This weekend brings the traditional 4-H fair season to a close as the Indiana State Fair winds down, at least for some. A few Hoosiers are so gung-ho on fairs and so hesitant to let summer go that they hold their true county fair in September. If you don't believe it, visit the DeKalb County Fair in Auburn next month. Several counties in Ohio still hold September County Fairs as well.
My goal is to check out at least one new county fair a year. This year it was the Benton county 4-H Fair in Boswell. It's not the state fair, but the county only has about 9,000 residents all total! And the 4-H'ers who exhibit there try as hard as anyone else.
One set of exhibits in the 4-H building caught our eye. There were nearly a dozen dioramas, most of them featuring farm scenes. But the one bearing the grand champion sticker was certainly a winner in our book. It was a replica of a Farm Progress Show!
Extension youth educator Rose Scherer says the display, complete with crushed rock streets and sawdust display lots, belongs to Jordan Cox, a 10-year 4-H member. He even fashioned tiny tents and erected them on lots, then added tiny show visitors scattered amongst the toy farm equipment on display.
By the way, Jordan became an even bigger winner before the fair concluded. He was named Master Showman over all species after representing the beef division. Contestants showed horses, goats, sheep, beef cattle and hogs.
But his diorama is what was one of a kind. If you want to see the real thing this year, head to Amana, Iowa Aug. 29-31- just two weeks away. It's about an 8-hour drive from Indianapolis, easily accessible by Interstates 74 and I-80 in Iowa. State roads cover the last 10 miles or so of the trip, taking you to Amana.
Next year the Farm Progress Show returns to Decatur, Ill., for the second run of what will be at least 10 shows at this world-class, semi-permanent show site.
So load up your neighbors and had to Amana in a couple weeks. See what Jordan did so painstakingly well on a tiny scale- only see it in live, living size for yourself. Each show features something different- this one promises to be another memorable event. The Amana site is fairly weatherproof, with permanent streets. So don't fret a rain-out, and plan to come ahead!
Find more details in the August issue of Indiana Prairie Farmer, and at: www.farmprogressshow.com.