On Oct. 7, the Hays County Queens Court awarded seniors Emily Brown, Ashley Smith, and Kaitlyn Baker the title of duchess while giving junior Faith Baxter the title of princess.
“Being the princess means that all my work has paid off in a sense,” Baxter said. “That even though I didn’t make it in my freshman or sophomore year, I really do deserve to be here this year, and that I am good at what I’m doing, and I’m trying hard.”
The main goal of the Queen’s Court is to be a mentorship program for rising Future Farmers of America (FFA) and 4H members, and help them lead their livestock during almost every Hays County FFA event so that they can show to the best of their ability.
“Queen’s Court was a really big thing,” Brown said. “Being a queen in the livestock show is just super cool, and you look up to those girls, and they get to hand out ribbons and wear crowns. It doesn’t seem like much but it’s cool.”
The Queen’s Court also gives the students opportunities to volunteer in their community, and each person on the team has something they are working on to help the court reach their goal.
“To me, [being on the court] means that
I was selected. They think that I’m worthy of this, so I need to give to the best of my ability and my best self to that team,” Baker said.
The process to be selected for the court is extremely difficult; a candidate must have a good academic standing, be well versed in agricultural knowledge, be a good person, and show willingness to volunteer within the community.
“There’s an application that has about seven questions on it, and you have to submit a resumé, and you have a personal interview with a panel of three judges,” Baxter said.
Applicants are scored separately in each section, which is later culminated together for a final score, resulting in the highest as queen, the second as princess, and so on.
The state of Texas has the largest number of chapters in FFA with 1,032 total chapters and 115,941 members involved, meaning the importance of positive roles models for these students is really vital when there are so many of them.
“I love FFA because it’s not just a club that you’re in, it really is a family,” Baxter said. “FFA is one of the largest student-led organizations in the world, and everyone who is in FFA has this love for FFA and for agriculture.”
Every student on the Queen’s Court is heavily involved with the school’s chapter: Baker is the high school’s FFA President, Smith is the vice-president, Baxter is the secretary, and Brown is the student advisor.
“What I really love about FFA is that I get to advocate for agriculture,” Baxter said. “Not everyone who’s in FFA has grown up in agriculture, but they do see the beauty and the importance of agriculture.”
Written by Cady Russell, Staff Writer