Aultman carries on 25 year legacy


By Meladi Brewer

GREENVILLE — Aultman carries on 25 year legacy.

Sophia Aultman was crowned the 2024 Darke County Jr. Fair Queen at Radiant Lighthouse Center 25 years after her dad, Matt, was crowned King in 1999. Her mom, Morgan, was also a runner-up for queen, too.

“My parents kind of led me here. My dad was a former king in ‘99, and my mom was a runner-up in 2000, I believe,” Aultman said. “They kind of inspired me to do all this.”

Alutman continued saying her choice to run was not only influenced by her parents but by her current involvement with the fair.

“I’m currently on the Jr. Fair Board, I show animals at the fair, I’m sponsored by my FFA chapter this year, and all of those people who support and love me pushed me to do this and get out of my comfort zone,” Aultman said.

The 2024 Darke County Jr. Fair King Colin Batton’s involvement outside of the fair lead him to run for fair king. He is currently the chapter president for the Versailles FFA, and when the opportunity presented itself, he decided to “give it a whirl” and see what new opportunities and leadership potential it could bring.

“I’m also looking at all the other skills it can also bring from leadership, communication, and responsibility,” Batten said.

Both members of the royalty are excited to grow as individuals by getting out of their comfort zone and expanding their skill sets, but one thing they are most looking forward to growing is the bond between them and their court.

“I am looking forward to all the adventures we are going to have together because I feel like we are going to really bond together as a court, we are going to go to a bunch of fairs, festivals parades, and I feel like it is going to be fun,” Aultman said.

Batten agreed with Aultman. He said he is excited to not only get to meet people at the Darke County Fair, but getting to meet new people and seeing how they work within their fairs. Continuing to look forward, Batten encourages anyone who is on the fence about entering the pageant to do it.

“I say don’t be terrified of the pageant. It is not that bad,” Batten said. “I was going into it being absolutely mortified, but I promise it wasn’t that bad, and the questions were ok.”

“Well I tripped. I tripped more than once, so….” Aultman said.

She joked that if she can trip multiple times and still win then it proves that the pageant process is not bad. Just be confident in who you are and show your personality.

“Just get out of your comfort zone, and be yourself – whoever you are. Come in to this with confidence, and go be your best self possible,” Aultman said.

The judging criteria for the pageant consists of activities and involvement within the community, poise and personality, personal appearance, and an essay.

The Darke County Jr. Fair court: Queen: Sophia Aultman, King : Colin Batten, first runners-up: Grace Borchers and Daxton Harter, second runner-up: Margret (Maggie) McGlinch, third runner-up: Amelia Price.

A special thank you goes out to all the sponsors that made the event possible: senior fair board, junior fair board, Chase Road & Co., Bruns Animal Clinic, Rachel Fearon – Courageous Creations, The J&M Ranch, Schmidt Photography, Morgan and Matt Aultman, The Francis Family, Teaford’s Pizza and Subs, Wuebker Farms, and Rowland Truck and Equipment.

To contact Daily Advocate Reporter Meladi Brewer, email [email protected]

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