Residents heading to the fair this year will see work by thousands of 4-H’ers who have worked months on their projects.

The Johnson County 4-H and Agricultural Fair features deep fried food, a rocking mid-way and animal shows galore.

Displayed in the buildings is the work of 1,288 4-H’ers who have submitted more than 2,000 4-H projects, said Heather Dougherty, extension educator for 4-H youth development.

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Livestock projects with youngsters showing off pigs, cattle and sheep still reign supreme with the most entries, she said.

However, 4-H’ers have more than 100 projects they can choose from ranging from cake decorating, to microwave cooking, to shooting sports or crops.

Here is a look at some of the projects you will see at the fair this year.

Kierstin Snyder

When fair-goers walk through the blouses, dresses and outfits that have been hand sewn by 4-H’ers, there is a good chance they will see Kierstin Snyder’s work.

The junior at Franklin Community High School is sewing at least once piece for every sewing project that is open to 4-H’ers.

She is sewing a three-tiered prom dress that she is entering for 4-H and plans on wearing to her own prom next year and scrubs, because she thinks she may want a career in the medical field.

And she has made a romper outfit, skinny jeans, a jacket and a dress for herself.

The teen typically tackles 20 sewing projects a year, and is entering some recent work she has wanted to do, she said.

In past years, she saw older teens and mentors stretch themselves by entering all of the sewing categories. She wanted to learn to sew to see if she could do that herself, she said.

“I wanted to challenge myself and see it I could make six outfits in one year and pull it all off,” Snyder said.

She has worked on her projects since January.

“Ever since then, it has been sewing, sewing and more sewing,” she said.

Natalie Russell

When visiting her grandparents at their home, something across the fence caught her eye.

Natalie Russell was 9 or 10 years old when she saw horses on a neighboring property. It took her a year to get the courage to pet the horse.

Now, about eight years later, the Franklin Community High School junior will be showing horses at the Johnson County 4-H and Agricultural Fair.

Russell will participate in the western pleasure and showmanship categories. She also is attempting to learn how to ride an English saddle so she can show at that 4-H event next year, she said.

Once she got the courage to pet the horse, everything else came into place for her horse showmanship, she said.

She works at a local stable three to five times a week during the school year and daily during the summer.

4-H and showing horses has taught her public speaking and leadership.

And the girl that was once gathering courage to ask to pet a horse is an officer for the Johnson County Horse and Pony Club.

Levi Farmer

A Center Grove Middle School Central student is hoping a Mercedes Benz will earn him a blue ribbon.

Seventh grader Levi Farmer is building a motorized Lego replica of a Mercedes Benz.

The replica comes from a Lego box. But he is hoping that adding a motorized arm to his masterpiece will earn him a ribbon.

“I thought since it was complicated enough, it would earn me a blue ribbon,” he said. “It was very hard to make and has a lot of motorized features.”

Farmer is also hoping for blue ribbons for projects in aerospace, consumer clothing and fashion review.

He launched a rocket, put a stain removal kit together and tried on two different pairs of pants and described their fit in a project.

Samuel Woods

He likes building things and animals.

Samuel Woods, 12 , a homeschool student from Indianapolis, is taking a look at bugs for a 4-H project this year.

He will be displaying 50 bugs as part of his ethology project.

And he also plans on doing posters on how to look for signs of wildlife, building a Lego model, putting together a binder on the Great Depression and built a coat rack.

He has collected bugs for almost a year to get ready for his bug collection project.

“Whenever I see a bug, I collect it,” he said.

And on hikes and time out in woods, he has collected animal bones, owl pellets and feathers for his signs of wildlife project.

He interviewed his grandparents about the Great Depression and put their story together.

He has collected bug for years and wanted to continue that, but also branch out.

“I wanted to to try something new and explore other projects,” he said.

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Magen Kritsch is an editorial assistant at the Daily Journal. She can be reached at or 317-736-2770.