WATERTOWN, N.Y. — Cornell Cooperative Extension Association of Jefferson County’s 4-H Youth Development Program is excited to hold its first ever Virtual Youth Fair. Stephanie Graf, Youth Development Program Leader shares, “We may not be able to hear the sounds associated with the fair, smell the buttery popcorn or taste the fried dough and sausage sandwiches this year, but we will honor the long time 4-H tradition of celebrating youth and their accomplishments.” The start of the 4-H calendar year is October 1st, and with this Jefferson County 4-H youth begin the process of preparing non-animal and animal entries for the Jefferson County Fair.
Animal entries vary significantly – goats, sheep, alpacas, llamas, beef cattle, dairy cattle, poultry, dogs, horses and more. Youth prepare their animals all year for this one week in July – and then it is show time! Non-animal entries, as well, vary hugely from woodworking, nutrition, photography, textiles, plants, arts and crafts, paintings and so much more. Youth often enter up to 40 items in the non-animal categories, working all year to pull this together.
Bob Simpson, President of the Jefferson County Agricultural Society says, “We just could not imagine July without the County Fair. It was a very difficult decision to cancel the 2020 Fair. If there was any way we could have held it we would have. We are very excited to partner with Jefferson County 4-H on this venture. We look forward to working together on the Virtual Youth Fair.” The Jefferson County Fair would have been held July 7 – 12, 2020. It is our plan to essentially stay with these dates and ask for all entries to be turned in by July 12th, and they will all be judged by July 31st. Jefferson County 4-H is in the process of lining up judges for both the non-animal and animal entries.
Jefferson County 4-H and the Jefferson County Agricultural Society are looking for help from the community this year. Bob Simpson further explains “that without an in-person county fair we are unable to generate funds to purchase awards for the youth”. Jefferson County 4-H has established a charitable GoFundMe account, and are asking the community to support the youth in recognizing their year- long work and accomplishments. Youth have dedicated many hours preparing their animals and their exhibits, please consider supporting their efforts. To donate please go to https://bit.ly/3j3JlsX .
If you would like more information about this topic, please contact Stephanie Graf at (315) 788-8450 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. To learn more about the Jefferson County 4-H program and the 2020 4-H Summer Program options go to ccejefferson.org. Joining 4-H in Jefferson County is free.
–Cornell Cooperative Extension Jefferson County
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