SEDALIA, Mo. -- Emily Wood of Palmyra has been crowned the 2012 Missouri State Fair Queen.
Wood will reign over the remaining State Fair events slated through Sunday in Sedalia and be an ambassador for the Missouri State Fair and agriculture throughout the coming year.
Contestants vying for the crown were judged in multiple areas including interviews, speech and talent and evening gown.
Wood, the reigning Miss Marion County, received the highest score out of 54 contestants in the talent competition for her clogging performance and was crowned by the 2011 queen, Meredith Jones of Dawn.
"I was so nervous to hear all the ties that we had, but it really just shows how much talent we had at the Queen Contest," Wood said. "I am so honored to be the 2012 Missouri State Fair Queen."
Wood, 19, the daughter of Gary Wood and Sheri Wood, studies nursing at Moberly Area Community College.
Wood believes she is the first person to achieve all three crowns in Marion County, winning as Miss Hannibal in 2011 then Miss Heartland and Miss Marion County in 2012.
She competed in the Miss Missouri Pageant, the state preliminary to Miss America, last year as Miss Hannibal and again this year as Miss Heartland.
Wood was uninterested in pageants in high school, but her mother, a former Miss Missouri contestant, persuaded her to enter the 2010 Miss Marion County Fair Queen Pageant. She ended up finishing as first runner-up -- and falling in love with pageants. After that, her mother encouraged her to get involved with Miss America preliminaries around the state.
As Missouri State Fair Queen, Wood will receive a $1,500 scholarship to continue her education.
Trina Stumpe, Miss Meramec Community Fair, received first runner-up and a $500 scholarship in the pageant coronation, held Friday in the Mathewson Exhibition Center. Second runner-up was Miss Columbia FFA, Amy Wilsdorf, who will receive a $250 scholarship. Third runner-up was Miss Shelby County, Ashley Coe, who will receive a $200 scholarship. Fourth runner-up Miss Mizzou Collegiate 4-H Taylor Bryant will receive a $100 scholarship.
Recognition certificates went to contestants ranking highest in each of the four competitive categories. Stumpe was the top-ranking contestant in both the speech and interview categories. Loryn Hirst, Miss Tipton Fair, ranked highest in the evening gown category.