On Full Display: Projects showcase 4-H’ers’ creativity, skills


A project to chip-and-seal State Road 250 east of Brownstown on Wednesday did little to prevent 4-H’ers from making their way to the fairgrounds to turn in projects for the fair, which begins Sunday.

Jaden Disque, 10, of Brownstown, showed up to turn in his three projects. He had designed two posters and had just presented the judge with his construction toys project — a Batmobile made of Legos that transformed into separate vehicles.

“It took him about 12 hours to make,” his mother, Bridget Disque said. “He has a few days worth of work here.”

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Jaden is a member of the Outdoor Connections 4-H Club and is in his second year of 4-H. He was happy to learn he had received a blue ribbon for his Batmobile.

“The most fun part was getting it done because I was really excited,” he said. “The hardest part was putting all four pieces together and getting them to fit.”

4-H building chairwoman Shannan Silver of Seymour was in charge of the set-up and was on hand Wednesday, doing whatever was needed.

“At 3 p.m. they started turning in their projects here,” Silver said. “Up front they have open judging and they get to talk to the judges, and in back of the building they turn in other projects that will be judged tomorrow.”

This year, Farm Bureau is giving an ice cream certificate to every 4-H member so they get a free cone during the fair, Silver said.

More than 1,000 4-H projects, created by 720 mini and regular Jackson County 4-H members and members of the FFA chapters, will be on display this week at the fair, which runs through July 29.

Alice Woodhull, a Jackson County native who now lives in Greensburg, was helping judge in needle craft and sewing for fun projects. This was her first time being a judge at the Jackson County fair.

“I travel all over the state,” Woodhull said. “This year I will have judged in 11 county fairs in Indiana when I’m done.”

Woodhull said the hardest part of judging is having to give a red ribbon.

She loves the kids and can tell they all tried and worked really hard on it, she said.

“What I look for in the sewing for fun category is fun fabrics and how much fun they had making it,” said Woodhull. “You look for anything you can and then suggest improvements for next time and give helpful hints.”

Heather VonDielingen, extension educator-4-H development with Purdue Extension Jackson County, said the 4-H’ers actually began presenting projects Monday.

“We had creative dramatics prejudging, which is like a performing arts contest,” said VonDielingen. “Then we had public speaking, consumer clothing and fashion revue prejudging on Monday.”

Junior Leader members, Abby Wiggam, 16, and Kaelen Eglen, 16, both of Seymour, were in charge of running the projects.

“We are both juniors at Seymour High School,” said Wiggam, who is an 8-year 4-H member. “Me and Kaelen will be helping to check in projects today and Thursday.”

Brownstown Elementary teacher, Amy Hartley, was at the fairgrounds with her grandson, Jackson Hartley, 13, of Vallonia.

Jackson will be in seventh grade at Brownstown Central Middle School this fall and is a member of the Tractor Club. He created a poster about tractor maintenance for his 4-H project.

“I’ve been in 4-H about six years, including mini 4-H,” said Jackson. “Some of the things on my poster show the tractor’s tire pressure, point system and belt.”

The leader of the Tractor Club is Bill Baute, who has been a Jackson County 4-H volunteer for about 40 years. He teaches the youth how to operate farm machinery and also tractor safety, said Amy Hartley.

Jackson enjoyed the tractor project and his favorite part was learning how to drive the tractor and do it safely. Jackson chose to enter just one project this year but there is actually no limit to how many projects a 4-H member can enter.

Drew Kerkhof, 11, and Hiley Obermeyer, 13, both of Seymour, each chose to enter at least a half dozen projects.

Mini 4-H is a program designed for children, kindergarten through second grade while regular 4-H includes third to 12th grade. Members from both ends of the spectrum were at the fairgrounds on Wednesday.

Lori Lister brought her 6-year-old son, Zach Lister, to turn in his models project. Zach will be entering first grade at Crothersville Elementary School this fall and is new to mini 4-H. He chose to enter a Lego creation and the judge complimented him on his creativity.

