For Maya Kidd, the road to fair royalty began with Ohio 4-H youth development in Butler County.
Kidd was crowned the 2022 Ohio Fairs’ Queen in January at a competition that involved 78 girls representing county and independent fairs throughout Ohio. The event capped years of Kidd’s 4-H experience that began when a family friend, who owned a dairy farm, told Kidd’s mother, Amy Kidd, to get her and her sister into 4-H.
“We lived in the suburbs, so my mom didn’t know what we were getting into,” said Kidd. That first 4-H experience led Kidd to begin as a Cloverbud, the 4-H program for young children. She moved on to showing animals, but it wasn’t easy given where the family lived.
“My 4-H advisor and the farmers who introduced us to 4-H let us borrow their animals to show at fair. We showed goats and a dairy heifer,” said Kidd. She and her sister expanded their skills by breeding mini lop rabbits, and a move to a home with acreage saw Kidd showing sheep and turkeys.
Kidd’s grandmother made sure Kidd included sewing and cooking projects in her 4-H repertoire. “I’m not a natural seamstress, but my grandma was gifted when it came to sewing,” said Kidd. “I’ve taken a clothing project every year. My grandma gave me a gift I can carry throughout my life.”
As an older member, Kidd says 4-H is more than project work. Service to others is important. “A big part of who I am is community service,” said Kidd. Her mother added, “Our family views service as a way of life. We’ve tried to teach our kids from a young age, to put others first.”
That way of life is one reason Kidd wanted to compete for the title of Butler County Fair Queen. “Ever since I was a little girl I looked up to the fair queen,” said Kidd. Her other motivation for seeking the crown was her role model—her sister Madeline. “I’ve always looked up to her, and she was crowned our county fair queen in 2020. When I became queen in 2021, she got to crown me,” said Kidd.
As Ohio Fairs’ Queen, Kidd will have the opportunity to travel to fairs throughout Ohio: “I want to reach as many fairs as I can and be that role model of others. I want to be an ambassador for fairs and let them know there is something for everyone. It’s a time where I can encourage others and share the importance of 4-H.”
Kidd also plans to carry her sense of service into a career. She has been taking American Sign Language classes since sixth grade and wants to study speech pathology and audiology: “I want to work in the deaf community and help people reach their full potential.”
And Kidd will be reaching 4-H members and fairgoers this year, for what she calls, “the most rewarding week of the summer.”