4-H groups given okay to go forward with plans

County 4-H fairs can occur after the Purdue University restrictions on face-to-face events end June 30, Purdue Extension has announced.

Local 4-H fair boards, 4-H councils and county extension educators may continue planning for events through the month of June, officials said.  The move is in alignment with Indiana’s Back on Track plan and in consultation with local health officials, Jason Henderson, senior associate dean of the College of Agriculture and director of Purdue Extension, said.

“Purdue Extension will comply with all federal, state, and local regulations and public safety guidelines and will adhere to Purdue University policies for public health and safety,” Henderson said. “The Back on Track plan provides guidelines which will be followed to ensure the safety of our 4-H’ers, families, and communities.”

Interested community members should follow local county extension social media pages to receive the most up-to-date 4-H county fair information, his office advised.

“Purdue Extension prohibited face-to-face meetings and events in response to COVID-19 restrictions through June 30. During this time, extension 4-H educators and 4-H volunteers have offered virtual programming to protect the health and safety of youth and families,” Purdue Extension said.

“County 4-H fairs may begin on July 4, if local health officials confirm the county has reached stage five in the Indiana Back on Track plan. Fairs must adhere to social distancing guidelines, screen employees and volunteers working on behalf of Purdue Extension daily, and follow industry best practices regarding disinfecting high traffic areas and offering hand sanitizer and cleaning stations to employees and guests,” the office said.

County 4-H educators have received implementation guidance.

“The guidance, developed from industry and government best practices, will aid 4-H councils, fair boards, and county educators in planning over the next six weeks. In some cases, 4-H councils and extension boards may choose to virtualize their fair experience due to financial limitations, PPE availability or other locally determined restrictions,” the office said.

Purdue Extension 4-H specialists have developed models for virtual 4-H fairs in anticipation that some counties may not be able to adequately follow federal, state, and local guidelines.

“We want to make sure we are doing everything possible to protect our 4-H’ers, their families and the community,” said Casey Mull, assistant director of extension and 4-H youth development program leader. “All 4-H youth who want to exhibit this summer will be able to through virtual or face-to-face mechanisms.”

Purdue Extension staff members work in all 92 Indiana counties providing information in agriculture and natural resources, health and human sciences, community development and 4-H youth development.

One Response to “4-H groups given okay to go forward with plans”

  1. Sandy

    May 19. 2020

    Glad for 4H and LaPorte county, will there be open class for the rest of us?

    Reply to this comment

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