To help celebrate the new exhibit hall built at the Jackson County Junior Fair grounds, several students from Ravenswood Middle and High School teamed up to work on a new sign.

This was the idea of middle school art teacher Lola Smith, who discussed the idea with high school agricultural teacher Jason Miihlbach.

Working together on the project with their students, the group was able to complete the task for the 2019 Jackson County Junior Fair. High School students Case Fletcher, Whitney Pifer and Georgia VanFossen helped to cut the wood and letters for the base of the sign. Middle School students who helped paint the sign included: Cody Delong, Garrett Delong, Jace Meadows, Nick Milhoan, Stephanie LeMaster, Michael Dauch, Toren Harmon and Jacklyn Dunham.

Students took great care in sanding and painting the sign and making sure their best effort was put into the work. This was an actual art project that they were graded on.

The Exhibit Hall is an important part of the County Fair. The sign was developed to honor the Ravenswood and Ripley FFA and especially the 4-H whose County Extension leader, Teresa Bailey, with the help of Butch and Zelma Meadows worked so hard on to get build.

This building has enabled the young people of Jackson County to have a model building to house their exhibits for the fair. The many projects in 4-H from cooking, sewing, plant identification and gardening to the crop projects with record books of the FFA now have a secure and clean building for their hard work that they put into their projects. These projects require a tremendous amount of work and knowledge to build, put together and grow. They can be a very important component in record bookkeeping for the FFA students working towards their Proficiency awards.

The property was originally the county poor farm and in the early 1970’s became the fairgrounds. Different student groups helped to clean the property up and the former exhibit hall was one of the first buildings erected. Earlier fairs were held at Ripley High School and Cedar Lakes. Steers were tied to trees along the creek at Cedar Lakes. One of the original fairgrounds was at Evans. Over the years many people have made great contributions of time and money to improve the fairgrounds for the young people of Jackson County. As those of us who look over the fairgrounds and observe the many improvements from the first fair this new building represents a continuing effort of improvement. The exhibit hall is still a work in progress with fund raising for heating/cooling, completion of bathroom and kitchen, and landscaping. This group and the Smith family who have made a great effort over the years to have crop projects for the public to look at would like to challenge other groups of young people with a to pick a project to improve the fair and to help add crop projects in the building.