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Oct. 29, 2020

Northwest alumna crowned 2020 Mrs. United States Agriculture

By Leah Newell, communication assistant


For the third consecutive year, a woman from Northwest Missouri State University claimed a national agriculture crown when Jeana Curtis won Mrs. United States Agriculture in June in Orlando, Florida.

“Being the 2020 national Mrs. United States Agriculture is honestly just a true honor and blessing,” Curtis, a native of La Plata, Missouri, who graduated from Northwest in 2018 with a bachelor’s degree in animal science, said. “To be able to go into a competition like that at the national level and be 100 percent myself and represent the state of Missouri, and then be chosen to represent the nation is very humbling and very honoring.”

Curtis chose “Celebrating Crop Diversity in Agriculture” as her platform. She promotes agriculture education beyond cattle and corn.

“The Miss United States Agriculture program is all about furthering our own knowledge in order to better represent the industry,” Curtis said. “I created ‘Celebrating Crop Diversity in Agriculture’ to push myself to learn new areas of the ag industry in order to better represent agriculture as a whole.”

Curtis is partnering with businesses to deliver harvest meals to local farmers. She built and painted a 7-foot wood cow to help teach youth about milking. She also is educating herself further by visiting vineyards and wineries to learn about that piece of the agriculture industry.

Although she grew up in a town where agriculture was common, it wasn’t until she competed with her high school’s FFA chapter that she developed an interest in the field. She arrived at Northwest as an agricultural business major but switched to animal science.

“I realized very quickly that just because I didn’t grow up on the farm doesn’t mean that I couldn’t learn the same thing and be as involved as those who did,” Curtis said.

Working on Northwest’s R.T Wright Farm provided her with hands-on experience. Through the mentorship of farm manager Jim Husz and dairy herdsperson Ray Ashbaugh, Curtis expanded her knowledge and understanding of cattle. Her coursework, meanwhile, proved essential to her understanding of animal science.

“The courses were challenging but also very intriguing,” Curtis said. “My favorite professor was Dr. Marcus McGee. I loved learning from him. I gained so much knowledge.”

Curtis is currently employed by Prairieland FS as an administrative assistant and feed sales associate. 

“Northwest definitely prepared me educationally,” Curtis said. “I took a couple of nutrition classes, which has definitely helped me since I’ve started selling feed. It really helped me with my time management and organizational skills.”

The Miss United States Agriculture pageant is a women’s advocacy program meant to further the education of agriculture in the United States. Contestants from throughout the United States compete in categories of interview, on-stage introduction, evening wear, on-stage question, state fun fashion, and photogenic. Scholarships and prize money are awarded to the top contestants.

Ashley Brincks, a 2019 Northwest graduate was crowned Ms. United States Agriculture last year, and Holly Hatfield, a 2020 Northwest graduate, was crowned Miss United States Agriculture in 2018.


Media contact:

Mark Hornickel, Communication Manager | mhorn@nwmissouri.edu | 660.562.1704