It's a good thing that Ohio Fairs' Queen Kathryn Whinnery enjoys traveling, because she's already attended about 30 county fairs and intends to go to 35 more.
Whinnery, a 2014 graduate of St. Clairsville High School, was at the Ohio State Fair last week between visits to other fairs across the state.
Selected in January as the Ohio Fairs' Queen by the Ohio Fair Managers Association, she set a goal of attending as many county fairs as possible. Noting there are a total of 95 fairs, she said she plans to attend 65 of them.
Kathryn Whinnery, 18, of Adena, the Ohio State Fair Queen, takes a selfie in front of the butter cow at the Ohio State Fair in the Dairy Products Building.
Whinnery, the daughter of Vickie and Robert Whinnery of Adena, was the 2013 Jefferson County Fair queen, and 68 county and independent fair queens from Ohio competed for the 2014 state title.
"I've enjoyed traveling," she said. "I see a lot of the state I've never seen before. You don't realize how diverse it is until you've covered it corner to corner."
She attended the Harrison County Fair earlier this month, and she'll be at the Jefferson County Fair, scheduled Aug. 12-17. Her picture is on the cover of this year's Jefferson County Fair book, as well as on posters and place mats. Whinnery said the last fair will be in October.
Though she said it would be tough to select what she liked most about the Ohio State Fair, Whinnery said the opening ceremonies in which the Ohio State Fair Band and Youth Choir participated.
"It was beautiful," she said.
Whinnery also indicated she liked the butter cow and calf and was especially pleased with their names: Scarlet and Grayce. Her future as an Ohio State University student might have had some bearing on that judgment.
"That helps a little," she said. "It might make me a little biased."
A 10-year Gold Award member of the Windy Ridge 4-H Club, the 18-year-old queen concentrated on sewing and market hog projects as well as leadership and camp counseling. This marks her 10th and final year as a 4-H member.
She was vice president of the National Honor Society and a member of the Student Action Committee at St. Clairsville High School where she also participated in volleyball and the St. C. Singers all four years. She also participated in the Junior National Leaders Conference.
Whinnery also received one of two Grand Masters Excellence in Youth Awards from the 23rd Masonic District.
Whinnery's queenship doesn't mark her first participation in the Ohio State Fair. For nine of her 10 years as a 4-H member, she had sewing projects in the state event. She said her grandmother, now 99 years of age, was proud of this achievement.
As for her future, Whinnery said it was a struggle to decide what to do. At one time, she wanted to be a big animal veterinarian. Her plans as she enters OSU this fall are to major in biological engineering and ultimately to work for a degree in medicine, specializing in radiology.