WAPAKONETA — When the 2013 Auglaize County Beef queen heard her name read as the next to serve as a representative for the Auglaize County Cattlemen’s Association, she said she thought for a moment they read someone’s else’s name before the realization struck her.
Seventeen-year-old Stephanie Albers blushed and smiled as 2012 Auglaize County Beef Queen Jamie Baumer placed the sash over her shoulder and placed the tiara on Albers’ head during the 2013 Auglaize County Cattlemen’s Association banquet held Tuesday at the Auglaize County Fairgrounds.
“It was definitely not something I was expecting,” Albers said. “I thought all these girls are so good that someone else would win.”
The other queen candidates were 2012 Wapakoneta High School graduate Paige Klopfenstein and Wapakoneta High School student Kerrie Miller.
“The entire process was definitely enjoyable and I am proud I took part in the process,” the daughter of Sue and Luke Albers said after the banquet. “Really, I am still kind of speechless. I tried my best in the interview, but it was something I didn’t really expect and I am glad it happened.
“When they said my name, I actually thought it was someone else,” she said. “For a moment, I thought they said someone else’s name — that they didn’t say my name.”
After the meeting, Albers spoke at length with Baumer about the responsibilities of serving as queen and the expectations of being the queen. She also inquired about the best seminars to attend to be prepared for the next year.
The Minster High School senior already knew part of what she wants to do during her reign.
“I hope to help little kids improve their beef knowledge and in general I want to help the beef industry grow,” Albers said. “I plan to go into my school, other schools in the county and the area to teach them about benefits of beef.”
She intends to attend seminars to increase her knowledge of the beef market and about teaching others about the industry she loves. She also plans to participate in the state beef association’s ambassador program.
Albers, who is a member of Minster FFA and her local 4-H club, plays softball for the Minster Wildcats in the spring and for the Buckeye Heat in the summer.
She said she hopes to play softball in college.
She followed in her older brother, Matthew’s footsteps by showing hogs and steers at the Auglaize County Fair, something she has done since she was 8.
She participated in the Pee Wee Swine Showmanship prior to 4H.
Albers, who competed in the queen competition last year, was the 2011 Auglaize County Beef Princess.
Caitlin Schaub, the daughter of Judy and Mike Schaub, retained her crown as the Auglaize County Beef Princess and will serve in the same position in 2013. She was named princess in 2012. She attends school in Wapakoneta.
A northeast Auglaize County farmer and livestock producer garnered the 2013 Cattleman of the Year honor.
Tadd Turner, who resides on the county line and served on the Waynesfield-Goshen Board of Education, accepted the honor and humbly declined to give a speech after earning the honor.
“This is a great honor,” Tadd Turner said after receiving the honor.
“We just all help each other out and we all do things together. I am really honored to receive this because there are a lot of people on the list who have helped people out through the years and at the fairs. I try to do the same thing, help people out, help the kids out and make things better.”
Larry Winkler, who presented the award, said Turner “ is around a lot, likes to fly under the radar, doesn’t like recognition” and “whenever help is needed he is always there.”
Turner and his wife, Regina, have three children — Bryce, a 2006 Waynesfield-Goshen High School graduate, Nathan, a 2012 Waynesfield-Goshen High School graduate, and Lydia, a junior at the school.
They have all participated in beef and dairy steer shows at the fair and throughout the year.
The 1981 Waynesfield-Goshen High School graduate operates the seed and custom feed-grinding business, County Line Ag Services.
Auglaize County Cattlemen’s Association President Jay Clutter addressed the banquet hall in the Junior Fair Building about the industry.
“The record prices from 2011 never materialized in 2012 and inputs continued to rise so we didn’t see the same sales,” Clutter said.
“We had some challenges and we continued to meet them head on.”
Sierra Jepsen, a student at The Ohio State University, is one of three ambassadors of the state beef association. The ambassador program replaced the queen program.
She said being part of the initial three members of the ambassador program is scary and exciting.
“I am from Fairfield County and I was named the Fairfield County beef queen but we found the crown and sash creates a disconnect,” Jepsen said. “The ambassador program was developed so we could represent the entire state, so we could get out and reach each area of the state and reach as many consumers and producers as we can. The ambassador program is really trying to bridge the gap between young and old and bridge the gap between consumer and producer.”
She also talked about the Dodge Ram truck commercial that aired during the Super Bowl. The advertisement is called “The Farmer” and is narrated by the late Paul Harvey.
“We can continue to present the facts on production, but this commercial shows another side of the farmer — his passion,” Jepsen said. “It tells consumers this is why we do what we do. There was not one fact stated in the commercial, it just showed the passion of the farmer and we have to have passion to move forward.”