More than 100 County Queens were a bundle of nerves as they entered the room, resplendent in their county sashes and tiaras. The 103 queens were smiling and confident. For those of you who realize that Iowa has 99 counties, you may say, “103 Queens?”

It is true. Some of Iowa’s larger counties have more than one county queen. And the Waterloo Cattle Congress has a queen.

As the owner of Etiquette Iowa/Agri Manners, my role is to encourage people to present themselves with strength, grace and humanity.

For the past 12 years, I’ve worked with the State Fair Queens. Few things bring more pleasure than seeing Iowa’s best and brightest young women march through the rigors of selection for the State Fair Queen with aplomb and brilliance.

It makes my heart soar.

It was a special pleasure this year to meet Ms. Meghan McBride, Dallas County Queen. Meghan was kind, courteous and gracious. She shook my hand with the skill of an international diplomat. Meghan and I chatted for a short while. Her love for Dallas County was genuine and heartfelt.

Congratulations to Meghan. We are all proud of you. We know you will continue to make Dallas County proud.