Erica Sayles has been crowned the 2017 Canadian National Exhibition Ambassador of the Fairs.
“I am so humbled to have won in a contest that had so many talented people and to be able to be an ambassador for something as important as the CNE,” Sayles, the 2016 Paris Fair ambassador, said in a telephone interview Monday from the exhibition, which opened Aug. 18 and continues until Sept. 4.
The 46th annual competition drew more than 60 contestants, who represented agricultural fairs across Ontario.
The Paris Agricultural Society, which mounts the annual Paris Fair, praised Sayles.
“We are very proud of Erica,” said Cheryl Muir, the society’s manager.
“It’s wonderful that one of our own won such an honour.
“Her passion for agriculture and her warm personality are a perfect match for the role of ambassador for the CNE. We wish her good luck as she continues on her journey as the 2017-2018 CNE Ambassador of the Fairs.”
Over the three-day competition, judges narrowed the field to seven semifinalists, who had to deliver a 90-second speech on agriculture or fairs.
Sayles, 20, said she chose to speak on fairs because of experience with the Paris Fair.
The top three then had to answer an impromptu question,
Sayles was asked: “If you had to pick one individual from Canada’s history to spend time with, who would you pick?”
She chose NHL superstar Sydney Crosby.
“He’s very passionate and dedicated and I would learn a lot from spending time with him,” Sayles said.
Sayles, who was crowned Sunday, will participate in a series of official duties during the remaining days of the CNE and spend the next year travelling to fairs across Ontario to promote agriculture.
The daughter of Bruce and Carolyn Sayles, Erica and her two sisters, Jocelyn and Denise, and brother Brent, are the third generation to work the Bridon Farms dairy operation on Brant-Oxford Road.
The family proudly says it has not hired labour because it is among fewer than a dozen operations in Brant County to go robotic in tending and milking a herd with 90 mostly jersey milking cows.
The robotic technology is an illustration of the agriculture industry’s adaptability, Erica pointed out.
Starting her third year in a bachelor of science in agriculture at the University of Guelph, Sayles said she is hoping to remain in the dairy industry, preferably in Brant.
“I like to keep close to home,” she said.
Source: parisstaronline.com/Brantford Expositor