ROYAL CENTER, Ind. — Although she prefers cowboy boots to
high heels, Purdue University junior Bailey Farrer will be wearing both
throughout the month of May while serving as an Indianapolis 500 Festival
She is one of 33 Hoosier women who were chosen from more
than 250 applicants to represent the state in the weeks leading up to the big
Farrer noted that the festival princess program is not like
a normal beauty pageant because applicants must go through an interview process
when they apply, and the ladies who are selected to move on in the competition
then will have to participate in another round of interviews before finding out
whether they will be race royalty.
During the whole month, Farrer added, she will spend three
to four days a week in Indianapolis doing outreach events at the Speedway
racetrack and at elementary schools, talking with girl scouts and, basically,
attending any activity where an organization has requested a 500 Festival
One special event which Farrer is looking forward to is Pole
Day, when each of the women are paired up with one of the 33 racecar drivers and
will serve as the ambassador for that driver for the remainder of the race
Although this year’s Indianapolis 500 Festival queen has not
yet been announced, Farrer said she already is satisfied with just being chosen
as a princess because she was not expecting it. In fact, she mentioned that she
is getting to enjoy this time with her college roommate, Jill Griffin of Cutler,
who also received the honor of being named a princess.
Farrer noted that throughout the entire interview process,
she remained strong to her country roots and often referenced her agriculture
background and the life lessons and good morals she has learned from growing up
When she’s not donning her sash and crown, the animal
science major keeps busy staying active in the livestock industry, even though
she does not show as often as she used to since she is getting older.
In fact, Farrer’s hard work and dedication to the swine
industry recently was acknowledged by the National Pork Board when she was
chosen as one of the recipients of the Pork Industry Scholarship.
Applicants had to either be a junior or senior in college or
enrolled in a graduate program and not only have had a strong background of
working around hogs, but also a career path somehow related to the pork
“Swine is a big part of my past, present and future,” Farrer
said, adding that she has been showing pigs since she was 3 years old.
After college, she hopes to be a pharmaceutical
representative for swine, as well as cattle.
The scholarship, Farrer noted, will help ease the financial
cost of attending school, as she continues her education and finalizes plans for
“Thankfully, Purdue has frozen tuition costs, but everything
is still expensive,” she noted.