Reigning as the 2016 Moniteau County Fair Queen was more of a sacrifice than Hannah Banderman had anticipated.
But the experience has helped her mature, she said. And, she believes in the fair.
That's why, last year, after she signed up herself, and this year, Banderman has been encouraging other young ladies in the county to participate in the scholarship competition.
The day-time interview was the most fun of the selection process during the 2016 fair, she said.
"We got to know each other."
The night-time, however, was hot and a challenge to wear a floor-length gown and, before that, perform a vocal solo, she said.
But, the fairgrounds stand was full of people from across the county.
"I love performing and that was one of my favorite performances," she said.
Only a few months earlier, she had performed the same song at the Missouri State High School Activities Association State Music Festival.
Once selected, Banderman helped award ribbons in the livestock competitions througout the remainder of the 2016 fair. Her favorite activity, however, was helping with the Senior Citizens Day, calling Bingo cards.
Banderman said she enjoys how the fair brings together people, who may not see each other otherwise.
For her, the Moniteau County Fair was her first fair and also her first social outing with friends after she moved to California prior to her sophomore year of high school.
Representing the Moniteau County Fair at the Missouri State Fair extends her experience, she said.
Although becoming a fair queen was not a dream fulfilled, it has been a welcome opportunity, Banderman said.
Completing her freshman year at College of the Ozarks, Point Lookout, she said many of her fellow students come from rural communities and being the fair queen gave her something in common to build those new relationships, she said.
Her responsibilities as fair queen drew her back from college for several hometown parades and events. That presented the difficulty of swapping shifts, as the college requires students to work to pay for part of their tuition.
"I don't think people understand how much work it is," Banderman said.
As she rode in the various local parades, she said she realized she was now a role model for young girls.
That has caused her to be even more considerate of choices she makes, she said.
She will compete for the 2017 Missouri State Fair queen title Aug. 10 in Sedalia. The talent and formal competitions are open to the public, beginning at noon, preceding the coronation.
"It's going to be really fun," she said. "I'll do my best; I've worked hard on my talent and interview."
Banderman will sing Dolly Parton's "Jolene" for her two-minute talent, a choice to stretch herself beyond her classical training, she said.
What has been the challenge for her is the agriculture and rural life components, she said.
Although she did not grow up on a farm, nor participate in 4-H or FFA, "I see the value of agriculture, especially as the backbone of this community," Banderman said.
"We all benefit from agriculture."