2 Craig FFA members chosen king and queen of fair
MILTON—In a surprise to just about everyone, the king and queen of this year's Rock County 4-H Fair will both be from the same FFA club.
And probably no surprise to anyone, the two have been best of friends for more than half their lives.
Kristen Broege and Justin Runde of Janesville Craig FFA were crowned in a ceremony Saturday night at Milton High School's performing arts center.
Broege has been an FFA member for four years and a 4-H member for 10 years. She is the daughter of Phyllis and the late Steve Broege.
Runde has been with FFA for five years and 4-H for 10 years. He is the son of Diane Runde and the late Brian Runde.
They were chosen based on an application and interview. The applications—detailing leadership and experience in 4-H and/or FFA—did not identify who they were. That was half their score.
The other half was interviews with judges who not involved in FFA or 4-H and are mostly from outside Rock County.
The two will represent the fair at the fair and at public events throughout the coming year, said last year's king and queen, Alexia Gegare and Patrick Riesterer.
“Prepare right away,” Riesterer said when asked for his advice for his replacement.
Attend public events, get to know the news media and key people, including the fair board, and always dress well and speak politely, Riesterer said, “because your job is to get people to the fair. You're the fair's image for the whole year, not just for the fair.”
“Always have a smiling face, because you are the face of the fair,” Gegare agreed.
The job includes educating people about what the fair is really about, Gegare said, and that's the long hours and hard work of the 4-H and FFA members.
As for Broege and Runde, they had joked during their presentations Saturday that their favorite moment in FFA was when they first met each other.
Afterward, the Craig High School seniors could not agree when they had first met: Were they 5? 6? 7?
They did agree they have been best friends for a long time, that they have been keen competitors in dairy showmanship, and that Kristen has always managed to beat Justin in that event.
Kathy Van Veldhuisen, president of the county's 4-H senior council, noted that the 17 royalty candidates represented untold years of 4-H and FFA experience who serve as positive role models for the younger members of their clubs.
Van Veldhuisen, noted this is the 100th year of 4-H in Wisconsin, and she sees an organization that's in good shape for the next 100 years.
“Because of the people on this stage, we will continue to flourish, I have no doubt of that,” Van Veldhuisen said.
This year's fair is July 22-27.