THORNTON W.Va – After representing West Virginia for a year, Taylor County native Grace Austin-Trboyevich was named Mrs. Agriculture USA 2024.

Miss Agriculture USA, a national nonprofit organization, runs through all 50 states, inviting all ages from two years old and beyond. Austin-Trboyevich started her journey with the organization by applying to be West Virginia’s queen in 2023.

After being selected, Austin-Trboyevich served as Mrs. Agriculture for the state starting in July 2023, advocating for women in agriculture and working to show people where the food they’re buying is coming from.

“We go to Walmart; we get a gallon of milk; we get a pack of burgers; that’s it. I want them to know the hard work and the dedication that it actually took to get to that shelf. It didn’t just magically appear,” she said on WAJR’s “Talk of the Town.”

One way of promoting this is by selling her own beef on her family’s cattle farm, Hidden Falls Ranch in Thornton, West Virginia. The farm sells beef steers, allowing customers to know exactly where their food is coming from.

Austin-Trboyevich said she grew up on the farm, which has been in her family for generations. She tends to the farm alongside her family and young daughter.

Aside from growing up on a farm, she attributes her involvement in agriculture partially to a 4-H program that allowed her to raise a farm animal such as a calf or goat for several months. She said she recommends the program to anyone interested in agriculture.

“It teaches them so much responsibility and dedication from a young age that I think some of the best-shaped adults gained from the 4-H program because they have so much compassion from a young age and responsibility and drive and want to; it reflects their adult life so much, especially with the agriculture industry. Keeping them in there from a young age helps them make it long-term,” she said.

During her time as queen, Austin-Trboyevich was tasked with taking photos of her involvement in agriculture, primarily on her family’s farm.

For the national competition, Austin-Trboyevich was required to submit all her photos, partake in several interviews, and participate in a formal wear competition, ultimately winning the national title.

As Mrs. Agriculture USA, she said she wants to highlight the women in agriculture that often get overlooked.

“There [are] a lot more women in agriculture than I think most people actually think. They’re no longer just doing the laundry and cleaning the house; they’re out there in the field with the family, and I think that’s absolutely wonderful, and I want to shed a light on that because we truly do have a great face of agriculture, and from a woman’s point of view, the love and compassion and everything we put in it is definitely worth taking note of,” she said.

She said that currently not all states participate in the competition, but she hopes to change that during her time with the title.

“As of right now, I don’t think all 50 states have participated yet. That’s why I’m trying to get out the word a little bit more. We’d like to see at least one person from every state in every age category,” she said.

After competing against several states known more prominently for agriculture, Austin-Trboyevich said she hopes more people will see the importance of agriculture in West Virginia.

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