WATERTOWN, N.Y. — Cornell Cooperative Extension Association of Jefferson County’s 4-H Youth Development program did not let the COVID-19 pandemic stop the 4-H County Fair this summer. Instead the Jefferson County 4-H program turned it upside down, and went to a virtual format. Stephanie Graf, Program Leader shares – “We felt the 4-H Fair must go on. Youth prepare all year putting their entries together whether it be animal or non-animal. We wanted to give youth the opportunity to showcase their hard work and add a little normalcy back into their daily lives.”
The 4-H Educators judged all 96 non-animal entries individually at the CCE offices. The families and the 4-H Club leaders dropped them off at the CCE offices over the timeframe that normally would have been the in-person County Fair. Each was judged with a score sheet that scored and provided observations to the youth, along with a County Fair ribbon that was appropriate to the overall assessment provided for the project. Projects ranged from art, wood working, gardening, sewing/textiles, nutrition and much more.
The 124 animal entries were judged by the 4-H Educators and volunteer Animal judges with expertise in the different species entered. Youth were provided with assessments and ribbons appropriate to their scoring. There were a variety of species – beef, swine, llama, alpaca, market goats, horse, sheep, rabbit and cavy and dogs entered into the animal shows. The animal shows may be viewed at http://ccejefferson.org/4-h-youth/2020-youth-virtual-fair.
In total 27 youth participated with 220 animal and non-animal entries for the Jefferson County 4-H Virtual Fair. Bob Simpson, Board President for the Jefferson County Agricultural Society shares, “We were excited that the Jefferson County 4-H program suggested and worked with us to offer this opportunity for the youth in our County. Of course we were all disappointed that there was not an in-person fair, but this worked out very well.”
If you would like more information about Jefferson County 4-H, please contact Sabrina DeRue, (315) 788-8450 or email@example.com. There is no cost to join in the educational fun with Jefferson County 4-H youth development.
–Stephanie Graf, CCE Jefferson County