Miss North Dakota, USA – Vogel named 1st Runner-up to Miss USA, 2021
Caitlyn Vogel of Minot, North Dakota proudly represented her home state as Miss North Dakota USA was named first runner-up to the title of Miss USA 2021 during the live television broadcast from Tulsa, Oklahoma on Monday, November 29, 2021.
The Miss Universe Organization (MUO) uses its global grassroots reach to empower women to be self-confident and strive to be their personal best, while also representing their home state and culture. Vogel thanks her North Dakota heritage for just this and the opportunity to represent the state.
“Whenever I am asked, if I could show anyone something in North Dakota what would that be?'” I always say, ‘I would bring you back home for dinner,’ because that’s when you see the beauty of our people and the personalities, and all of the traits that make North Dakota the way it is,” Vogel says.
Known for its deep contribution to American agriculture, North Dakota has over 39.3 million acres of farmland and more than 26,000 farmers and ranchers according to the North Dakota Department of Agriculture. North Dakota farmers and ranchers sold almost $8.2 billion worth of agricultural products in 2017.
“When you think of farmers in general, you think of persistence and reliance, and I think a lot of North Dakotans express those traits,” Vogel says, who is rooted in generations of midwestern agricultural heritage. “A large portion of North Dakota is made up of the agriculture industry. I, myself, represent those defining traits at national pageant competitions, which are a foundation of who I am as a North Dakotan.”
The competition, which is held annually, consists of three segments: evening gown, swimwear, and interview. All 50 states and the District of Columbia participated in the 70th annual event. Under the new ownership of former Miss USA 2008 Crystle Stewart, the Miss USA pageant focused on the theme “Pageantry Reimagined” during the 2-hour live broadcast.
A returned event to this year’s Miss USA pageant, which originated from the early years when the pageant first started, in 1952 was the state costumes. Each pageant contestant creates a costume made to represent what is important about their personal values and mission as well as a representation of their state’s culture. Vogel’s costume selection not only embodied North Dakota, but also her family’s history.
“After much reflection, I wore a gold fringe dress to showcase the wheat and the North Dakota wind, along with a wheat crown on my head, and six foot gold wings to honor my grandmother who passed away October, 2021,” Vogel outlines. “She was a huge support pillar in my pageant journey and a very strong woman. I was excited to be able to bring that personal aspect to the costume as well.”
Vogel grew up on a wheat and corn farming operation in Rugby, North Dakota. She also spent time on Hager Cattle Company, operated by her mother’s family.
“It was an honor to wear North Dakota across my heart, but then to create something on your own that is all custom designed to represent your state is so fulfilling,” Vogel explains.
The final stage of the competition, once the Top 8 finalists are announced, is a question asked by the panel of celebrity judges. Historically, the questions are controversial, and politically-based with a 30-second answer time limit.
The question asked to Vogel was, “What is your advice to a potential politician on topics that are important to your generation – what would you tell them?”
Vogel answered: “I think something very important is unity and we are based on a bisparitnalship government and we’ve lost the heart of that. It was established as a means of compromise, and instead, we are using it as a means of division. So this is something important we must focus on.”
In preparation for the pageant, Vogel was fully dedicated to representing North Dakota and herself by practicing healthy eating habits, exercising, conducting practice interviews, attending community events, and also fulfilling titleholder responsibilities as Miss North Dakota, USA. Vogel is also a full time nursing student.
“In addition to being a full time student and having the job of a titleholder, it’s a lot to take on, but such a blessing,” Vogel concludes with. “It helps you develop time management skills, and it’s something to be proud of that I was able to juggle everything.”
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