Vocational projects, photos part of the fair, too

Mauricio Julian Cuellar Jr. and Christopher Maher, Orange Grove Journal

Not all projects at the Jim Wells County Fair need to be constantly fed, groomed or chased around a pasture. In the Merchant's Building Tuesday, some students began setting up their vocational projects, individual items designed and constructed by students.

Spencer Stallone, 9, and his brother, Jackson, 7, are Orange Grove students who are in their second year in 4-H. This year, the brothers worked together to build a roping dummy in the shape of a steer, made out of PVC pipe. Jackson said the idea to make the roping dummy came out of need, since both boys are learning roping skills.

"We needed a dummy," Spencer agreed. "We were going to buy a store dummy, but we decided to make one instead."

Orange Grove High School senior Michelle Foster has an eye for color and detail, which led her to use her talents in the photography division of the Jim Wells County Fair Home Economics competition.

Foster says photography isn't really a hobby, just something she does for fun.

"It's the easiest to do, and I'm not too good at baking," Foster said.

This year her entry is a photograph of the mountains off of Lake Tahoe, taken during her last vacation in California. The mountain rocks are offset by the choppy water off of the lake, which created a striking contrast to the eye. Foster has participated in photography for three years, and has been rewarded for her efforts in the past. This year she'll face some strong competition, especially from her younger sister, Jackie Foster, who photographed her own nature scene for the contest.

"If I see something I like, I just take a picture of it," the older Foster said. "We just both enjoy taking pictures, but I think hers is better."

Foster was among many of the contestants submitting their entries Monday night in the home economics division.