The winner of the $500 Lincoln County Fair Scholarship for 2017 is Kaitlyn Ellis. She is a 2017 graduate of Lincoln County High School. She is the eldest of three children of Robert and Michelle Ellis of Mulberry, TN. Kaitlyn has been active in showing livestock since sixth grade. She has shown myotonic, or 'fainting' goats, cattle and chickens through the 4-H 'chick chain' at the Fair. She has been active in 4-H as Honor Club reporter 2013-2014 and President 2015-2016. She has also been very active with FFA serving as an officer each of her years in high school, including President her senior year. She was the recipient of the Workhorse Award her junior year in FFA.
Kaitlyn has participated in competitions with FFA at the local and state level covering topics such as livestock judging, food science, soil judging, floral design, Ag mechanics and Ag marketing. She has volunteered with Hamburger Day on the Hill, Farm City Day, Dairy Day, Pasta Premier, FFA Alumni trivia night, Freshmen orientation, Junior's House walk, Hands of Mercy food drive and First National Bank Bean Day. She has served on the First National Bank Youth Board, served as LCSH Student Council Treasurer for two years and served on the Lincoln County Junior Fair Board. She has volunteered in the Darrell Hale Exhibit building, assisted 4-H students with livestock shows, worked the gates at the fair and answered phones in the fair office building.
All in all, Kaitlyn has been an exemplary student, responsible community activist and impressive representative of the next generation in Tennessee agriculture. She has done all this while maintaining good grades as a full time student and holding down a part time job. She plans on attending UT Martin in the fall majoring in Ag Business.
By Kaitlyn Ellis
Funnel cakes sizzling in the fryer. The shrill of children on the Farris wheel. The pounding of hooves on the track. Showmen waiting for that championship handshake. Jams perfectly lined up with blue ribbons. Farmers pridefully showing off this year's harvest. For most it's the rides and food that attract them to the fair, but for me the Lincoln County Fair holds some of my greatest memories.
As a young child I was raised in the livestock barns of the Lincoln County Fair. To me the fair is where I have been able to pridefully show off my hard work. The tattered barns hold memories of nerves, sweat and a few tears. The fair holds many of my first time achievements. It's where I nervously held the halter of my heifer, Charlotte as we waited for that blue ribbon moment. As a child, this was the moment that every showman spent all summer preparing for. Those weathered barns are where multiple lifelong friendships were developed. The fair is where families are each other's biggest supporters cheering in the bleachers. They are the loudest clap in the crowd and the most motivating smile at the edge of the show ring.
For some the Lincoln County Fair is just rides and funnel cakes, but for me it is more than that. The fair is about memories one creates throughout the week. Livestock, family and friends are some of the greatest memories that the Lincoln County Fair has supplied me with throughout the years.