DONNELLSON — Summer Smith isn't like most fair queens.

Smith, of Donnellson, was crowned 2018 Lee County Fair Queen Wednesday night, but she doesn't show animals at the fair. And she knows how that looks.

"It's a bit odd," she said.

Smith started 4-H in seventh grade, a full three years later than the usual fourth-grade starting point. She envisions a career in the agricultural industry, but not the kind of career you might expect.

"I'm really more interested in the sales part of it," she said.

She even plans on job shadowing for ag sales positions this summer.

"I want to experience what it's like to be a sales representative," Smith said.

But that doesn't mean Smith is unwilling to get down and dirty with the swine and the chickens. Her day typically starts around 8:30 a.m., and she stays on the Lee County Fairgrounds until about 10 p.m., handing out ribbons, encouraging kids and helping out wherever she is needed.

"I will be at every single livestock show," she said while presenting ribbons at the Thursday morning rabbit and poultry shows. "'I'm pretty used to it."

Smith wasn't the only fair queen crowned Wednesday night, but she may have been the most surprised one.

"It was really, really shocking. I definitely didn't think my name was going to get called, especially after the first and second runner-up," she said. "I realized it was actually me. It was not a joke. And I got really, really excited."

Junior Lee County Fair Queen Maren Doty showed off rabbits at the 4-H and FFA Rabbit and Small Pet Show as Smith talked. This year's fair also reinstated the positions of Little Miss Lee Country Fair and Little Mr. Lee County Fair, which had been absent since 2005. Those crowns went to 9-year-old Julia Fraise and 8-year-old Memphis Anderson.

Sashes decorated their tiny torsos, and the miniature fair royalty followed Smith around as if she really was their queen. Smith's crown conveyed friendly authority, and her dignity and humility rubbed off on her hip-high compatriots.

"I was really excited, because when they pulled the names out, I thought it was going to be the other girl," Fraise said.

Fraise is part of the 4-H program Clover Kids, which caters to younger 4-H students who can still show off animals in a limited capacity before they reach the fourth grade. So is Anderson, but he didn't have an animal to show this year.

He's going to have a serious discussion with his grandmother about that when the fair is over.

"I'm going to talk to my grandma next year about being in the bunny show," he said.

That kind of unassisted motivation defines most 4-H and FFA students. Smith herself works three jobs — two as a lifeguard, and a summer gig packing meat at the Farmington Locker. She doesn't get paid for her position as fair queen, and actually loses money to pursue her agricultural passion.

"I took a week off from my job so I could be here," he said.

Smith has her toes in everything, from show choir to FFA. She doesn't bemoan the lack of free time, though.

Quite the opposite.

"I love being busy. I can't sit still," she said.