With the crowning of Madison Weaver of Ephrata, Pa., Miss American Angus (MAA) took its first steps into its 51st year. Chosen from the pool of Auxiliary scholarship winners, the five candidates competed during the fifth-annual Angus Convention hosted in Columbus, Ohio, Nov. 3-5, 2018.
Contestants for the title included Weaver; Lindsey Decker, Philo, Illinois; Regan Skow, Palisade, Nebraska; McKayla Raines, Seaman, Ohio; and Katie Brock, Stilesville, Indiana.
“The Miss American Angus candidates this year were once again top notch,” said Cindy Ahearn, American Angus Auxiliary president. “As the start of a new half century, this year’s Miss American Angus is a special one, and we are excited to work with Madison this year.”
Each contestant applied for the scholarship competition in the spring, and the application was considered in the judging for the title. While in Ohio, each contestant gave a speech titled “Believing in Better”, answered impromptu questions, took a written exam and were interviewed by three judges.
“This contest taught me a lot about how to deal with nerves; sometimes I can get myself worked up,” Weaver said. “This contest taught me how to control that and to just be myself no matter what.”
Snatching every opportunity available is something the newly crowned MAA learned from her mother. Weaver credits her mother, queen in her own right in the dairy industry, for the encouragement and confidence to compete for the title.
“I remember checking the box that I wanted to run for Miss American Angus and just thinking ‘wow, this is really happening,’” Weaver said.
Weaver witnessed leading by example from previous MAA title holders who left a lasting impression on the previous Miss Pennsylvania Angus. She is excited to continue advocating for the Angus breed and cattle industry while serving as a mentor for aspiring, young Angus breeders.
“Wearing the crown is an amazing and humbling opportunity,” Weaver said. “I am honored to walk in the footsteps of previous title holders of Miss American Angus.”
Thankful for her roots on the East coast, Weaver is looking forward to visiting producers all across the nation. The Midwest in particular catches her eye as the National Western Stock Show (NWSS) hosted in Denver, Colorado, is her first event in this new role.
“I have never been to Denver for the National Western, so I am really looking forward to that,” Weaver said as she tried to steady her hands and control the growing smile.
“When I walked on stage, I figured there was no way I would be crowned, that I would just head home and business as usual,” Weaver said. “When they called my name, all sorts of emotions flew through my head. When Cindy Ahearn hugged me, that made it real.”
The Penn State University freshman is studying animal science and agricultural business with aspirations to study ruminant nutrition and possibly attend veterinary school.
“Of course, I want to leave a lasting legacy, but I am looking forward to gaining more knowledge about the industry and helping producers improve their herds any way I can, too,” Weaver said. “The NJAA [National Junior Angus Association] truly prepared me to carry this title. I am so thankful for the opportunities provided by the Association.”