SEDALIA – Emma Leamer, of Chillicothe, was named first-runner Missouri State Fair Queen 2017 on Thursday. She is the 18-year-old daughter of Michael and Natalie Leamer.

SEDALIA – Emma Leamer, of Chillicothe, was named first-runner Missouri State Fair Queen 2017 on Thursday. She is the 18-year-old daughter of Michael and Natalie Leamer. Natalie Ayers from Green City was named the 2017 Missouri State Fair Queen. She received the highest score of 49 contestants vying for the title in the two-day competition held in the Mathewson Exhibition Center. Ayers will reign over the remaining State Fair events and be an ambassador for the State Fair and Missouri agriculture throughout the coming year. Ayers is 19 years old and studies science and agricultural journalism at the University of Missouri. As queen, she will receive a $2,000 scholarship to continue her education. She entered as Miss Sullivan County. Participants in the queen pageant were judged in multiple areas including interview, speech, talent and evening gown. As first runner-up, Leamer will receive a $1,000 scholarship. Recognition plaques went to contestants ranking highest in each of the four competitive categories: Ayers received top ranking in Interview and Speech; Leamer received top ranking in Evening Gown. Leamer did public speaking for her talent portion of the competition. In her speech, inspired by “The Wizard of Oz” and based upon this year’s Missouri State Fair motto of “Come Home,” Leamer talked about coming home to the brains, the heart and the courage of the Missouri State Fair. In the county fair, Leamer represented the Chillicothe FFA. She has been an FFA member for four years and a member of Liberty 4-H for 10 years. She graduated from Chillicothe High School in 2017. Leamer plans to attend the University of Missouri and major in biochemistry and then hopes to attend law school, then eventually find a job representing an agricultural company. “I grew up on a farm so it was a natural choice for me to join FFA,” Leamer stated prior to being named Livingston County 4-H and FFA Fair Queen last month. “When I started my FFA journey, I quickly realized that FFA was an organization that would make me a leader and someone who could venture out of their comfort zone.”