This is Indiana with Joe Rule & Claire Bishop

Aug 11, 2023
The lights. The competition. The nerves. The food. The exhaustion. The Indiana State Fair, Week Two:

Sometimes in the middle of the rush, you just need to sit down for a fulfilling conversation.

Recently at the Indiana State Fair we had the remarkable opportunity to sit down with two individuals who have boundless, and very different, responsibilities during the greatest 18 days of summer.

Mr. Joe Rule sits on the Indiana State Fair Board, the decision-making body to ensure improvements are made annually to ensure the longevity and enjoyment of the State Fair. He is also a Co-Alliance employee, manager of our Michigantown Agronomy location.

Miss Claire Bishop is the 2023 Indiana State Fair Queen and is the ambassador for the 3-week event. Claire is a highly involved 10-year 4-H member, sister, daughter and role model for so many.

Let’s start with Joe!

Joe was raised in the 4-H organization, a proud member and livestock exhibitor in Indiana. In 1984 he won the Grand Champion Barrow award on the sand in front of an Indiana State Fair crowd only few experience first-hand. His passion for the 4-H organization and the opportunities it affords youth lead him into a 4-H leader role in Clinton County and also proud, involved 4-H dad of two sons.

Rule's son Kaleb, left, works at Co-Alliance's Reagan Agronomy.
Brock, right, is a liquid propane driver for Co-Alliance. 

Today, he extends his experience and talents as an Indiana State Fair Board member. One of his goals for the position is to be a trusted sounding board for those who exhibit livestock at the fair. To have the Indiana Farm Bureau Fall Creek Pavilion open in his inaugural year on the Board was a special memory for him.

Joe and wife Jannine enjoy a moment to take in the incredible new Indiana Farm Bureau Fall Creek Pavilion. 
Claire brings a whole different perspective to the conversation, as the 2023 Indiana State Fair Queen. She is the face of the fair, the royalty in the ring, the crowned in the crowd. And she’s rocking it.
Claire is a ten year 4-H member from Hancock County who estimates she has completed more than 250 projects during that time. To sit down with her, you’d believe she’s never been the kind to half-heartedly complete her project book on the way to the county fairgrounds, and while you’d love to hate her for that - - you just can’t.

Because she’s also the queen that pushes a sash to the side to water her livestock, clean out stalls and help younger siblings get the job done. Just last week Claire had three different species showing at the State Fair in a single day and handled it like, well, a queen. Juggling the responsibility, the humility, and the crown like the poised showman she is.

Claire accredits her family wholly for the ability to find beauty in the balance. Their willingness to step in and help her with travel, livestock, home responsibilities, and logistics is the only way she makes it work. It truly is a family affair.

Claire (orange) and her siblings just a few short years ago at the State Fair!

To talk to Claire is to talk to someone wise beyond her years. I just know you’ll enjoy getting to know our 2023 Indiana State Fair Queen at a deeper level just as I did when we visited.

What was so evident in these two very different conversations was the undeniable passion Joe and Claire both have for 4-H and the value they place on the organization. From the fashion review runway to the swine barn pen, these are two incredible advocates for the tremendous opportunity this organization extends to all who participate.

We invite you to listen to Cultivated in its entirety to learn more about Joe, Claire and the great Indiana State Fair.

Podcast Author


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