Reagan Grubbs, Miss SAU 2018, Looks Ahead to Miss Arkansas
Whether handling a chainsaw or wearing muck boots, or gracing the stage to be crowned Miss Southern Arkansas University, Reagan Grubbs has set a goal of proving that women can succeed at anything they put their mind to.
Grubbs, a 21-year-old Agriculture Business major from Delight, Arkansas, recently earned her degree from SAU but has a lot to look forward to after graduating – most especially, representing SAU in the Miss Arkansas Pageant June 9-16 at the Robinson Center in Little Rock, Arkansas.
“I feel like this could be our year to win,” Grubbs said. “We haven’t had a Miss Arkansas winner since 1972, and we were still known then as Southern State College, so it’s our time, I hope.”
Though she enjoys competing and being successful in pageants, Grubbs said she also has a passion for work “in a man’s world.”
“I always told myself and my Mom and Dad that I want to be able to do everything myself and not rely on a man,” she said. “I can cut down a tree, split it and stack it, drive a tractor and pull a horse trailer – everything a guy can do.”
Her passion for work in the field fueled her academic pursuits at SAU, but it really developed when she was young and growing up in Delight. She started showing rabbits at age 7, joined her local 4-H Club, and has “always loved being around animals.” She participated in the Pike County Fair and District Fair, showing market lambs and sheep and winning prizes for showmanship. She competed in the Arkansas State Fair, winning Reserve Grand Champion in Commercial Ewe and taking home multiple grand championships in the sheep breed. “It’s a part of me,” she said of 4-H and livestock competitions. “I grew up raising them and showing them.”
She and her sister, Ryann, a junior Agriculture Education major at SAU, grew up playing sports and learning the value of physical labor. Reagan said she participated in track, cheerleading, softball, archery and softball while in high school, but it took 4-H to get her past her early shyness.
“When I was little, I would go up to a tree and say hi,” she laughed. “4-H taught me how to find my voice and be a leader and to say to people, ‘This is who I am.’”
Her first pageant experience was in her senior year at Murfreesboro High School. “It was the county fair pageant,” she said. “I did not win, but it was a very good experience for me. In a pageant, everyone is a winner because you get on stage and have this amazing feeling. Even if you don’t win, you still have an invisible crown.”
Pursuing her education at SAU has been “an incredible experience. SAU always felt like home to me. You’re not just a number to the professors, you are someone. They get to know you, and they really care. They’ve all pushed me to be the best person that I can.”
She praised her sorority, Alpha Sigma Alpha. “We are focused on cultivating professional women in agriculture. It’s a man’s field, so it’s a big deal to have a group of girls who are all inspired by the same thing and want to achieve the same goals.”
She said that through her sorority, she has focused on educating the community, and especially youth, about where food comes from. “Most people say that food comes from the back of the store,” Grubbs laughed. “But we host a Pizza Ranch every fall, and we break down a piece of pizza for hundreds of kids, talking about where each ingredient comes from – where the dairy comes from, how the vegetables are grown and harvested. The kids get to milk a cow. If you haven’t had a chance to live on a farm, you don’t understand the process of how food is grown and processed. The kids love it, and I love seeing their faces.”
The journey to Miss SAU was an emotional experience for Grubbs. After finishing in the Spring 2017 Miss Arkansas Preliminary Pageant as first runner-up, Grubbs entered the 2018 Miss SAU Pageant aware that she had one opportunity as a senior to win. “I always wanted to represent SAU in a way that made a big impact. It was such an incredible feeling to reach the goal that I had set for myself.”
As Miss SAU, Grubbs has been busy keeping up with her classes as well as going out on the road and making appearances. “It’s been 100 percent worth it,” she said. “I want to reach as many people, students and kids as possible. I also want to educate people on my personal platform, which is leadership through 4-H.”
She’s been preparing to represent SAU in the Miss Arkansas competition. “My mother teaches dance, and I will be doing a clogging routine at Miss Arkansas,” she said. “I’m definitely ready for the pageant. It’s a very great honor to be able to represent SAU.”
She is the daughter of Gary and Rebecca Grubbs.