Ten young women from across Putnam County will compete for the title of Miss Putnam County on Saturday, July 16 during the Putnam County 4-H Fair Queen Contest. The contest is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. in the community building at the Putnam County Fairgrounds.
Admission is $3 per person.
Here is a look at the contestants vying for the crown.
Julie Cox, Samantha Croan and Emily Dean are the first three young women seeking the 2011 crown.
Julie is the daughter of Lori of Cloverdale. At 20, she is the oldest of three siblings -- Brian, 17, and Noah, 12.
The 2008 Cloverdale High School graduate is currently studying radiology at Ivy Tech. Her future plans include working at a hospital, getting married and having kids.
During high school, Julie was a member of cheerleading, 4-H, band, marching band, choir, VOICE and a baseball manager.
She said the queen contest gives her a chance to try something new.
"It's my last year to attempt the contest and I've never done anything like this before," Julie said.
Julie describes herself as fun, tall, caring, generous, a dreamer, clutzy, outgoing and loud. Her hobbies include listening to music, going to school and going to work at Cox's Plant Farm.
The best advice she could give to a younger person is, "Be yourself and don't change who you are or what you do for anyone.
She said her mom and dad's divorce has had a great impact on her life, citing her mother and grandpa as people she most admires.
"My mom is a strong person," Julie said. "She has been through so much and always gets through things no matter how bad, rough or good they are.
"My grandpa is always there when I need something fixed or need a laugh."
Samantha, 18, is daughter of Tom and Kelli Croan of Fillmore. She has three siblings -- Caitlyn, 23, Colton, 21, and Hunter, 12.
Samantha graduated from South Putnam in May, having participated in cheerleading, student council, FCA and Spanish Club. She plans to attend the University of Southern Indiana in the fall, where she will study business management.
"I decided to enter the contest because it is a great way to gain friends and confidence in yourself," Samantha said.
She describes herself as "a friendly person who loves animals. I enjoy life and I am outgoing."
Samantha's hobbies include scrapbooking, decoupage, baking and spending time with family and friends. Advice she would give to a younger person is "to live life to the fullest with no regrets.
She said her grandmother's death had a great impact on her life.
"I love my grandma and spent a lot of time with her," Samantha said. "She taught me to be myself and to always have fun. Her death has helped me to live my life with no regrets. It taught me that life is short and should therefore be lived to the fullest."
Emily Dean, 19, is the daughter of Michael and Teresa Dean of Greencastle. She is the older sister of 15-year-old Tanner.
The 2010 Greencastle High School graduate recently completed her freshman year at Purdue University. Her high school activities included National Honor Society, student council, National Technical Honor Society, Ambassadors, President's Council, cumulative honors, Latin Club and Pep Club. College activities include the Purdue Western Equestrian Team, Purdue Farm Management Club and Purdue Agribusiness Club.
"I plan to graduate from Purdue University in 2014 with a major in agricultural economics to pursue a career in agricultural sales and marketing in west central Indiana," Emily said. "I would like to reside in Putnam County where I can one day start a family.
"I decided to enter the contest to meet new people and still be involved within the 4-H community although my 10 active years are complete," Emily said.
She describes herself as "an outgoing individual who cherishes time spent with family and friends" as well as dependable, hard-working and friendly.
Her hobbies include riding horses, spending time with family and friends, fishing, deer and turkey hunting and reading fiction.
The best advice she could give a younger person is "to always stay true to yourself and never change who you are to impress others."
She said showing horses at a national level has helped shape her into the person she is today.
"At a young age, it taught me how to interact with people who come from different backgrounds and who are more mature than myself," Emily said. "I quickly learned how and when to depend on myself and how to manage my time wisely."
Emily said she most admires her parents and her grandmother.
The rest of the 2011 queen candidates will be featured in upcoming issues of the Banner Graphic.