2020 was quite the year of changes for everyone in nearly every aspect of life and 4-H was certainly no exception. We pivoted in March to virtual programming through much of the summer and were able to return to limited in-person 4-H club activities from July through early fall in preparation for this year’s “Junior Fair Only” edition of the Wayne County Fair.
Despite the many challenges that the COVID-19 pandemic has presented, our 4-H youth, volunteers, parents, and Extension 4-H professionals have been resilient, innovative, and adaptive in finding ways to keep 4-H programming alive and moving forward. We are excited and looking forward to a return to some normalcy later in 2021, but before we get there, now seems like a great opportunity to look back and reflect on the many highlights and accomplishments of our Wayne County 4-H program in 2020.
2020 Wayne County 4-H Youth Development Highlights
- 1,403 youth were members of 45 organized 4-H community clubs
- 385 volunteers – served as club leaders and committee members
- Legacy Dinner raised $24,600 before the event was cancelled in March due to COVID19
- All in-person 4-H events and meetings at the club, county, state, and national level were cancelled and/or transitioned to virtual from Mid-March through July 6th and again from December 7th through present time.
- Six major Zoom updates averaging 100+ participants each were held from March through August to keep Wayne County 4-H youth, families, and volunteers updated on constantly changing plans, guidance, restrictions, etc. on how to safely operate during this season of COVID. Additionally, numerous club and committee meetings were conducted virtually during this time.
- Wayne County 4-H Educator Doug Foxx collaborated with colleagues from the State 4-H Office, Erie, and Lake Counties to create two online Canvas Courses entitled Ohio 4-H New Volunteer Orientation and Ohio 4-H Policy 1.50 Child Protection Training, replacing training that normally takes place in-person. These courses were developed for use statewide and resulted in:
- 1,255 participants completing Ohio 4-H Policy 1.50 Child Protection Training
- 203 participants completed New Volunteer Orientation
- Curriculum and content for both trainings are currently being revised and updated again for use statewide in 2021
- 700+ Wayne County youth each participated in one of our nine virtual Livestock Quality Assurance Zooms
- 1,745 virtual Livestock Skillathons were completed by youth enrolled in beef, dairy, goat, horse, poultry, rabbit, sheep, and swine projects
- 49 youth actively participated in virtual 4-H Junior Camp Safari from June 29 – July 3.
- 19 youth actively participated in virtual Food and Nutrition Camp
- 14 youth actively participated in virtual Beginner Sewing Camp
- 11 youth received a total of $7,500 in Wayne County 4-H Collegiate Scholarships
- 6 summer Horse Fun Shows were held in-person, averaging 45 youth participating at each show
2020 Wayne County Junior Fair Highlights
- 1,132 Junior Fair Exhibitors (4-H and FFA members) made more than 6,400 total Junior Fair Entries
- 2,479 Animals / Livestock entered
- 971 market animals were sold at the Jr. Fair Livestock Auction for a total sale (including add-ons) benefiting 4-H / FFA youth in the amount of $1,016,249.90.
- 54 teens served on Junior Fair Board
- 45 youth participated in the Beef Carcass Contest and 25 youth participated in the Lamb Carcass Contest.
- 34 FFA members that earned State or American FFA degrees were recognized in a special ceremony
- 21 food vendors were on-site for the six days of this year’s Junior Fair only event (down from 80 in a normal full-fair year)
- Exhibitors each received six wristbands and volunteers received two. This is how we identified who could stay in a barn or show arena if an area were to become too crowded.
- Show arenas were reduced to 50% seating capacity
- Extensive cleaning and sanitizing procedures were developed and implemented.
- Wayne County Emergency Management Agency worked with our fair manager Matt Martin to secure PPE for fair volunteers, staff, and others as needed.
- All livestock shows and auctions were live streamed on YouTube for the first time ever in Wayne County Fair history.
While this year certainly looked different, we are proud of the team effort that came together to make 4-H and the Junior Fair possible this year.
Doug Foxx is an OSU Extension 4-H Youth Development Educator and may be reached at 330-264-8722.
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