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Clarke County Fair Queen contestants

Four contestants are vying for the crown of the 2017 Clarke County Fair Queen. The winner will be crowned 7 p.m. Monday, July 17, after the Opening Ceremonies in the Show Barn.

Alexis Benda

Alexis Benda, 16, of Osceola is the daughter of Eddie and Carrie Benda. She is sponsored by Clarke County Horse and Rider. Her escort is Cody Parrish.

Benda attends Clarke Community High School where she is involved in FFA, band, marching band and FFA fruit sales. Benda’s other activities include Souper Bowl of Caring (SAE), Youth Council, Vacation Bible School, Youth Group, 4-H, Toys for Christmas, and volunteering at her church daycare, during meals for the homeless and for trash pickup.

Benda’s special awards include the FFA Greenhand Award, the De Long Horse Award, and band letters, and she’s been named on the perfect attendance and A honor roll.

Her hobbies include riding and showing horses, spending time with friends and family, babysitting, swimming and watching movies.

Brandi Gilbert

Brandi Gilbert, 18, of Osceola is the daughter of David and Sheryl Gilbert. She is sponsored by Murray FFA. Her escort is Payton Flaherty.

Gilbert graduated from Murray Community High School in May, where she was involved in volleyball, basketball, track, softball, band, Talented and Gifted, National Honor Society, Spanish Club, Future Nurses of America, the fall play and spring musical. Gilbert served on the Student Council as Junior Class President and as the Chapter President of the Murray FFA.

Her other activities include the Murray Church of Christ Youth Group and Triple Troopers 4-H Club, and she volunteered for Vacation Bible School and served as the President of the Clarke County Organization of Philanthropic Services (CCOPS).

Gilbert’s special awards include 1st Team All-Conference, All-District and Quad-Best Server in volleyball, 2015 - 2017 Defensive Player of the Year in basketball, 1st Team All-Conference Extra-Infielder and 3rd Team All-State in softball, 2015 Star Chapter Member in FFA, 2017 Star Chapter Member in Ag Placement and the DEKALB Agricultural Accomplishment Award.

Gilbert plans to attend Central College in the fall to major in Spanish and Communications. She also plans to play softball and participate in the ministries on campus. She intends to get her coaching endorsements as well in order to coach softball during the summer.

Gilbert’s hobbies include reading and playing guitar as well as volunteering in the community. She’s fond of fishing and boating with family and friends, and cuddling up in a good blanket to watch a nice movie or TV show with her loved ones.

Shelby Anne Mathes

Shelby Anne Mathes, 17, of Lorimor is the daughter of Aaron and Lawra Mathes. She is sponsored by Koolios 4-H Club. Her escort is Matt Reasoner.

Mathes attends Murray Community High School, where she is involved in volleyball, FFA, FFA State Convention, National FFA Convention and job shadowing in a Creston veterinarian clinic.

Her other activities include employment at Iowa Select Farms and helping on her family farm, where she’s learned how to artificially inseminate cattle.

Mathes’ special awards include Class President, Junior and Senior Queen for the Cowgirl Queen Contest, Intermediate Showmanship, Supreme Breeding Heifer, Reserve Breeding Heifer, Watermelon Day Queen in Lorimor and earning Silver Cord hours.

Her hobbies include fishing, hunting, riding horses, working with cattle, being with family and friends, and camping.

Maeci Marie Baumfalk

Maeci Marie Baumfalk, 18, of Murray is the daughter of Terry Baumfalk and Jaci Smith. She is sponsored by Billie Sweeney’s Army. Her escort is Lane Ripperger.

Baumfalk graduated from Murray Community High School in May, where she was involved in softball and the Homecoming Court. She served as the FFA sentinel, reporter and secretary and was an FFA Sweetheart candidate.

Her other activities include 4-H, serving as President and Vice-President, and volunteered as a coach for the Murray Junior High softball team.

Baumfalk plans to attend college to become an Ag teacher and coach.

Her hobbies include playing softball, dancing, listening to music and being with family and friends.

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