Leslie Streeval’s reign as Kentucky’s Miss United States Agriculture will end with her final event this weekend just as it began last year: taking part in the Campbellsville’s Fourth of July Celebration.
Streeval, a 2021 Adair County High School graduate, has had the opportunity for the past year to go across the state and talk about her passion for agriculture in her role, something she has cherished.
“I’ve been involved in ag my entire life,” Streeval said. “I love to talk to people, and I’m always wanting to talk to people about ag.
“This past year, I’ve had the chance to travel the state, talk to classrooms, talk at different events, like the Kentucky Cattlemen’s Association convention. I wear a crown and a sash, but that’s really just a conversation starter. My main [objective] is just spreading how important agriculture is.”
Streeval said that she and her fellow FFA members had heard about the title and talked about it in high school, but they all agreed it was too time-consuming for a high school student to take on. As soon as she graduated from ACHS, though, she decided to take a chance on earning the title.
She applied at the beginning of June in 2021, and in Kentucky, there is currently no pageant for participants to compete in. It’s more of a waiting game.
“I just had to wait to see if I got it or if it was handed to someone else,” Streeval said. “Since we don’t have a statewide pageant, you just kind of answer a couple of questions and tell about your background.”
In addition to traveling across the state for the past year, Streeval got the chance to participate in the national competition in Orlando this past weekend. While she did not place, she said it was a great experience for her to be able to meet people who share the same interests.
“[My favorite part] was meeting people from all across the U.S. that have the same passion as me, who wanted to advocate for ag like I’ve been doing,” she said.
After this weekend, Streeval will hand the crown to the state’s next representative. While it’s bittersweet to let the crown go, she said she is excited that interest in the program has continued to pick up momentum throughout the state.
She noted that if she was not the first person to hold the title in Kentucky, she is certainly one of the first, and the first “in a long time.”
Streeval thinks that will change in the future.
“It is growing in Kentucky,” she said. “While I was at nationals, I did hear that Kentucky will have a state pageant next year.”
Through it all, she said the most memorable part of holding the title over the past year was the wide range of people she has had the chance to come in contact with and talk to.
“I’ve met all kinds of people, going all over the state and talking to people about ag,” she said. “Traveling and meeting new people, talking to them about something I’m passionate about, that’s been the best part.”