Student to compete for Miss America title

Molly Matney looks at former Miss Kentucky 2016, Laura Jones, as she found out she is Miss Kentucky 2017 during the Miss Kentucky Scholarship Pageant on Saturday, July 1, 2017 at the Singletary Center for Arts in Lexington, Ky.

Laurel Deppen

Wholesome, lovable, the girl you’d like to grow up next to, the woman you’d like your son to marry, a true pleasure. These are all words George T. Reed, a member of the executive board of Miss Kentucky, used to describe Molly Matney.

Raised on a beef farm in Metcalfe county, Matney was never a typical pageant girl. It wasn’t until the late agriculture professor David Coffey suggested that she try pageants while she was a studying at WKU. It was then Reed was introduced to Matney.

Matney is still fairly new to the pageant world. She entered her first pageant in 2015 and won first place: Miss Metcalfe County. In her second pageant, she made the top ten.

The Miss Kentucky Scholarship Pageant is the state preliminary section of the largest scholarship organization for women in the world, the Miss America pageant. The organization requires that each participant have a platform. Because of her background and interest in agriculture, Matney’s platform is “Farm Fit,” a program that encourages schoolchildren to eat locally grown fruits and vegetables.

With the title of Miss Kentucky, Matney will work as a spokesperson for the Kentucky Department of Agriculture’s Kentucky Proud program, promoting food grown on local farms. The similarity of these two platforms emphasized Reed’s belief that Matney is “the perfect fit.”

Historically, women representing Kentucky in the Miss America pageant have done very well. Matney, Reed explained, will be no exception. The title of Miss America is awarded to the contestant who scores highest in the following categories: interview, talent, swim suit, evening wear and a final on-stage question. Matney will be yodeling as her talent.

When awarded the title, all of the other contestants showed their support for Matney. “They all love Molly,” Reed explained. “[You] won’t know one contestant who doesn’t.”

The Miss America pageant will be held on Sept.10 in Atlantic City, New Jersey and will air on ABC.

Laurel Deppen can be reached at (270)745-2655 and [email protected]