Fairest of the Fair (2010-2019)
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Fairest 2010-2022

2022 Kaylee Mess

Kaylee Mess, 20, of Rosendale is the 2022 Fond du Lac County Fairest of the Fair.

The daughter of Austin and Debbie Mess, Kaylee is a 2020 Magna Cum Laude graduate of Laconia High School and currently attends the University of Wisconsin-Platteville majoring in Agriculture Education and Technology Education. On campus she is involved in many agriculture related organizations, including Pioneer Dairy Club, Platteville Agriculture Education Society, Platteville Agriculture Student Council, Collegiate Farm Bureau and Ceres Women’s Fraternity.

On campus, Kaylee serves as a Resident Assistant and was named the Staff Member of the Semester twice. When she is at home, she works on her family’s farm, Just-R-Mess Dairy, where she helps milk cows, feed calves, maintain records and much more. Kaylee enjoys caring for the cattle and celebrating the successes that come along the way, as well as appreciates the opportunity to continue to grow her dairy herd.

During her 4-H career, Kaylee was involved in the dairy, swine, arts and crafts, photography, foods and nutrition, youth leadership, and dairy management projects. Outside of 4-H, she is very involved in the Fond du Lac County Junior Holstein Association and Laconia FFA.

In her spare time, Kaylee enjoys making crafts, watching movies and baking. She also enjoys having conversations with others about agriculture and the dairy industry.

Throughout her time as Fairest, Kaylee will have the opportunity to represent the Fond du Lac County Fair at the Wisconsin Association of Fairs Annual Convention in January 2023, where she will vie for the title of Wisconsin Fairest of the Fairs. At the competition, she will go through multiple rounds of interviews, on-stage speaking opportunities, a semi-finals and finals competition. In addition, she will make several appearances throughout the county and serve as the official host of the Fond du Lac County Fair.

2021 Parker Schmitz

Parker Schmitz, 20, of North Fond du Lac has been selected as the 2021 Fond du Lac County Fairest of the Fair.

The daughter of Nicole Schmitz and Nathan Gustavus, Parker is a 2019 high honor roll graduate of Winnebago Lutheran Academy and currently attends the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee where she is a sophomore majoring in Architecture. She has been on the Dean’s List and involved in the Lady’s Pirate Crew”, completing tasks around campus while having a chance to network and develop communication skills.

For the last three years, Parker has been a drafter at RA Pinno & Sons Construction. She takes sketches and ideas from the salesman and their customers and turns them into CAD drawings, while also working on project ordering and invoicing.

During her 4-H career, Parker was involved in the dairy project, arts and crafts, baking, vegetables, rabbits and more. Parker has been a volunteer for the Oakfield FFA as well as Pheasants Forever fundraiser.

In her spare time, Parker enjoys hunting pheasants with her father, fishing with friends, sketching, reading and playing with her new puppy.

Parker will have the opportunity to represent the Fond du Lac County Fair at the Wisconsin Association of Fairs Annual Convention in January 2022, where she will vie for the title of Wisconsin Fairest of the Fairs.

Come see Parker at the 2021 Fond du Lac County Fair, July 14-18!

2019 Cayley Vande Berg

Cayley Vande Berg of Eldorado was named the 2019 Fond du Lac County Fairest of the Fair on Satuday, June 1, 2019. Cayley, the 19 year old daughter of Chad and Tammy Vande Berg is currently a sophomore at the University of Wisconsin – River Falls where she is studying Dairy Business and Agricultural Business. Upon college graduation, Cayley plans to pursue a career where she can work with both cattle and people as she has a passion for both. At school, she is actively involved in Dairy Club, a Falcon Premier Sale Volunteer and Collegiate Farm Bureau.

Cayley is currently employed with Milk Source, LLC in Rosendale as well as interning with Foremost Farms USA as a part of their Member Services team.

In her spare time, Cayley enjoys hunting and fishing with family, playing volleyball and practicing the violin. She also enjoys visiting other farms and agricultural businesses to learn about new and innovative practices in the industry.

2018 Emily Franke

Franke is the 19 year old daughter of Scott and Laura Franke of Oakfield. She will be a sophomore this Fall at the University of Wisconsin – Madison where she is majoring in Dairy Science. There, she is a member of the Association of Women in Agriculture, Badger Dairy Club and Collegiate Farm Bureau. Franke was a long time member of the Green Valley 4-H Club and Oakfield FFA where she served in numerous leadership roles.

A long time Fair exhibitor, Franke is now looking forward to sharing her passion for agriculture and the Fair with others. She hopes to spread the message that the Fair has something to offer every member of the family, and that while agriculture is a big part of the Fair, there is so much more to do and see.

