Daily Progress, Jacksonville, TX


March 26, 2013

'And all heads turned because she was the queen'

JACKSONVILLE — Last year, Natalie Truett was first runner-up in the Junior Livestock Show and Sale Queen contest.

But second place wasn't good enough for her. She was hungry for that crown.

So she went back, gave it everything she had, and won it, according to Lindsey Robertson, contest director.

The determined, 16-year-old, Pollok resident belongs to the Wells 4H Club. Natalie painstakingly raised $8,000 to become this year's Queen. She was crowned at the conclusion of the contest Saturday.

It was an amazing year for all the queen contestants, who as a group raised at least $33,000, Robertson said.

Natalie faced tough competition: Alexandra Husbands of the Jacksonville Future Farmers of America; Ashley Urban of the Wells FFA; Brittany Spaine of the Lookout 4H; Kala Lindsey of the Troup FFA; Kelcey Chometa of the Alto FFA; Megan Gardner of the Rusk FFA; Rachel Mayes of the New Summerfield FFA; and Kialey Beeney of the Footbridge 4H.

Natalie was not immediately available to comment Monday. But Wayne Berry, board of directors president,  said he was very impressed with her performance and those of the queen candidates.

“Everything really went great — and the girls did such a fantastic job,” Berry said. "The total amount of money they raised was such a surprise.”

Believe it or not, this year's queen's contest didn't actually set any records this year. It already hit the $33,000 ceiling several years back — a sign that it is steadily increasing in popularity in Cherokee County.

“The girls really get out in the community, selling raffle tickets and getting even more support,” Robertson said. “With Natalie, she just went out and did a lot of fundraiser on her own in the Wells area. She also has a good family support system.”

This year's competition was very competitive, according to Robertson.

“The girls all worked hard and they all came in very close,” she said.

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