Brett Schumm and Brooke Bockey were crowned the 2018 Van Wert County Jr. Fair King and Queen on Sunday. (DHI Media/Kirsten Barnhart)
Brett Schumm and Brooke Bockey were crowned the 2018 Van Wert County Jr. Fair King and Queen on Sunday. (DHI Media/Kirsten Barnhart)

VAN WERT – The annual Jr. Fair King and Queen Coronation was held on Sunday where Crestview graduate Brett Schumm was crowned Jr. Fair King and Spencerville senior Brooke Bockey was crowned Jr. Fair Queen. Bockey's sister, Torie Bockey, was named Jr. Fair Queen Runner-Up.

Brooke Bockey, the daughter Doug and Sherry Bockey, is a member of the Spencerville High School FFA and serves on the Van Wert County Jr. Fair Board. Bockey shows market chickens and will also be showing in the Swine showmanship and market class this year. She said she was prompted to try out for Queen to be a role model for younger children.

"I'm really looking forward to being able to interact with the children and be able to be a positive role model to them and to encourage them to take a part in fair as well as I have," said Bockey.

Brett Schumm, the son of Mike and Robin Schumm, was a member of the Crestview FFA while in high school and received many awards during that time. He is a 10-year member of Barnyard Buddies 4-H club and has taken various projects such as cooking, woodworking, welding, beef cattle, and hogs.

Schumm said he comes from a family of fair royalty and joined as a way to keep the tradition going. He is looking forward to seeing more of what goes on during fair week at the Van Wert County Fair.

"I'm looking forward to getting to all the shows this year," said Schumm. "I normally don't go to most of them. This will make me go to the other ones and branch out."

Both agreed that they hope their experience can show younger 4-Hers that anyone can be King or Queen.

"I hope they see that it's not about how many projects you take or how many years you've participated in the fair," said Bockey. "Instead of the quantity, it's the quality you put into the fair."

Schumm noted that being a part of 4-H and showing in the fair has been educational in many ways.

"[I enjoy] the animals I get to show in the fair and the experiences with them and the things I've learned from them," said Schumm. "This has definitely taught me leadership skills, responsibility, and hard work."

Schumm's plans now that he has graduated are to work at in the drainage and ditching career field and to continue to help out on the family farm.

After graduation, Bockey plans to attend Ohio State University and major in animal science. After two years she said she will decide whether she wants to specialize in a specific species or to continue her education as a large animal veterinarian.

As King and Queen, the pair will attend various animal showings during the fair and will attend other Ohio fairs.

Also during Sunday's coronation, several 4-Hers were crowned in Species categories.

Crestview senior Kassidy Klinger, daughter of David and Sandy Klinger, was crowned Swine Princess.

Rayana Thatcher, a senior at Crestview, was crowned Beef Princess.

Parkway and Vantage junior Christina Keen, daughter of Joe and Ellen Keen, was crowned Dairy Princess.

Van Wert senior Reagan Priest, daughter of Bob Priest and Kara Kreger, was crowned Equine Princess.

Lillian Hempfling, a sophomore at Delphos St. John's and the daughter of Chuck and Sue Hempfling, was crowned Goat Princess.

The title of Rabbit Princess went to Abby Bradford, daughter of Robert and Melissa Bradford.

Crown bearers for the event were Ellie Myers, daughter of Clint and Camile Myers, and Waylin Harting, son of Colin and Halie Harting.

Judges for the event were Bryce Ritchey, Morgan Warnecke, and Craig Pohlman.

The event kicked off the start of fair week and wrapped up with several pictures of the 2018 Van Wert County Fair royalty.