Franke will be the recipient of a $750 scholarship provided by Horicon Bank as she represents the Fond du Lac County Fair for the next year. In January, she will represent the county in the Wisconsin Association of Fairs State Fairest of the Fair competition, where she will go through multiple rounds of interviews, on-stage speaking opportunities, a semi-finals and finals competition.

2017 Kati Kindschuh

Kati Kindschuh is the 22 year old daughter of David and Dianne Kindschuh of Brownsville, WI. She grew up on her family's 60 cow Registered Holstein and Jersey farm where they also farm 600 acres of crops. Kindschuh is a 2014 graduate of Lomira High School, earned her Associate's Degree at UW-Fond du Lac in 2016 and is currently a senior at UW-River Falls majoring in Agricultural Marketing Communications. Kindschuh served as the 2014-2015 WI State FFA Reporter, the 2016 Wisconsin Holstein Princess and was crowned the 2017 Fond du Lac County Fairest of the Fair. In her free time, Kindschuh enjoys freelance writing for agricultural publications, spending time with her nephew and coaching at her local CrossFit gym.

2016: Alexis Newton

Alexis Newton is the 21 year old daughter of Chris & Danielle Newton! She is a 2013 Oakfield High School graduate; she graduated with high honors and served as her class Valedictorian! Alexis is currently studying Animal Behavior and Spanish at Carroll University. Here are some interesting things about Alexis: she is a certified lifeguard; she is fluent in Spanish; she plays the flute and piccolo; she is a registered 4-H adult volunteer; and she has been training dogs for 12 years! Alexis is a graduate of the Creative Clovers 4-H Club. When Alexis isn’t working or studying, you will find her spending time with her dogs and training them, listening to music, reading books, playing soccer & cooking!

2015: Valerie Kramer

Valerie Kramer, the daughter of Leo and Chris Kramer is a 2013 graduate of Campbellsport High School and know goes to the University of Wisconsin-River Falls majoring in Dairy Science with a minor in Agricultural Business. She is very active on campus with Collegiate Dairy Judging and the UWRF Dairy Club. Her plans after college pertain to the dairy industry where it deals with the youth-extension program, dairy nutritionist, or the Animal Health Field. Besides schooling, Valerie was a member of Armstrong 4-H club for 10 year and was very active in the Fond du Lac County Junior Holstein Association and the Wisconsin Junior Holstein Association. Some of Valerie’s hobbies deal with spending time with family, friends and just working with her dairy cattle.

2014: Katie Bock

Katie Bock is the 20 year old daughter of Loron & Lorna Bock. Katie and her family reside on a working dairy farm in Malone, WI. Katie graduated from Winnebago Lutheran Academy in 2012; Katie was active in Track, Cheerleading, Band, Pep Band and others. She was on the Honor Roll for all 4 years. She was an active member of the Calumet 4-H Club for 13 years. Katie has been involved in the community by volunteering at Villa Lorretta Nursing Home. Katie currently attends UW-Fond du Lac and intends on transferring to UW-Madison in the fall. She plans on continuing her education in Veterinary School. Katie’s hobbies include playing the flute & piano, spending time with the farm cats & dog, caring for houseplants, working on her family’s farm and growing friendships at school!

2013: Emily Ries

What is the Fairest of the Fair Program: The Fond du Lac Fairest of the Fair program promotes awareness about the upcoming Fond du Lac County Fair. The Fairest of the Fair will represent the Fair at various media and promotional events throughout the year such as Breakfast on the Farm, parades, and many other events. The Fond du Lac County Fairest of the Fair will compete for the Wisconsin Association of Fairs Fairest of the Fairs title in January of 2014. The Fairest will be asked to participate in local community activities where she will be the official representative of and voice of the Fond du Lac County Fair.

The Fairest of the Fair Competition: The crowning of the 2013 Fairest of the Fair took place at Northwinds Supper Club on June 2nd. The competition consisted of a radio interview, luncheon, professional interview, and an impromptu speech. The three contestants this year included: Emily Ries, Mandi Pesch, and Karmen Ruplinger. Emily Ries won the title of 2013 Fairest of the Fond du Lac County Fair, Mandi Pesch received first runner-up, and Karmen Ruplinger received second runner-up.

