MIDDLETOWN, N.Y. — Cornell Cooperative Extension Orange County’s 4-H Youth Development Program typically hosts Animal Shows during the 4-H Fair & Family Festival, but with the event being cancelled earlier this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the team organized ways to be able to continue these events both virtually and safely in person.
On Saturday, September 26th, our Orange County 4-H Program hosted a Horse Show at the Education Center & 4-H Park in Otisville, NY. A total of 18 riders competed in various flat and jumping classes throughout the beautiful fall day. Present to cheer them on were CCE Orange County and 4-H Staff, parents, trainers, and leaders from each 4-H Club. All of this was able to be accomplished through strict guidelines and limiting the number of people present at the event.
“I’m so proud of all of the youth who have persevered through these times of stress and uncertainty and who came out to our park to not only showcase their skills but to be able to enjoy a sense of normalcy while doing what they love” said Margaret Smith, Orange County 4-H Animal Science Educator.
Our last in person event took place on Saturday, October 3rd, when our Orange County 4-H Program hosted a Dog Show at the Education Center & 4-H Park. 15 youth registered to compete in various classes such as agility and rally. Also offered during our Dog Show was a dog “skillathon,” community service tables such as tug toys for local shelters and kindness rocks for local nursery home gardens. To keep the fun going, our youth had a knowledge and dog biscuits toss game to earn treats for their special furry friends.
“Our 4-H Dog Program were the leaders in in-person learning when restrictions were lifted. Because of their diligence and attention to detail they were able to practice their skills at our Education Center & 4-H Park prior to the Dog Show. I am beyond thankful for the Dog Program committee, parents and even more proud of all of the youth who came out to compete and enjoy the day!“ said Smith.
Virtual Animal Shows were open for 4-H youth as well as any youth in Orange County up to the age of 21. Our Virtual Shows took place from October 6th – October 14th. The Virtual Show options for participation included sheep, meat goat, rabbit, dairy cows, a marketing project, and animal public presentations.
“I am proud to report that we had 50 submissions for our first year of Virtual Animal Shows. This was a great opportunity to work with volunteers as well as 4-H staff all over the state. I am happy that our registration was a mix of both currently enrolled 4-H members as well as youth from our community. We truly believe this will be a great marketing tool to get other youth involved and registered for the upcoming year” said Smith.
CCE Orange County would like to thank and congratulate all the youth and animals who participated this year! With all 2020 Animal Shows wrapped up, the Orange County 4-H Program is continuing to think of new and exciting ways to connect with the youth throughout the county.
Cornell Cooperative Extension and its partnerships provide programs for Orange County residents on youth and family development; nutrition, health, and food safety; community and economic vitality; and agricultural sustainability through Cornell based research. Committed to Orange County, we design programs to meet local needs to enable people to improve their lives and communities. For more information call Cornell Cooperative Extension Orange County at 845-344-1234 or visit our website at www.cceorangecounty.org.
–Cornell Cooperative Extension Orange County
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