8:45 AM EDT, August 5, 2013
Laura Thomas, of Ellicott City, was named by judges at the Howard County Fair Sunday as the 2013 Miss Howard County Farm Bureau.
Thomas, who turns 18 on Wednesday, was selected out of a group of five young women to represent the Farm Bureau in schools, groups and at the state fair later in August.
"I was happy, elated, but I never expected out of all these wonderful girls to have gotten first," she said, surrounded by friends and family eager to take photos with the new Miss Farm Bureau.
"So many feelings just overtook me."
Contestants conducted interviews with the three judges before the show, and then gave speeches to the crowd and answered a question.
"We look for their knowledge of farm bureau facts," said competition judge Rebecca Shields, who represented the farm bureau in 1994. "I like to look at their poise, their public speaking abilities, how personable they are. Personality counts for a lot."