Emily’s Current Experience: Having the opportunity to be this year’s Fairest of the Fond du Lac County Fair is something I am very excited to partake in. I have shown hogs since I was in third grade, which ignited my love for the fair. Since then I have been able to attain many leadership roles through 4-H, FFA, and the Market Livestock Committee to promote education and the importance of the fair. To me the fair is more than food, rides, and animals; it’s about family, friends, and learning which is why I am so eager to share this passion for the fair with others. So far this year I have been able to attend Breakfast on the Farm, Walleye Weekend, various daycares, and parades to invite and spark an interest for people to attend the fair.

Some new things at the fair this year are an Animal Birthing Barn, a BMX/ATV/FMX Stunt Show, performances by Hinder and Whitesnake, and much more. A reminder to all those who attend the Market Livestock Sale that the sale will take place on Thursday July 18. Finally, I would like to welcome everyone to the Fond du Lac County Fair July 17-21st!

2012: Angela Kochan

My name is Angela Kochan, I am 21 years old and the daughter of Joe and Kathy Kochan. I currently attend school at the University of Wisconsin Stout majoring in Family and Consumer Sciences Education with a minor in Human Development and Family Studies. The fair has always played a huge role in my life, as I have been attending since as long as I can remember and was also an exhibitior in the Fond du Lac County 4-H program for 14 years. I am so greatful to be in my position as I am very excited to be able to represent Fond du Lac in everything I do, and showcase to everyone what a fantastic county we are!

2011: Elizabeth Drendel

Name: Elizabeth Drendel Age: 20
Parents: Rod and Linda Drendel
Goals and Ambitions: She has wanted to be the fairest of the fair for as long as she can remember,and this was her 3rd year running. She graduated from Marian University this past December and she hopes to pay off school loans by January 1st, 2012. She understands the importance of eliminating debt and building equity for the future. She hopes to save money for the down payment on her first home. Lastly, she dedicates each day to becoming a better person. In the future she hopes to be a good wife and mother to children with strong morals and a commitment to serve others with their lives.
Hobbies: Spending time with her niece and nephews, they brighten her day every time she sees them. She loves party planning and recently got involved with wedding planning. She enjoys working out, walking, and running. A major hobby of hers is spending time in the community such as volunteering at Free S.P.I.R.I.T. Riders. The different children in the program have overcome so many challenges in their lives; they inspire here every week to remember all of the blessings she has in life.
Employment: She is a REALTOR at RE/MAX Heritage, works as an independent real estate agent. After working side-by side with her father, the owner of the company, she has a greater respect for him and his passion for what he does. Her second job is waitressing at Blanck’s Supper Club in Johnsburg.
High School: Trinity Baptist School in Fond du Lac 2007
College: Marian University, December 2010- double major in Business Administration and Business
School Honors and Awards: High School (perfect attendance grades k-12; volleyball coach’s award based on team spirit, leadership skills, dedication to the team and sportsmanship; Pastor’s Award based on Christian leadership, school spirit, academic performance and overall character) College ( graduated with Summa Cum Laude Honors with a GPA of 3.9 and above, secured a spot on the Dean’s list all 4 years)
Club and Organizations: High School (science fairs, debates, dramatic performances, musical concerts, and athletic endeavors) College (Business Club and Model United Nations Team)
Other Schools or Special Training: Real Estate License, One on One choir training since the 1st grade.
Community Activities: Volunteers weekly at Free S.P.I.R.I.T. Riders and when needed at Marian
University mentoring underclassmen. She enjoys impacting lives and explaining the importance of
Other Awards and Honors: Receive the Jim Crowley Leadership Award in 2007, this award was granted to someone who displayed leadership skills amongst the 4-H state dairy attendees. Received Top Showman awards for Junior Dairy and Junior Beef at the county level.

2010: Kristin Kohlmann

Kristin Kohlman of Oakfield beat out 7 other women running for this year's Fond du Lac County Fairest of the Fair.
Kohlman was crowned during a daylong event on Sunday, May 23, at Northwinds Supper Club on Highway 45 in Eden. Tickets weren't available to the general public this year.
Kohlman is expected to attend all five days of the Fond du Lac County Fair and be on hand for impromptu appearances, according to contest rules. She will attend events to promote the Fair and compete for State Fairest of the Fair at the Wisconsin Association of State Fairs Convention in January 2011.
Fairest of the Fair was traditionally announced before the first concert on the Grandstand during the Fair. Holding the coronation ceremony early will give her more opportunities to promote the event, organizers said.
Kristin Kohlmann
Hometown: Oakfield
Age: 19
Parents: Leigh and Wally Kohlmann
Education: 2009 graduate of Oakfield High School, attending the University of Wisconsin-Madison in hopes of becoming a physician.
Work: Research assistant for Reed Lab.
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