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Megan Gronau is competing for the title of state “Miss United States Agriculture Queen.”

Dubuque County naturally has a rich agricultural background, and later this year a Durango native will represent the county’s farming history on a national stage.

Megan Gronau is the 21-year-old daughter of Todd and Karen Gronau, from Durango. A junior at Loras College majoring in biology, Megan will compete as “Dubuque County, IA Miss United States Agriculture” during a pageant in Maryville, Mo., Nov. 21-22, for the honor to reign as a state Miss United States Agriculture Queen.

State Director Holly Hatfield said of the competition, “The idea behind the Miss United States Agriculture Pageant Program is to celebrate the agriculture industry and our local farmers, all while promoting self-esteem, building strong leaders and awarding scholarships to encourage a continuous pursuit of education, as well as utilizing our vision: An advocacy program for women to teach and enhance the American agriculture story.”

Gronau was crowned for Dubuque County simply by being the first person in her age division to sign up. “The biggest thing is having the drive to be an ambassador for the agriculture industry,” she said.

According to a press release, Gronau said her love for agriculture began at a young age with growing up on a farm, where she was outside constantly and enjoying any tasks that involved calves. She began in 4-H in fourth grade, and that experience cultivated her love of agriculture and enabled her to showcase that love to the community by showing dairy cattle, rabbits, goats and poultry.

“As I grew up I found ways to be an ambassador, teacher and advocate for my community,” she said. “Such as through my time as 4-H Queen, Fair Queen and Dairy Princess. With this new title, I hope to teach, inspire and advocate for the agriculture community that helped raise me into the woman I am today.”

Gronau will be able to demonstrate the type of woman she is today during the national competition. “There are a couple of areas of competition that we are judged on,” she said. “First is the introduction, where we go on stage and introduce ourselves and present our platform. Then we have formal wear, where we are on stage again in a floor-length gown and are given an onstage question to answer. We also have one on one interviews with the judges.”

She will also get the chance to represent what makes Dubuque County unique. “There is also the Fun Fashion where we wear a costume that represents our county and we share the story behind it.” There is also a photogenic category, where candidates submit pictures from their reign.

Gronau looks to embrace the challenge, while still maintaining her college course load.

“It is important for me to represent Dubuque County because I’m representing the agriculture industry that I grew up in and that has taught me so many life lessons,” she said. “I love being an ambassador for my community and this is another way I can do this. I’m able to go out and speak with farmers and other community members to better it for everyone while still holding true to my agricultural roots.”

Those wishing to help Gronau through sponsorships may call her at 563-231-0155, or email her at Megan.gronau@loras.edu.