Jackson County 4-H’ers turn in projects at fairgrounds


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After the 4-H Building at the Jackson County Fairgrounds stood empty in 2020 because of the pandemic, it is now filled with projects ready to be seen by fairgoers on Sunday afternoon when the fair opens.

Hundreds of 4-H’ers from across Jackson County checked their projects into the fair Wednesday evening. This year, 2,126 entries were registered for the fair by the July 9 deadline.

From poster boards to Lego sets to cakes, all kinds of projects were brought to the fairgrounds.

Elly Carter, who has been involved in 4-H for 10 years, was one of them. She checked in a poster about how to keep cows from overheating and what to do if they experience heat stress.

If a cow is getting overheated, she said to make sure it has proper ventilation.

Carter said the idea to make the poster came from a cow that she wasn’t able to bring to the fair this year.

On how she thought the poster turned out, Carter said it was “pretty good.”

Matthew Rothert, 13, checked in a poster highlighting rollover protection systems for tractors.

“Basically, if a tractor rolls over and it flips over, it can possibly kill you,” he said.

His interest in tractor protection came from his 1957 John Deere tractor that doesn’t have a rollover protection system.

Because that tractor has a tricycle design, he said it is more susceptible to accidents.

“If you turn really short on a hill, you can easily roll it over,” Rothert said.

Ben Helt, another tractor enthusiast, also turned in a poster about what to check before using a tractor.

The 10-year-old was accompanied by his younger sister, Sarah, who was turning in projects for Mini 4-H, a program for kids in kindergarten through second grade.

Helt said his inspiration for making a poster about tractor precautions came from being involved with the Jackson County 4-H Tractor Club, which he plans to join in the future.

He also made a wooden box and said even though he only had some experience with woodworking, he felt he learned more by completing the project.

His sister made a poster about mules and also completed a sewing project. She said she liked making the poster more because she “gets to glue stuff on.”

Two other Mini 4-H participants were Ellie and Eric Johnson, who made Lego sets to be displayed at the fair.

Ellie, 9, put a Lego set together that featured a woman pulling a tree with an ATV to rescue a dog.

She said the goal of the project was to “find a box and follow it myself and put it together.”

“It was a little challenging, but it was pretty easy,” she said.

Eric, 6, built a race car out of Legos and said he was happy with how it turned out.

While young, some 4-H’ers submitted projects in hope of being seen as a master baker by fairgoers.

A cake depicting the face of a sheep was entered by 9-year-old Sawyer Ritz.

She said she bakes a lot and used meringue powder and fondant to create the icing for her cake.

As for why the cake was decorated like a sheep, she said, “Because I like showing sheep.”

Ritz said she thought the cake turned out really well and was excited to show it off at the fair.

Whitley Rieker turned in cookies and carpet art, which featured a llama, with her father, Christoph.

As for which project she liked putting together more, she chose the cookies because of the teamwork that was put in between her and her dad.

Brownstown seventh-grader Kristen Combs created an artistic display of five dishes and a cup sitting on top of a candelabra.

After she was able to find an old candelabra in her attic, she decided to use it for a 4-H project.

Combs said she looked at Pinterest for ideas and came across the one she ended up using as a template for her own project.

Stefani Christopher, 13, checked her collection of Disney princess pins into the fair.

She said she is passionate about pin collecting.

“I really like collecting and meeting other people and seeing how cool the other pins are,” Christopher said.

Her favorite pin was a golden one of a golden masquerade mask inspired by Belle from “Beauty and the Beast.”

On who her favorite Disney princess is, she said it’s Mulan.

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