Meet the 2023 Wisconsin Valley Fairest of the Fair: Shellby Walters

The fair runs August 1-6 at Marathon Park in Wausau
Published: Aug. 1, 2023 at 7:50 AM CDT
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WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAW) -Shellby Walters has been showing animals at the Wisconsin Valley Fair for a majority of her life. As this year’s fairest of the fair, she now has an opportunity to share her love of the farm with people all over Marathon County.

The “Fairest of the Fair” acts as an ambassador of sorts, educating people about the fair and all the things the world of agriculture has to offer.

Agriculture is in Shellby Walter’s blood.

“I’ve been in 4-H since I was able to walk basically,” said Shellby Walters, Wisconsin Valley Fairest of the Fair 2023.

Growing up on a farm in Aniwa, Walters has years of experience working with animals.

“We do beef and I have horses; we do chickens, we’ve done pigs. So, I’ve grown up in this community,” said Walters.

She has been showing at the fair since the third grade. As the 2023 Wisconsin Valley Fairest of the Fair, she hopes to encourage others to learn more about agriculture.

“That’s the number one thing that I’ve tried to do is get more kids involved in the agriculture community, because not many people are. It’s a pretty low percentage right now,” said Walters.

Since becoming Fairest of the Fair, she’s worked hard to teach kids about farming, 4-H, and the showing at the fair.

“We actually have some kids this year that are new to our club. And they have never shown animals before and they have just jumped right in,” said Walters.

But her work doesn’t stop once the fair is over.

“It’ll continue until January, my duties will carry out until the next fairest of the fair is selected,” said Walters.

Shellby will compete in the Wisconsin Association of Fairs convention in Wisconsin Dells in January of 2024.

If she wins, she will represent fairs throughout the state for a whole year. Walters wants to continue her education in agriculture at Northcentral Technical College and will be going right back out on the farm.

The Wisconsin Valley Fair gates will open at 12 p.m. today and will last through Sunday. The midway and rides will open at 5 p.m., and Mitchell Tenpenny will play at 7:30 p.m. The Wisconsin Valley Fair is being held in Marathon Park.

Marathon Park is located at 1201 Stewart Avenue, Wausau, WI 54401.