There are four candidates vying for the title of Winneshiek County beef queen and one for Little Miss Cowgirl.
The royalty will be crowned during the annual Cattlemen's banquet at the Oaks Steakhouse in Decorah Saturday, March 2. A trade show begins at 5 p.m., followed by a beef tips with gravy dinner at 6:45.
Following the dinner is the scholarship auction and crowning of the 2013 Winneshiek county beef queen and Little Miss Cowgirl.
Passing over the reign of Winneshiek County beef queen is Micayla Christopher, of rural Decorah, and princess Chandler Luzum.
This year's queen candidates are Kayleigh Hauber, Carlee Knutson, Kelly Rue and Emily Smith.
The candidate for Little Miss Cowgirl is Avryn Sibley.
Kayleigh Hauber is the 16-year-old daughter of Kevin and Jamie Hauber of Ridgeway. Hauber is a junior at Crestwood High School where she is involved in softball, FFA and silver cord where she has worked over 160 hours of community service. In FFA she is the sentinel and has been involved with many judging teams. This past year Hauber was the top fruit seller for her FFA chapter which also broke a sales record in the Crestwood FFA Chapter. She is a 12-year member of the Lincoln Leaders, where she has served as secretary, historian, vice president and is currently president.
Hauber is on Winneshiek county senior and county council. She is a 7th grade CCD teacher at the Tri City Parishes. Her hobbies include riding horses, hunting with family and friends, working with cattle, helping her dad on the farm and showing at the fair. Hauber works at Sue-z-q's in Cresco and also helps on the family farm, Haubers family farms, south of Bluffton, and their cow/calf operation. They also raise corn, soybeans and hay. Hauber's future plans are to go to Iowa State University to become a veterinarian.
Carlee Knutson is the 17-year-old daughter of Ron and Amy Knutson, of Ossian. Knutson is a junior at South Winneshiek High School, where she is involved in volleyball, golf, basketball, choir, speech, colorguard, student government, musicals and FFA. She recently preformed at all-state speech with her Readers Theater Group. Knutson is an 8-year member of the Co-Chapions, where she has served on numerous committees and received many project and record book awards. She also is a member of the church LYO. Her hobbies include showing cattle, horseback riding, playing cards, singing and four-wheeling.
Knutson is employed at Knutson Brothers Farms. Her family buys and raises 550 head of beef steers and finishes them out for market. The cropland consists of 1450 acres of hay, corn, soybeans and oats. The Knutsons also milk 300 head of Holsteins and raise and finish out all the dairy steers for market. Knutson's future plans are to attend a four-year college.
Kelly Rue is the 17-year-old daughter of Kelvin and Donna Rue, of Ridgeway. Rue is a junior at Crestwood High School, where she is involved in basketball cheerleading and is a member of the National Honor Society. She has received an acadamic letter and lettered in cheerleading. Rue is a member of the Lincoln Leaders 4-H club. Her hobbies are showing cattle and cheerleading. Rue works on the family farm. Which has a cow/calf operation in addition to a beef finishing operation. The family also runs a corn and bean rotation. Rue plans to become a veterinarian.
Emily Smith is the 16-year-old daughter of Eric and Dainna Smith, of Decorah. Smith is a junior at Decorah High School, where she is involved in the National Honor Society and FFA, and is a varsity football cheerleader. Emily is a member of the Burr Oak Building Blazers, where she servers as vice president and also is a member of the 4-H senior county council. Smith also has been involved with helping in the beef quarters at the county and state fair, 4-H ditch clean-up, and Burr Oak Luther league.
Her hobbies include spending time with family and friends, boating, tubing and water-skiing at the Mississippi, along with shopping and bowling. Smith works at Wellington Place as a CNA as well as working on the family farm. Her family operates a cow/calf herd consisting of Angus, Red-Angus, Simmental and Shorthorns. The Smiths have extensively used embroyo transfer for their own donor cows as well as being a cooperative herd for seed stock breeders. Her family also operates a corn and soybean row-crop operation. Smith's future plans are to go to college and pursue a career in business.
Little Miss Cowgirl:
Avryn Sibley is the 9-year-old daughter of Alan and Tasha Sibley and Breanna Blegen and Randy McClintock, of Decorah. Avryn is a student at Carrie Lee Elementary in Decorah.
Sibley is a member of The First United Methodist church and youth choir. Avryn has shown in the peewee show at the Winneshiek county fair and can't wait to be involved in 4-H and to start showing at the county fair. Sibley's hobbies include helping Randy do chores on the farm, horseback riding and drawing.
She lives on a farm four miles north of Decorah, which is set up to finish out market beef, market dairy beef and market beef heifers. The farm raises beef animals from 500 pounds to market finished weight. Sibley one day wants to become a veterinarian or an art teacher.