“The Lego set is about camping,” said Zach. “It’s got a grill, a picnic table, a camper and a car. The camper was pretty hard to build, but I don’t know what I want to build next year.”

While Zach is only beginning 4-H, another 4-H’er, 18-year-old Hannah Wood of Seymour, is finishing her ninth and last year as she will be entering Ball State University as a freshman next month.

Wood is a member of the Hamilton Hammerheads 4-H club in Cortland. She enjoys photography, which was her only project this year.

“It’s a picture of the waves at a beach that I went to on a vacation in Georgia,” Wood said. “I like the way it shows the waves in motion, so this is the photo I went with.”

Wood said it was difficult to capture just the right image for the shot but she gets a lot of enjoyment from photographing interesting things.

Whether a 4-H member is in his or her first year, last year or somewhere in between, all receive guidance from adult mentors, are encouraged to use creativity, and most are hoping for that elusive blue ribbon.

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Daily program


Poor Jack Amusements, Moonlight Madness with unlimited carnival rides 6 p.m. to close with $20 bracelet

7 a.m.: Swine going home, locker for person use or state fair exhibits released

7 8 a.m.: Open class goat registration

9 a.m.: 4-H dairy goat show open breeding classes judged immediately after each 4-H class, show arena

Noon: Jackson County Fair Fashion show; “B.loved” will present a formal attire show in conjunction with the show, grandstand

2 p.m.: Grand parade of livestock registration deadline, 4-H building

3 p.m.: Presentation of 4-H trophies from 4-H building, 4-H building Winners Circle Awards, 10-year 4-H members, mini T-shirts, achievement, leadership and outstanding junior leader plaques and I Dare You Awards, pavilion

5:30 p.m.: The MelloTones barbershop chorus, pavilion

6 p.m.: Alley Katz, antique building Stage

6:30 p.m.: Grand parade of open class grand champions and any 4-H livestock, show arena

6:45 p.m.: The Schulhaus 4+3 German Band, pavilion

7 p.m.: Nightly antique machinery demonstration behind antique building

7:30 p.m.: Beagles and Coon and Foxhound show, $2 entry fee, show arena

8 p.m.: Stars & Stripes Cloggers, antique building stage

11 p.m.: 4-H animals released from the fairgrounds (not in auction)


8 p.m.: Dylan Schneider country music sponsored by 92.7 NASH ICON WXKU; $10 Adults, $2 children 6 to 12, under 6 free

July 29

Poor Jacks Amusements, Kiddie Day with unlimited carnival rides from 1 to 5 p.m. with $14 bracelet, unlimited rides from 6 p.m. to close with $20 bracelet

8 a.m.: All non-auction 4-H livestock animals need to be removed from the fairgrounds

9:30 a.m.: 4-H livestock auction (sale order: beef, dairy beef, sheep, boer goat and swine), show arena

9:30 a.m.: Entry for Baby and Little Farmer Contest (33rd year); entry fee $5; not limited to Jackson County, pavilion

10 a.m.: Baby and Little Farmer Contest, pavilion, presented by 4-H Junior Leaders

10 a.m.: Release date for sow and largest litter exhibit and largest male swine exhibit

7 p.m.: Country Kickers, pavilion


7 p.m.: Jackson County Grand Champion Fair fifth annual Paul Crockett Memorial, super late models, superstocks, modifieds, pure stocks; $15 for adults, pit pass for $30; $2 for children 6 to 12 while those under 6 are free; sponsored by the Jackson County Fair

10 p.m.: FFA projects released


10 a.m. to 3 p.m.: Release time for antique and homestead display entries, antique building and grounds

3 to 5 p.m.: Family arts, horticulture, Farm Bureau and 4-H exhibits must be removed from the fairgrounds. Premiums will be paid for family arts and horticulture.


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