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I Got Runner-Up, and That’s Okay!

Blog by: Stephanie Clouser, 2020 Pennsylvania Runner-Up Miss Agriculture USA

Last weekend, I had the amazing opportunity to compete at the Pennsylvania Miss Agriculture USA competition. I participated in different areas of competition alongside 10 other girls in my division. We started off the competition by sending in a headshot and an essay several weeks before the competition. The day of the competition was a bit hectic with six different areas of competition: interview, introduction, ag wear, speech, formal wear, and impromptu question.

Each of the lovely ladies who competed in the Miss division did a marvelous job on Saturday, helping one another out, calming each of us down by laughing and having fantastic conversations. Ultimately around 7PM, the time came for crowning. The crowning ceremony started with farewell speeches from the 2019 queens who were at competition. It was so bittersweet hearing their stories of how this past year as a Miss Agriculture USA queen has brought them so much joy. Soon the crowning time came as we went through each division, handing out 1st through 5th place for each area of competition. Watching the younger queens get their awards and be crowned new 2020 Pennsylvania queens was absolutely adorable! I love watching their faces light up and seeing the love they have for one another.

The time came for my division, the Miss division. Before we were even able to get on stage, Shannon, our lovely National Operations Manager came out to give us all a little pep talk. She told us how proud of us she was and how close the competition was. The judges sure had their work cut out for them. That got me really excited because I knew each of the ladies in my division had done a splendid job that day. I watched them do each area of competition, watched them get all dressed up for formal wear and throughout the day I was nothing short of proud to be representing agriculture alongside some of the most amazing women I’ve ever met.

As the Miss division awards were given, and myself and my sister queens were winning various awards and placings, I saw quickly how close the competition was. We girls were placing all over the board, some better in certain parts of competition than others. For myself, I placed 1st in Photogenic, Essay, Ag Wear, and Speech. I placed 2nd in Introduction and Impromptu Question, 3rd in Formal Wear, and 6th in Interview. The time came for announcing the 2020 Pennsylvania Runner-Up Miss Agriculture USA and guess what, MY NAME was called. I was shocked, I knew I had done well throughout the day and I felt fairly confident, but it’s still always a surprise when you win something.

I was so happy, and I was even happier when the winner was announced. Ashley Cowser became crowned as the 2020 Pennsylvania Miss Agriculture USA and I am so very proud of her! Sure, I tried my hardest, and I still didn’t win the crown, but I did win a lot that day. I won Runner-Up and that’s amazing. I won new friends, amazing memories, and learned lessons I will never forget. So, no, I didn’t win the competition. I got 2nd place, but that’s okay. Life is not about winning. It’s about the experiences you get throughout and the friends you make along the way. To all my Miss Agriculture USA sister queens, you are a winner. Whether you competed at competition or not. Whether you won a new crown or not. You are a winner. You are strong amazing women who represent agriculture well and you are winning every day. I am so very proud of you all.

Love Always,

Your 2020 Pennsylvania Runner-Up Miss Agriculture USA

From Left to Right: Stephanie Clouser, 2020 Pennsylvania Runner-UP Miss Agriculture USA, Mikayla Hagerty, 2019 Pennsylvania Miss Agriculture USA, and Ashley Cowser, 2020 Pennsylvania Miss Agriculture USA

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