Carli Hammond crowned Miss Salinas Valley Fair 2022 – The King City Rustler
KING CITY — Monterey County Home Charter School senior Carli Hammond was crowned Miss Salinas Valley Fair 2022 after competing against another girl in areas including personality, academic ability, balance and horsemanship.
The annual competition was held at the Salinas Valley Fairgrounds in King City on April 8.
Hammond, an 18-year-old from Salinas, was chosen by the judges to represent the fair for the coming year. Along with being crowned, she received a $2,000 scholarship, a sterling silver belt buckle and other prizes donated by local businesses.
From an early age, Hammond loved horses and wanted nothing more than a horse of her own. Her mother signed her up for classes with Cecelia Coulson, and from there she was hooked. She has continued to ride for the past 13 years with Coulson, to whom she credits all of her riding skills.
As Hammond’s skills continued to progress, she purchased her horse, Vegas, with the money she earned selling her cattle at the Salinas Valley Fair. She continued to work hard to complete her horse’s training.
“Carli hopes to see her hard work pay off and looks forward to seeing how her and Vegas’ future unfolds,” said Lauren Hamilton, interim CEO of Salinas Valley Fair.
Growing up in the Salinas Valley piqued Hammond’s interest in the ranching industry. At age 11, she joined Spring 4-H and raised pigs, goats and steers. Hammond said she enjoys spending her free time with her cattle and “making sure they are well cared for”.
During her time at Spring 4-H, Hammond held several officer positions, her favorite of which was being president because she felt it gave her “leadership skills, confidence” and helped her be “more extroverted”. She also served as Treasurer, Attendance Secretary and Sergeant-at-Arms.
Hammond is currently serving as treasurer again this year for her club.
“Being a 4-H member has helped Carli develop important leadership skills and show her the ins and outs of the ranching industry,” Hamilton said.
Next year, Hammond plans to work alongside his mother in agricultural sales. In the fall of 2024, she plans to move to Boise, Idaho and enroll in the Paul Mitchell Cosmetology School.
While Hammond loves the community she grew up in, she wants to branch out and experience new places. She said she is “forever grateful and indebted to the Salinas Valley” and those she met here.
Hammond looks forward to the Salinas Valley Fair every year because she gets to see all of her friends from different counties and even make new friends. The fair is where she made her “greatest memories,” Hammond said, and fair week is her favorite time of year.
“Most importantly, she’s always thrilled to put her cattle on display and see how her hard work pays off,” Hamilton said.
This year, Hammond is exhibiting a purebred Black Angus steer, named Harry. She said she worked very hard with this steer, especially since it was her last Salinas Valley fair.
Hammond hopes to make this his “most memorable and special fair experience”.
The 2022 Salinas Valley Fair will be held May 12-15 at the King City Fairgrounds.