Diana Davison wins crown of Iowa Teen Miss United States Agriculture, will now compete for national honors this June

Diana Davison - Iowa Teen Miss United States Agriculture ... Photo courtesy of Taylor Swalley Photography of Jamesport, MO.

Crown and more ... Waukon High School junior Diana Davison is pictured following her crowning as Iowa Teen Miss United States Agriculture Queen this past December at the regional pageant in Missouri. In addition to her crown and flowers, Davison is also sporting five medals she received at the regional event for winning the interview, on-stage introduction, on-stage question, photogenic and state fun fashion competitions that were part of the event. Submitted photo.

by Brianne Eilers

When she volunteered to be an usher as an FFA member at the 2019 Iowa State Fair this past August, one of the last things that Waukon High School junior Diana Davison had in mind was competing for a spot in the Teen Division of the Miss United States Agriculture competition - much less how far that competition would actually take her.

While at the State Fair, Davison received a message from Holly Hatfield, the Midwest Regional Director of the Miss United States Agriculture organization, asking her if she would be interested in competing in the state of Iowa pageant that was taking place that same week at the Iowa State Fair. Davison had to think about it for a little bit and confer with her mom, Cindy Shogren of Waukon, about it.

Eventually, they decided she should go for it. Not having planned for a competition like this when she left Waukon for the Iowa State Fair, Davison needed a few dressier outfits for the competition, and as luck would have it, there were some people from the Waukon area heading to the State Fair and she was able to get the things she needed.

The Miss United States Agriculture competition is in its seventh year nationally, and its second year in Iowa. “Their motto is: Teach. Inspire. Advocate for agriculture,” Davison explained.  She also noted that there are levels of competition for nearly every age group beginning with the Tiny Miss all the way up to Mrs. and Elite Ms.
At the Iowa State Fair, Davison was crowned as the Allamakee County Teen Miss United States Agriculture Queen, qualifying her to participate in the Midwest Regional Pageant held in Missouri in December. Competing against other agriculture advocates from across Iowa, Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska, Davison also won the crown of 2020 Iowa Teen Miss United States Agriculture Queen and received a scholarship at that regional event.

As part of the competition process, Davison had to fill out a “queen resumé” and take part in a three-minute interview. She also had to answer an ag-related question on stage and participated in an introduction event, an evening wear event, write an essay and submit photos for the photogenic contest. In addition to her crown and title, Davison was also awarded medals for winning five of those competition categories, including the interview, on-stage introduction, on-stage question and photogenic competitions, as well as the state fun fashion competition, for which she wore an old Effigy Mounds uniform.

Contestants also receive advocacy points for doing public and promotional appearances such as parades or reading to children at an event. The ladies set their own schedules.

“There really aren’t any set rules, how much you do depends on how much you want to commit,” Davison said.

She also encourages other young women to consider competing in a division of the Miss United States Agriculture competition.

“It looks good on a resume,” she noted. “It’s also really fun meeting new people.”

Davison has been able to spend time with the other county contestants from Iowa and has met other contestants through social media. The ladies are in charge of their own expenses, including travel, and the contestants are encouraged to find their own sponsors to help with expenses. Davison was initially sponsored by Allamakee County Farm Bureau agent Wade Bucknell, FreedomBank of Waukon, Bodensteiner Implement of Waukon and Micah Lynn Photography of Waukon.

As a representative of the Miss United States Agriculture organization, Davison had to a create a platform for her advocacy of agriculture. Her platform involves the education of American consumers and children on where their food comes from.

“Kids need to know where their food comes from,” Davison said. “Ag is everywhere and it’s what’s feeding America.”

She wants people of all ages to understand the process from the planting to harvest. She also enjoys being able to visit with children and interacting with people of all ages to spread knowledge of the ag industry. She’s done radio spots, classroom visits and speaking events, as well as attending the John Deere Customer Appreciation Day, the Boy Scout Omelet Breakfast, the WW Homestead Dairy drive-in movie night, and Meet the Team night at Waukon High School, among other engagements. She has also done activities with other Iowa county queens, including other Allamakee County ag-related royalty.

While she may not be living on a farm, Davison and her family have strong ties to many aspects of the agriculture industry. She is a member and the historian of the Little Switzerland FFA Chapter at Waukon High School, as well as the president of the Clover Chasers 4-H club and a Youth Development Committee representative on the 4-H County Council. Her family also owns a Century Farm.

At the next level of her Miss United States Agriculture representation, Davison will be competing at the National Miss United States Agriculture pageant being held in Florida in June of this year. There are currently 13 state queens competing in the Teen Division at the national level. Until that time, she plans to continue with events to educate people about the agriculture industry locally, as well as statewide, and hopefully nationwide.

Anyone interested in sponsoring Davison through her endeavors as Iowa Teen Miss United States Agriculture can send donations to Diana Davison, 516 Second Street NW, Waukon, IA 52172.

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