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Where are they now?

The Weld County Fair Shining Star Award recognizes one outstanding member of Weld County’s agricultural community each year. This award is featured in the annual Weld County Fair book and spotlights where and how the individual grew through their 4-H Club, Future Farmers of America (FFA) and Weld County Fair experiences. The feature article also profiles where they are today. The Shining Star Award began in 2015 and has been distinguishing young stewards of agriculture ever since. If you have someone you would like to nominate for the Shining Star Award, please contact the Weld County Fair Office.

Kristen Schmidt

2015 Shining Star Kristen SchmidtAs the 2015 Weld County Fair Shining Star, Kristen Schmidt was chosen because of her passion for agriculture. This was exemplified when she traveled the country talking to Future Farmers of America (FFA) members about agriculture as the 2014-2015 National FFA Vice President.

“The fun part of it is, I pretty much get to love on people for 365 days,” she said in an interview for her 2015 Shining Star Award from the Weld County Fair. Schmidt was the first recipient of this award which recognizes one outstanding member of Weld County’s agriculture community and spotlights where they started in ag and where ag has taken them.

Schmidt grew up riding horses and followed the rodeo.
“When I look at Weld County being one of the top agricultural counties in the country, I’m very proud of coming from that kind of a community. Not only because our numbers look great, our outputs are great, but we have great people.”

Although Schmidt is not quite sure where her agriculture dreams will lead her; she knows that she has a passion for both people and agriculture and would like to combine the two.

Marissa Bartmann

2016 Shining Star Marissa BartmannMarissa Bartmann was the 2016 Weld County Fair Shining Star. As a young girl, Bartmann remembers attending 4-H Club meetings for her little brother in Windsor. At that time, she was a Cloverbud, the youngest of the 4-Hers. But after she attended the Weld County Fair, she found a love for riding horses so she could one day be a part of the fair.

Riding horses gave Bartmann a sense of freedom and challenge. She also showed goats and dairy cattle at the fair. And in 2014, spent the summer as the Weld County Livestock Intern.

“My job was to help get ready for the fair, helping with all the livestock. I got to see all the work that went into it,” she said.

In 2015, Bartmann was selected as an International 4-H Youth Exchange, or IFYE, representative which is a program through 4-H that allows participants to travel overseas to learn about different cultures. She stayed with host families in Scotland, Northern Ireland, England and Wales.

Bartmann acknowledges that it’s been different not being as involved in the fair but she still follows 4-H news and keeps up to date on current activities. She is not sure where she will end up in the agriculture industry but 4-H and the fair will forever be something she holds close to her heart.

Kelsie Winslow

2017 Shining Star Kelsie WinslowKelsie Winslow was chosen by the Weld County Fair as a 2017 Shining Star. Winslow always wanted to be a rodeo queen. Her wish came true in 2017. But she worked hard to get there as she was the 2008 Weld County Fair Queen’s Attendant, 2009 and 2010 Colorado High School Rodeo Queen and Miss Rodeo Colorado in 2017.

Winslow, who grew up in Pierce, Co., dug her roots in the Weld County Fair early on by showing four market species of livestock. She traveled across the United States promoting ag royalty as the 2017 Miss Rodeo Colorado, but she remained true to her Weld County home.

“I’ve always thought so highly of Weld,” she said. “I’ve always been so proud of the people and products that contribute so greatly in ag.”

As Miss Rodeo Colorado, Winslow prepared for the national competition which included studying current events, the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association Handbook, and equine science. She had to know the latest rodeo results and practice horsemanship while talking to schools, hospitals, and rodeos.
The Weld County Fair is proud of Winslow for going after her dreams and for being able to help kick-start them in her home county.


Deeona Johnston

2018 Shining Star Deeona JohnstonThe Weld County Fair would like to congratulate Deeona Johnston on being a 2018 Shining Star. The 4-H Club has always been a part of Johnston’s life. As a 4-H Cloverbud in Grover, she participated in as many things as she could. She showed sheep, swine, cattle, rabbits and goats during her 10 year 4-H career. Indoor projects were also important to Johnston, as she exhibited ceramics, clothing, foods, crocheting, quilting and photography.

Johnston is finishing up her master’s degree at Fontbonne University in St. Louis, hoping to become a dietician, but her love for the Weld County Fair will always remain close to her heart.
“My time at the fair has prepared me in so many ways, from learning how to keep good records, setting goals for myself, and being confident in presenting and speaking,” she said. “I learned early when competing in goat showmanship to never give up.”

We wish her the best in life – and we believe she will do great things – just as she once did in 4-H.

Megan Seltzer

2018 Shining Star Megan SeltzerCongratulations to Megan Seltzer for being one of Weld County Fair’s 2018 Shining Star’s. Seltzer’s 4-H roots have come full circle. She showed goats and horses as a child and teenager at the Weld County Fair. Now she works as an extension agent in Lamar.

“I always knew that somebody was up late putting together boxes of ribbons and up late counting ear tags, putting together spreadsheets, things like that,” she said. “Now, I’m that person. So, there’s a new appreciation for those that make everything happen.”

Seltzer grew up in eastern Weld County near Briggsdale and has a new appreciation for the crop of kids she helps as a 4-H agent in southeastern Colorado. Some of the children in Lamar already know how to balance a checkbook at 8 years of age because they have no choice but to learn early.

We wish her good luck in her future endeavors!