Miss Belle of the Bayou
Hometown: Paragould, AR
Platform: “The Solution to Feeding the World STEMs from Agriculture”
What college did you attend, or are currently attending? Mississippi State University
What is your major? Finance
What is your scholastic ambition? BBA with Honors in Corporate Finance from Mississippi State, MBA in Economics and Finance, Rhodes Scholar
List scholastic honors: Suma Cum Laude Salutatorian, MSU-Shakouls Honors College, National Collegiate Scholar, Gamma Phi Beta, Sigma Alpha Lambda, Alpha Lambda Delta, Financial Management Association Honors Member, Finalist in National Retailing Federation Next Generation Scholarship
Greatest non-academic accomplishment: Elected Governor of Arkansas Girls State, 800 member delegation
What is your favorite style of music? Big Band: Michael Buble
What is your favorite movie genre and why? Adventure/Histories for the excitement and thrill. Drama/Romantic Comedies for light-hearted humor (The Help/Pillow Talk)
What is your favorite gadget? Garmin athletic watch
What is your favorite blog? “The Pioneer Woman” Ree Drummond
What is your favorite place to visit? Washington, D.C.
What is your favorite food? Southern Comfort, Decadent Desserts
If you were on a deserted island, what book would you want with you? National Geographic’s “Complete Survival Guide”
Do you twitter? Yes, @emmajumper
What is your favorite?
Sport: Watching: Baseball / Playing: Softball/Volleyball Sports Team: St. Louis Cardinals Baseball
Actor: Rock Hudson, Ryan Reynolds Actress: Julia Roberts, Doris Day
Television Program: Chrisley Knows Best, Pioneer Woman, Golden Girls
Wardrobe Accessory: Watch or pearl earrings
Thing to do on a weekend: Outdoors: hiking, biking, or ballgames; and, cooking with friends. A private pilot, when the weather permits, I head straight to the airport to fly a Piper Tomahawk.
Way to spend a day off: Manicure/ pedicure and reading a good book!
What is your hometown like? Paragould is a classic, Southern (small) town. Endearingly named the Friendly City, it is known for being community oriented, largely agricultural, and still celebrates its establishment on the railroad with the Loose Caboose Festival.
What were you like when you were a child? Well-mannered and polite, but highly inquisitive and competitive; eager to learn, explore, and create; and though quite comfortable enjoying the “baby of the family” perks, motivated and determined but compassionate enough to share and think of the needs of others.
Who is the most influential person in your life? My older brother, Isaac. My only sibling, he and I have been inseparable since childhood. My playmate turned best friend, he has taught me to create my dreams then work tirelessly until I see them come true. This principle was taught by example, especially as I learned from his journey to acceptance into a College of Veterinary Medicine.
What is the one thing about you that people you meet may not immediately realize? When asked, “Oh, what dialect?”, I reply, “Southern.” Most people wouldn’t expect a blonde-haired, blue-eyed Mississippian to study speaking Mandarin Chinese with hopes to travel the globe with agri-business.
Describe one defining moment in your own life, other than winning your local title: The day I devoted my heart to the One who created it, I became aware that my life is about more than just Emma’s wants and desires, it’s about serving others. And, with time, I understood that I had a message to share and that I could speak to any crowd, no matter the size or challenge, because I have had practice speaking at the feet of the Most High.
What is one important thing you have learned from being in the Miss America Program? My time is not my own. Traveling extensively with every other job I’ve held taught me time management and goal completion. But, as a titleholder, I never clock out. Service before self penetrates my every thought and action. I must be everything to everybody and serve my state, and nation, every minute of the day – a task I feel honored to be charged with completing with perfect effort.
If you are crowned Miss Mississippi, what do you want to accomplish during your Year of Service? I will not rest until childhood hunger is vanquished entirely from my state and nation. Agriculture has the tools to feed our hungry world and I intend to use my voice to educate, initiate, and collaborate with America’s brightest influencers to feed our children, providing for the developmental needs of the next generation of innovators, leaders, and thinkers.
What is your secret wish or dream? One day, I hope to share my love of cooking with the world! I would love to publish a cookbook and open a double-storefront bakery/flower shop. And.. sing with Michael Buble.
I’m motivated by: My desire to develop my talents and abilities to be used in serving the needs of my growing world and the people who make it go around. I truly believe, “to those whom much is given, much will be required.” And, I find myself encouraging others to have the confidence and boldness to do hard things themselves and create, within, the desire to succeed. This, is when I feel most fulfilled.
Is there a personal connection that made you pick your personal platform? I grew up working on our family’s Angus cattle ranch, predisposed to like agriculture. But, understanding the caloric needs of my community, which has grown to encompass my world, I found a love for agriculture and its tireless effort to feed the globe.
What do you think has been the most significant event in your lifetime? Learning the ropes on the ranch. These skills are invaluable: recognition of innovation, such as dual use for a bucket (feed container and seat for the weary feet); endurance, never quit until the job is complete; and humility. Nothing is more humbling than setting an alarm clock for well before dawn to feed two hundred, four-legged hungry mouths that can’t even say “thank you”.
The one thing I can’t live without: Knowing my family stands behind my dreams.
My best friend would describe me as: Loyal, transparent, classic but spunky, eager to lend a helping hand, word of encouragement, or if all else fails, a warm batch of homemade cookies.
Something interesting about my family: When living at home, my brother and I would eat dinner around the family table every evening with our momma and daddy, solving the problems of the day and sharing joys we experienced. Even though hours away in college, our family makes a point to meet up often, have dinner around one table, join hands to bless our meal, and protect our time of sharing.
Funniest or most embarrassing thing that has ever happened to me: I represented the American Angus Association in Guelph, ON at a Canadian conference where I was volunteered to compete in a “Singing Bee” (songs play, when they stop, you finish the lyrics) with my fellow attendees. In the last round, confident I would win, they music played and everyone in the room stood. Instantly, I realized the song they had chosen for the only American attending was the Canadian National Anthem!
One thing I’d like to try that is out of character for me: Though my permanent spot in dance productions since kindergarten has been the back row, I would love to learn to ballroom dance!
Do you have any pets? If so, what kind and tell us their names: My family has one cat, Nola. We found her abandoned in our barn and have since claimed the purring Princess as our own.