Greetings from rural Crawford County! I am Sarah Achenbach, and my love of agriculture is rooted in my upbringing on a small, diversified farm in southwest corner of our state. Growing up on a farm, I learned about the hard work and dedication it takes to bring our Wisconsin products to the dinner table. My love for agriculture stems from my privilege to exhibit every animal as well as produce, food preservation, photography and arts at the fair. There is not a summer growing up that does not have memories of the Crawford County fair in it!
I joined many organizations to further learn about agriculture. In FFA, I had the opportunity to be part of the livestock judging team, hold leadership roles, and attend the National FFA Convention. I got to witness the talents of many young individuals who taught me an array of new knowledge about Wisconsin agriculture. I started 4-H at the age of kindergarten, showing my first dairy calf and pig. In 4-H, I became involved in every aspect this organization had too offer. I showed beef, sheep, swine, goats, rabbits, poultry and even dogs at the county fair every year. One fond memory I have from my early years showing at the fair is when I won Intermediate Steer Showmanship my first year showing a steer. I also mentored others in 4-H and gave people pointers on ways to prepare their animals for show as well as what it takes to produce good quality meat. I continued help my county 4-H as I went into college.
My love of county fairs exposed me to the Fairest of the Fair program. Several years I served as the attendant for the program. Then in 2014, I became the Crawford County Fairest. I presented at schools, went to local events, and took part in parades to educate people about agriculture and the local fair in the community. One moment that I remember fondly is when I took a bunch of children on an animal scavenger hunt where I could see their curiosity run wild with several questions about the animals at the fair.
I enjoy helping individuals with disabilities. In 2018, I graduated with a degree in Therapeutic Recreation with an emphasis in Communications from UW-La Crosse. Throughout my college career, I worked as a respite care provider for individuals with disabilities. Many of my clients never were exposed to agriculture. It was amazing seeing their eyes light up at the experience of going to a farm. One young lady never saw a cow being milked so I took her to my uncle’s farm. Now cows are her favorite animal! Seeing my client’s reactions shows how important connecting agriculture to the community is. Wisconsin farmers and rural communities contribute to the state’s strong heritage, current economic impact, and bright future ahead. I’m honored and humbled to be one of the top candidates for the 72nd Alice in Dairyland. I hope to use this position to connect everyone to the diverse and exciting field of agriculture.