County Fair Book cover designed by sixth grader

Published 1:23 am Saturday, April 12, 2003

By By JOHN EBY / Niles Daily Star
Cass County Fair didn't have the cover of the 152nd edition of its premium book designed professionally.
A collage of animal borders created by scanning clip art just looks like it, thanks to Edwardsburg Middle School sixth grader Ryan Anderson.
The 11-year-old has turned 12 since he devoted a week to designing a winner that rewarded him with a $100 check Thursday from Fair Board President Steve Green.
One thing his design lacked was the big pig that now dominates the cover.
Another adjustment was a patriotic red-white-and-blue motif instead of his original 4-H green and white colors.
He also had to reduce the number of horses and cows to resize it for the guidebook's smaller format.
Ryan doesn't consider himself an artist, but the youngest of five entrants separated himself from the pack by being the only one who relied on a computer, according to his mother, Cheryl. His father, Doug, operates Anderson Realty in Edwardsburg.
Ryan went to spend part of his prize at a hobby store on models.
Last summer, in honor of 4-H's 100th birthday, the fair invited its local members to create a cover for the premium book.
Ryan learned about the contest in the 4-H newsletter and decided he wanted to enter.
Ryan belongs to Silver Spurs, a 4-H club that revolves around horse and dog projects. Ryan prefers the latter with his Jack Russell terrier mix, along with creating an ambitious array of still exhibits for his first foray into the fair in 2002.
He got an award for the most completed still projects, including Best of Show stained glass, pottery, latch hook pillow, Legos and cookies.
Showing dogs is his favorite part of the fair. He would rather walk through animal exhibits than being jolted on a ride.
With Edwardsburg on spring break this week, Ryan's been bowling, miniature golfing and going to movies.
The Andersons have lived in Edwardsburg for four years after 13 years in Niles.
The executive director of the Edwardsburg Area Chamber of Commerce, Cheryl is a native of Massachusetts who lived in Florida for 11 years.