Started in 1940, the Miss Georgia Forestry pageant is one of the oldest in the state.
While other pageants seem to be struggling along with the economy, the Miss Georgia Forestry pageant system is still growing. Victoria Lovett, who directs the Miss Houston County Forestry pageant, said that because of the number of entries in the local pageants, the state pageants cannot be held all in one day.
It is just a very well established pageant, Lovett said. It is a scholarship pageant based on the Miss Georgia system, and we use the same criteria: evening gown, interview, speeches and onstage question.
The state pageant, which is held in June every year, is divided with the Teen and Miss categories held on one weekend and the other categories for younger girls held on another weekend.
Because of the importance of forestry to the states economy -- timber is Georgias No. 1 cash crop -- the forestry queens stay busy with appearances and promoting their individual platforms.
The current state queen, Amanda Murray, won the state title as Miss Houston County Forestry, the first time that Houston County has ever had the state winner.
The newly crowned Miss Houston County Forestry, Rae Evans, a Perry High School graduate and a sophomore at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College, is also the reigning Dogwood Queen. Evans has been competing in the forestry pageant for about six years and said the pageant system is one of the reasons she kept coming back to compete.
The forestry pageants really give you a lot of opportunity to get to know the other girls, Evans said. It also is an incredible opportunity to have the chance to promote forestry, which we literally cant live without. We use forestry to breathe and for products that range from makeup to paper. I feel as a forestry queen it is my job to represent my county at the state pageant but to also learn about forestry so I can share this knowledge with others.
Contact Alline Kent at 396-2467 or firstname.lastname@example.org.