Derek Buller

FAIR PLAY: Derek Buller of Ashland holds the Reserve Grand Champion trophy he received during last year’s bicycle obstacle course at the Saunders County Fair as he makes plans for this year’s fair. (Staff Photo by Suzi Nelson)

ASHLAND – Derek Buller has been an enthusiastic 4-Her since he joined Clover Kids at age 5.

“I like that it’s really creative and you make your own things,” said the now-10-year-old.

Derek is following in the footsteps of his older siblings, who have all been in 4-H. Brothers Sawyer, 14, and 12-year-old Grant are in the Clear Creek Crew 4-H club with Derek. Jessica, his oldest sibling and only sister, was in 4-H until last year.

The Buller children come by 4-H naturally. Their mom, Maris, showed calves and sheep while growing up near Gothenburg.

“Our family was big into 4-H,” she said.

Derek and his brothers are getting ready for the Saunders County Fair, which starts this week, by preparing his entries.

With the help of Tom Sherman, husband of Club Leader Sonia Sherman, Derek will make a wood working project.

He’ll probably make some chocolate chip cookies, too, like he did last year.

One thing Derek won’t do like last year is show his cat, Baby. While he did well in his part of the show, which included answering questions, Baby was not a willing participant.

“Baby got a red ribbon,” Derek said.

Derek will also focus on the events that require head-to-head competition, which are his favorite. He’s the defending Reserve Grand Champion in the bicycle obstacle course. He’ll pull a wagon with a riding lawn mower in one contest and maneuver an ATV in another.

The youngster also likes to watch the competitions that he’s not yet old enough to compete in.

“A lot of times I try to see the hay hauling,” he said.

When he’s not competing or watching contests, he’ll walk around the fair with his brothers and check out the tractors and exhibits.

“It’s fun to go around with them and look at stuff,” Derek said.

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