“Like any girl, I was a little nervous to start traveling but that quickly disappeared as I was welcomed by a group of fantastic girls who I would come to know as my rhinestone sisters.
“It’s true when they say that you haven’t seen Louisiana until you’ve seen it through the eyes of a queen,” Jessie Breaux said in her farewell speech.
Breaux gave up her crown as Miss Louisiana Farm Bureau on June 30. She recalled logging in more than 4,500 miles traveling with her crown.
She was able to experience festivals in a very different way, as a visiting queen. And she went to many pageants and travelled all over the state.
Some of her most memorable experiences include chasing chickens in Church Point and going to Washington D.C. for a big Mardi Gras ball.
She said, “People are used to seeing festival queens here (in Louisiana). But in Washington, we truly felt like royalty.”
In Washington D.C. Breaux was able to meet congressman Jeff Landry and enjoy a tea party with Sen. Mary Landrieu.
Breaux was crowned in New Orleans at the Mariott hotel as Miss Louisiana Farm Bureau. She competed against 28 other girls and represents the Louisiana Farm Bureau Federation, not just the insurance company.
“It was shocking,” Breaux said of being crowned. “There were lots of girls up there. To have been in the top 10 was an honor.”
The pageant happened over the course of four days.
On Thursday, contestants register, attend an awards program, visit the queen’s suite and swap gifts with the other contestants.
On Friday, they go in for orientation where contestants meet the judges, introduce themselves and their mothers and wait for interviews. The queen’s suite (which is where she stayed this year) is where all of these events happen.
Interview questions come from two sources: a submitted biography and what the contestant thinks her representation of Farm Bureau will be like.
On Friday night, contestants watch the talent show.
On Saturday, contestants attend a morning practice and a women’s brunch where they model their Sunday best attire to the women in attendance.
Saturday night holds the evening gown competition where contestants are escorted through the crowd by their parish Farm Bureau president. They model for the judges and introduce themselves, their parish and their parish’s commodities.
The top 10 are then chosen and answer an on stage question. No one sees or hears the question until it is opened on stage.
They then announce Miss Congeniality, who was voted on by the contestants before, then first and second runner up and finally Miss Louisiana Farm Bureau.
On Sunday, her duties as queen began, as she was whisked away to the voting delegates meeting where she introduced herself as Miss Louisiana Farm Bureau for the first time.
Breaux also recalled attending the Farmer of the Year banquet where she was able to meet former Gov. Edwin Edwards.
She said, “I made lots of friends, I call them my rhinestone sisters, we’ve travelled together and made some of the best memories.”