May 2024 Volunteer Spotlight: Tawnya Roenbaugh

Love for the Kansas State Fair runs deep for this month’s volunteer spotlight: Tawnya Roenbaugh. Tawnya joined the Kansas Fairgrounds Foundation board in 2023, but her journey starts generations back.

Tawnya attributes her passion for volunteering to her grandparents and her parents. Her grandfather, Jake Roenbaugh, served on the Kansas State Fair Board in the 80s and her grandmother was a State Representative and is actively involved to this day.

Tawnya Roenbaugh and her parents at Boots and Bling 2023 – Champagne Life

She grew up showing primarily heifers and steers through 4-H with lifelong friend, Dylan Evans. She recognizes that her ability to show cattle was a privilege afforded her by the hard work of volunteers.

The only reason I was able to show was because of someone else donating their time, money, and effort.

Tawnya Roenbaugh on the importance of volunteering

As she grew, so did her passion for Kansas and agriculture. She recalled that her very first volunteer experience was with the Kansas State Fair Beef Show. From there, she eventually served as the Show Manager at the Kansas State Fair for 3 years.

Continuing with the agriculture trend, Tawnya now works for Cargill Meat Solutions in Wichita, KS and recently accepted the promotion to National Account Retail Sales Manager. Congrats, Tawnya!

Everything goes hand-in-hand for me. Cargill’s mission is to feed the world and to do it safely. In my mind, that goes right along with the agriculture background of the Kansas State Fair and how the youth especially can learn and thrive through ag education at the Fair.

Tawnya Roenbaugh on the Kansas State Fair

So, when Dylan Evans invited Tawnya to Boots and Bling for the first time, she was sold! Not only did she thoroughly enjoy the event (it is the best FUNdraising event in Kansas, after all!) but, she also appreciated the Foundation’s vision of inspiring excellence and understanding of Kansas agriculture, industry and culture through the Kansas State Fair, activities, educational programs and opportunities.

From right to left: Tawnya, Dylan and Chelsea Evans at Boots and Bling 2023 – Champagne Life

After attending for several years, Tawnya naturally transitioned into volunteering at the event. From there, she got to know the board members and when she was asked to join the board, it was a no-brainer!

I loved the event!! I kept attending year after year with the Evans family and started to help with set-up and clean-up, and slowly became more involved. I have a sincere, strong passion for agriculture that aligns with my job and the State Fair. That’s why I love being on the Foundation board– because of my love for Kansas.

Tawnya Roenbaugh on Boots and Bling and getting involved with the Foundation

In addition to Boots and Bling, Tawnya also volunteers in the Official Kansas State Fair Merchandise booth during the Kansas State Fair. She said she enjoys seeing people from all walks of life, young and old, share their enthusiasm for “our Great State Fair!”

Her favorite thing about the Kansas State Fair is the impact it has on our young leaders of the state of Kansas. She values seeing young kids engaged and learning while on the Fairgrounds. Agriculture is a huge part of her day-to-day life and seeing the impact the Kansas State Fair has on agriculture education means a lot to her.

Of course, like anyone else, Tawnya also has a soft spot for some classic State Fair food! Among her top favorites are Pronto Pups, Krehbiel sausage, and deep-fried Oreos. If she had to choose one, though, it’s a Pronto Pup, hands down! 

When asked if she had a message to share, Tawnya said, “You don’t have to come from a particular background to succeed. At the Kansas State Fair, there is a wide array of activities, education and opportunities for all to succeed!”

Does the Kansas State Fair run deep for you too? Sign up to volunteer with the Kansas Fairgrounds Foundation today to make an impact!

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