By Barbie Porter
Turkey Days 2021 offered many firsts for Miss Frazee Katelyn Mack. Not only was she crowned in her first pageant, she also partook in the Turkey Days parade for the first time.
Mack’s journey began a few weeks ago, when the former Miss Frazee Outstanding Teen Braylee Riewer called her. Their conversation turned to the upcoming Miss Frazee pageant.
“She was telling me how much fun she had,” Mack recalled, adding the enjoyment Riewer shared often came from friendships she built with other teen contestants. “She shared good memories and experiences, and I wanted to do that.”
The thought of earning scholarships also appealed to Mack, who is heading to the University of Minnesota-Crookston this fall with a double major of agronomy and animal science with a minor in agricultural business.
While some may think joining a pageant requires an extensive shopping list and deep pockets, Mack said that simply is not true. She used her prom dress for the red carpet competition and borrowed gowns for the on-stage interview.
“The most challenging part of that was walking in heels,” Mack said. “I’m not used to that, so I practiced around the house.”
Most of the real work and preparation for the pageant had to do with exercising her brain. The mental challenges came with an organized folder given to her by the pageant directors.
“It had all the essay topics I could write about, the rules of the pageant and I could write a resume, too,” she said. “I was surprised how much was involved with the pageant, and I’m glad I got a chance to do it.”
Mack put her years of being an FFA member to use. As an officer, she wrote many essays. Combining experience with the skills she learned in a college writing class and Mack was fully prepared to wow the judges. And that she did. The 18-year-old daughter of Ron and Missy Mack won the scholarships for the American Freedom Essay Award, Community Services Essay Award, Family Ties Essay Award and Academic Award. With many of the essays, she was able to tie in another passion of hers—community service.
Mack said being part of the FFA gifted her with many opportunities to do good deeds and help build a stronger community through actions.
Mack also took top honors for the talent portion of the pageant.
Since she was 4-years-old, Mack has been taking dance classes. The experiences lessened the stage freight, as she grew accustomed to being on stage in front of a large audience. Being in dance also provided Mack with a talent to showcase during the pageant.
While she offered a memorable jazz solo that seemed to captivate the audience, Mack shared that she wasn’t sure how it would play out on stage. She choreographed the moves for the first time ever, and even spliced the music for the piece together. Two days before the pageant, the dance for the talent portion of the competition was finalized. Mack divulged that the Miss Frazee pageant performance was her first flawless run through of the dance.
Mack was also presented with the People’s Choice Award and the Miss Frazee crown before the night concluded. Of the experience, Mack said it was “all she expected it to be and more.”
As Miss Frazee, Mack looks forward to bringing attention to getting youth involved in agriculture and the FFA program. While she did not grow up on a farm, Mack said being part of the FFA has undoubtedly shaped her life.
“It’s been difficult to get youth involved and the numbers have been falling over the years,” she said. “I want to talk to classrooms during the school year about FFA and host events that will get the community and children more aware about agriculture.”
Mack noted the FFA afforded her opportunities to develop leadership skills (she is a regional officer), communication skills and to step out of her comfort zone. She looks forward to providing encouragement for more youth to get involved in FFA in the coming year.