Crowning Moment for Franklin County Iowa’s Rebekah Craighton
What would you do if you were queen for a day?
It’s a question Rebekah Craighton, a 2021 graduate of Hampton-Dumont High School in Franklin County, Iowa, has been asking herself nearly every day for more than a year.
Rebekah has been preparing to answer interview questions as she will compete June 24-25 against 18 other young women for the title of 2022 National Miss United States Agriculture. Her road to nationals in Orlando, Florida, began on Dec. 4, 2021, when she was crowned Midwest Cover Miss United States Agriculture and received the award for Supreme County Presence because she visited the most counties of all contestants.
Contestants in both the regional and national competitions compete in five areas: (1) Introduction; (2) Interview; (3) Fun Fashion; (4) Formal Wear and (5) On-Stage Question. A scholarship will be awarded to the young woman who is named National Miss US Ag.
One reason Rebekah is vying for the title is because she grew up in town and didn’t have an opportunity to learn about agriculture until she became a 4-H and FFA member.
“I believe every child should have a basic knowledge of where their food comes from and the processes that go into food production,” says Rebekah, who just finished her first year at the University of Northern Iowa (UNI) where she is majoring in Elementary Education. “I thought serving as Miss US Ag would be an opportunity to learn about different aspects of ag, as well as provide me with a platform to share my passions for agriculture and education.”
Running on a platform of agricultural education within the elementary classroom, Rebekah has read ag-related books in elementary classrooms. She also has taught ag-related lessons and spoken at school assemblies.
“Elementary-age students are always exploring,” says Rebekah. “They’re trying to figure out the world, and it’s SO fun to watch them learn and grow. Another reason I love my platform so much is because I get to interact with younger kids all the time, and I love watching them figure out ag-related learning!”
In January 2021, Rebekah began her reign as Miss United States Agriculture for Franklin County. She has worked her way through the pageant ranks by wearing her crown several places, including a Butler County dairy farm with Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig during June Dairy Month, a Central Iowa apple orchard in September, and the Iowa Capitol during the legislative session. She has spent time visiting numerous other farms that raise horses, goats, alpaca, and ostriches, as well as produce honey and pumpkins. Her travels have led to interesting adventures. In October 2021, Rebekah was named a Top 5 Iowa Miss Agriculture Advocacy Ambassador.
These statewide travels, as well as expenses to travel to and compete in the contests, have been funded through sponsorships and fundraisers. Rebekah wishes to thank the following sponsors.
- First Bank Hampton
- Dudley’s Corner
- Latham Hi-Tech Seeds
- Chad Hanson Trucking
- Greg Horn Farms
- Travis Pralle
- Tall Corn FFA
- Tall Corn FFA Alumni
- Geisinger Potography
- Lifted Aesthetics
- Green Acres Seed Farms
- All-American Tactical, LLC
- Dragonfire Dancing Horses
- Ansgar Saddle Co.
- Lohrbach Insurance
- Got You Covered!
In addition, Rebekah sold merchandise and held bake sales to raise funds for her competitions. Baking is one of Rebekah’s favorite past times. She also enjoys shooting trap, traveling, painting and volunteering.
Today Rebekah is sharing her love of baking by sharing a seasonal recipe for rhubarb cake.
- 1½ cups sugar
- ½ cup butter
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1 cup sour milk (add 1 Tablespoon juice or vinegar to regular milk to sour)
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 2 cups flour
- 2 cups diced rhubarb
- Cream butter and sugar.
- Next add egg and milk.
- Stir in flour and soda.
- Gently fold rhubarb into mixture.
For cake topping:
- Cream together ½ cup sugar and ½ tsp. cinnamon. Spread crumbles on top.
- Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 minutes.