Vandalia siblings take home top honors in fair still exhibit categories

Published 10:45 am Friday, August 4, 2023

CASSOPOLIS — A trio of Vandalia siblings took home top honors in Cass County Fair still exhibit categories this week.
Grace Krager won Best In Show in the Diamond Dots category, Faith Krager earned Best In Show in the Photography category and Noah Krager won a Bravo Award for his photography piece. 

An incoming high school freshman, Faith’s award-winning photo featured a blooming tree in front of the family’s barn.

“We had just got a new tree,” Faith said. “It was pretty and it has flowers, so I just decided to take my phone and take the picture.”

Grace, who will be a junior in high school this fall, submitted a diamond painting of a cow with its tongue out licking its nose. Diamond painting is a combination of cross-stitch and paint-by-number, where instead of using thread or paint, tiny diamond-like facets are used to create a glittering, mosaic-like image.

“It took a really long time to do,” Grace said. “It takes a while to take all the dots and put them on each line individually.”

Noah, a newly-minted graduate, took a photo of a fishing rod sitting on a tree branch while on a fly fishing trip with his cousin. The Bravo Award is given to the 15 projects that have an outstanding interview and project concept.

“It was a pretty cool picture,” he said. “I took it on my cell phone. It took a very good picture, I was surprised.”

The Kragers have been participating in fair events since they were each five years old and have won several awards each in both still and livestock exhibits over the years. Still exhibit categories they’ve participated in include sewing, Swedish weave, crocheting, photography, sand art, baking, ceramics and more.

“Still exhibits are more relaxing because you don’t have to keep checking on them like they’re animals,” Grace said. “You can leave it and not be like ‘are you thirsty?’ ‘Do you need water?’”

Their mother, Jera, has enjoyed watching them develop their skills over the years.

“It has been so much fun to watch them not only just learn how to do several types of art and that sort of thing for still exhibits and how to work with animals and how to care for them but just also interview skills, talking with the judges and the still exhibit barn and also in the animal arena,” she said. “Just getting that confidence by going business to business and handing out buyer letters, talking to people that they would normally feel uncomfortable with and shaking their hand and looking them in the eye. Just watching them grow in their confidence every year talking to judges and watching their skills continue to grow each year with the still exhibits and with working with animals. It’s been really awesome. 4-H has been a huge blessing for our family.”