County queen is agriculture promoter


Junior Mikayla Hagerty is preparing for the state Miss Agriculture competition after winning the title for Somerset County. | Photo courtesy of Mikayla Hagerty

Callie Burgan, Opinions Editor

Pitt-Johnstown is no stranger to royalty. Junior Mikayla Hagerty holds the title of Somerset County Miss Agriculture USA for 2019. 

Although she did not grow up on a farm, Hagerty said her love for the agriculture industry began when she joined a 4-H club in eighth grade.  

“I immediately began to recognize the opportunities available to me in 4-H and dedicated a large portion of my life to raising livestock, serving on my county council and holding club offices.  

In addition, Hagerty said she has been busy promoting 4-H and agriculture as a whole. 

She said that the highlight of holding the title has been devoting her time to educating the public on the various agriculture nuances. 

Agriculture includes forestry, beekeeping and crop cultivation. It also deals with poultry and dairy farming. 

“It has truly taught me how hard-working and dedicated the people who put food on our table are.”

The county queens were appointed, and some go on to run for state queen. 

“I actually became queen through a county competition during fair week. We were interviewed, did a speech for the judges and took a fair-knowledge test at a separate location. 

“Then above, in the grandstands, the public could watch as we were judged on promenade and on-stage questioning. 

 “I think everyone has some idea of the difficulties that come with farming, but to really see it for myself, I could see the immense labor of love these people put into their family farms to continue on a tradition that has lasted for generations. 

“The state competition is going to be on March 30, so I’m preparing now. We are going to be judged on interview, speech (and) on-stage questioning.” 

In addition, Hagerty is to be judged on agriculture wear and evening wear. 

National Operations and Queen Relations Manager Shannon Wingert said she was enthusiastic to explain the values that competitors uphold. 

 “The Miss Agriculture teens compete one day of the year, which means that there are 364 other days that they are reaching out to their communities across the state and being a positive light for the industry.  

“Whether (or not) you live on a farm, agriculture affects everyone.” 

Founder Roberta Gallagher, of Portage, said that the competition gives young women a unique opportunity to shine in the industry as well as their communities. 

“Mikayla is doing a wonderful job being an advocate for agriculture and making the most of her reign,” Gallagher said.