HUDSON, N.Y. — Two important values of the 4-H program are recognition and leadership development. The program strives to recognize the work of 4-H members in various ways. One of them is providing the opportunity for youth to share their knowledge and skills through such venues as fairs, displays and shows. Those same venues provide many opportunities for youth to grow their leadership skills. With both the Altamont Fair (Greene County’s 4-H fair) and the Columbia County Fair being cancelled the need for recognition and leadership development opportunities were still there – and the “Farewell to Summer 2020 4-H Showcase” was developed.
This showcase has a virtual exhibition at its core. 4-H members, ages 5-19, can each submit up to ten entries, each a photo and description, that represent different aspects of their 4-H project learning experiences this year. We are seeing photos of 4-H members with their sheep and swine, with their tomato plants, wearing the pj pants they sewed. Each 4-H member’s portfolio of photos will be shared with a 4-H volunteer evaluator who will provide feedback to the member. These photos will be used to create subject matter slide shows ready to view on the CCE Columbia & Greene facebook page later this month. They will also be available on the CCE Columbia & Greene website.
Other aspects of the showcase include the 4-H Dairy Cattle Showmanship Exhibition. Video will be taken of dairy cattle project 4-H members as they show their heifer at their family farm or the farm from which they “borrow” the animals. A watch party will be held later in August via ZOOM so 4-H members can gather together virtually and hear from a local dairy cattle expert as she/he shares helpful commentary with them.
The annual 4-H Livestock Sale will go on, not on its traditional Labor Day, but on September 2. The nine 4-H members who have raised their beef, lambs, pigs and chickens as part of the 4-H market livestock project, are busy recruiting bidders for this sale. They have been fastidious in their care throughout the year, knowing that only blue ribbon animals with a rating of “excellent” qualify for the sale. Anyone may become a bidder. Contact 4-H educator, Linda Tripp, at 518-318-1193 or Lke2@cornell.edu with any questions and to receive a bidder packet. All bidders must register with Linda before the sale.
You wonder, so what about leadership development? Many of our older 4-H members are helping to make these events happen. They have assisted with the animal clinics that took place earlier this summer, helping younger members to increase their skills in animal care and participation in fair shows. They are helping younger members to prepare their exhibits, are doing the photography, are coming to training, all while cheerfully complying with COVID-19 safety precautions such as wearing face masks and social distancing.
All 4-H members who participate in the Farewell to Summer 2020 4-H Showcase in some way will receive, besides the evaluator feedback, a special ribbon created just for this year’s event and a 4-H logo t-shirt.
Yes, this is not ideal, but it does show that 4-H programs and events are still happening as long as we utilize creativity and flexibility while throwing in some grace and caring along the way.
Cornell Cooperative Extension is an employer and educator recognized for valuing AA/EEO, Protected Veterans, and Individuals with Disabilities and provides equal program and employment opportunities. The programs provided by this organization are partially funded by monies received from the Counties of Columbia and Greene.
4-H is New York’s only youth development program directly connected to the technological advances and the latest research at Cornell University. 4-H participants learn leadership, citizenship and life skills through hands-on projects in three primary program areas: science and technology; healthy living; and citizenship. To find out more about 4-H and youth programs in Columbia and Greene Counties, contact us at 518-828-3346 or Columbiagreene@cornell.edu or visit our website, www.ccecolumbiagreene.org . You can also “Like” us on Facebook…Cornell Cooperative Extension of Columbia and Greene Counties.
–Linda Tripp, 4-H Issue Leader
Cornell Cooperative Extension Columbia and Greene Counties
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