants to received the Congeniality Award. Photo By Jane Metcalf

Koch named Fairest of the Fairs

Jan. 17, 2013 | 0 comments

WISCONSIN DELLS

The new Wisconsin Fairest of the Fairs says she can’t wait to start visiting all of the state’s county fairs and "seeing what makes each fair unique."

Dodge County’s Steffani Koch was named the 2013 Wisconsin Fairest of the Fairs at the closing awards banquet at the Wisconsin Association of Fairs’ annual convention last week.

Koch, 22, the daughter of Franklin & Debra Koch of Mayville, will attend fairs, festivals and other events throughout Wisconsin from June through September to promote the educational, agricultural, social, cultural and commercial opportunities available at Wisconsin fairs and the Wisconsin State Fair.

As a full-time summer employee of the State Fair’s marketing department, she also will serve as the good-will ambassador at the Wisconsin State Fair and assist in promoting the 11-day event, slated for Aug. 1-11.

Koch graduated from Mayville High School and the University of Wisconsin-River Falls, where she majored in dairy science and minored in chemistry, and she currently is a first-year student at the UW-Madison School of Veterinary Medicine. Her goal is to become a large-animal veterinarian.

Although Koch didn’t grow up on a farm, she started working on her cousin’s nearby farm around fourth grade, "whenever I could get my parents to take me out there," she said.

She exhibited dairy cattle, beef steers and dogs — along with foods, clothing and photography projects — through 4-H and FFA, and the dairy project holds a special place in her heart.

She exhibited dairy cattle at the Dodge County Fair, Wisconsin State Fair and World Dairy Expo.

In grade school, she dreamed of becoming a small-animal veterinarian, but the experience she gained with dairy and beef animals in 4-H and FFA shifted her career goal to working with large animals.

Koch served as reporter and president of the Mayville FFA Chapter and treasurer, vice president and president of the Golden Rule 4-H Club.

At UW-River Falls, she was a member of the Dairy Club, served as a representative to the ag college for the Pre-Veterinary Club and as secretary of the Chancellor’s Student Ambassadors.

She currently is a member of the UW-Madison School of Veterinary Medicine Bovine Club and the Mayville FFA Alumni, and she was awarded the American FFA Degree.

Bailey Quam, 22, the daughter of Terry and Ardel Quam, Lodi, representing the Lodi Agricultural Fair, was first runner-up in the Fairest of the Fairs Competition.

Leah Christenson, 22, the daughter of David and Connie Christenson, Amery, representing the Polk County Fair, placed third.

She was followed in order by Brianna Huebner, 20, the daughter of Paul and Diane Huebner, Mauston, representing the Juneau County Fair; and Erika Soukup, 20, the daughter of Barry and Gwen Soukup, Reedsville, representing the Manitowoc County Fair.

The 42 Fairest of the Fairs contestants selected Jennifer Happ, representing the Kenosha County Fair, to receive the Congeniality Award.

Richelle Kastenson, the retiring 2012 Wisconsin Fairest of the Fairs, gave an emotional closing address during which she talked about her long-held love of attending fairs and about the honor of serving as Fairest of the Fairs.

She showed and read from a picture book she’d written in about third grade about what she liked to do at her Racine County Fair. She also showed an illustrated story she’d written in fifth grade, entitled "SuperCows Save the Fair."

Kastenson, the daughter or Rick and Julie Kastenson, is a 2008 graduate of Waterford Union High School, and she graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater with a bachelor’s degree in elementary education and a minor in special education in December.

After completing her summer employment as Fairest of the Fairs in September, she traveled to Sweden for six weeks, where she taught English to elementary students.

She will finish practice teaching at Woodfield Elementary School in Waterford at the end of this month, and then she hopes to serve as a substitute teacher until she finds a permanent teaching position.

Serving as the Wisconsin Fairest of Fairs has helped her make connections throughout the state, plus it increased her interest in fairs and the Wisconsin State Fair, she said.

Kastenson, who had served as a marketing intern at Wisconsin State Fair during the summer of 2011, hopes to remain involved in the Wisconsin State Fair "to help wherever I can," she said.

During the four-day Fairest of the Fairs competition, county contestants participated in individual and group interviews, showcased a scrapbook and an auction basket they had created, answered impromptu questions from judges, presented a radio commercial they had written and presented several speeches.

They also had the opportunity to meet with and question Kastenson about the year-long position.

"I told all the girls to ‘be yourself and take advantage of all the experiences that you can,’" she told Wisconsin State Farmer. "The next year will be overwhelming, and what you take away from the experience will help you very much in your future career."

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