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Clarkson fifth grader wins big at state fair

Clarkson fifth grader wins big at state fair

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Cash Fehringer and his mom, Kim, didn’t realize his exhibits at this year’s state fair would be judged, so they were surprised when he claimed three awards.

He took home two reserve best of shows and one special recognition in the categories of Safety and Conservation and Wildlife.

“(Our friend) calls us and says, ‘Did you know Cash got two best of shows and one recognition?’” Cash said of the state fair, which each year is held in Grand Island. “And we go ‘No, we didn’t look at that.’ And I was just shocked.”

Cash, of Colfax County, is only in the fifth grade. His brothers Cooper and Coy, who pop up on video chat program Zoom during an interview to say hello, are in second grade and kindergarten.

Cash started 4-H when the family came to Clarkson about four years ago from Norfolk. His mom had always participated in 4-H, and he asked her if he could try it. Since then, he has done baking, pigs and woodworking, among other things.

Cooper and Coy have won some awards already and his mom said they’re starting a fun family competition.

“His younger brother, Cooper, is excited to be able to join him and give him a run for his money in some of these events,” she said.

The organization is a family affair, as is baking.

“Well, my mom owned a bakery … and so I grew up with baked goods all the time,” Kim said. “So it’s just kind of carrying on a family tradition of keeping all the fun recipes. The boys will learn those too.”

Other than baking, he also likes to sew and this year he made a laundry bag. Additionally, he participates in poultry, and started in 4-H working on a fish harvesting board, among other events.

Cash likes to bake monkey bread and pretzels. Although it was hard at first, he eventually came up with his own recipe with his grandmother.

“It was Grandma’s cookies, right?” he said, looking to his mother standing offscreen.

“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” she replied.

Cash looked back and explained: Grandma’s cookies involve chocolate chips, some oatmeal and a whole bunch of other stuff.

“It turned out really good,” he said.

His 4-H experience seems to have also been positive.

Cash's first woodworking project was a birdhouse. This year, he made a cornhole board.

“I did two of them. We put our initials on them. We put a triangle kind of in the middle leading towards the whole. And we put an 'N' in the middle there,” Cash said. “Then for my fish harvesting board, I did an ice float rig; You basically have a bobber, a snap weight and then a swivel and then a hook.”

Cash labeled all the parts on the ice float rig.

“Then I did baking with my grandma, I did a couple of things in baking and then pigs was me and my brother Cooper,” he said. “For my safety, I did a camping First-aid kit.”

His First-aid kit got two awards, one special recognition and one reserve best of show.

Cash was surprised but it also gives him a positive feeling.

“It felt really good. Especially with all this going on and all the work I put into it,” Cash said. “I was really confident that it would go to state but I didn’t know that it would be this far.”

Kim said it was great to see her kids win awards so young.

“He learned a hard lesson the night before the fair. He was still trying to finish up some of his projects. He was like ‘It's fine, it’s good enough,’ and I said ‘OK. If you’re happy with it. But I don’t think you’re going to do very good’,” she said. “He ended up taking part of it apart and fixing it and so now to actually see that that hard work paid off…sure makes a mom proud.”

Cash said he’s looking forward to staying involved in agriculture.

“Yeah, so I am a big outdoorsman. I love to go fishing, hunting, love farming with my dad. It’s a lot of stuff and I also like baking. Baking is probably one of my favorites,” he said. “I’ll keep up 4-H.”

Carolyn Komatosulis is a reporter for the Schuyler Sun. Reach her via email at carolyn.komatsoulis@lee.net.

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