Dawn Rye | Writer
During last week’s Turner County commissioners meeting, a motion was made to allow 4-H kids to participate in next month’s Achievement Days.
Extension Secretary Chris Wirt explained for the 4-H kids to be able to participate in achievement days, they have to follow specific guidelines.
She said since the beginning of COVID, her office has not been not allowed any contact with 4-H kids or their families. Wirt commented that next month will permit her office to have 50 people and with waivers, possibly more.
She noted for the sheep shows, there would be 58 participants with only immediate family in attendance. Wirt explained the public would not be able to attend because of the numbers anticipated. She said these requirements are the only way Turner County can host achievement day for the 4-H kids.
Wirt explained by entering, this indicates any participating 4-H members and families are coming at their own risk. She said the members were informed they do not have to participate in achievement days to go to the state fair.
Wirt noted the 4-H program is no longer required to wear a facemask; however, it is highly encouraged. She said that request could change at any moment.
She explained sanitation would be done before and after starting a new 4-H class event. Wirt said no pens would be available because they can’t social distance the animals. She noted that the sheep would come in on the trailer; they can set up a pen and work from that area and disinfect before leaving.
Chairman Lyle VanHove asked if the 4-H kids have access to the wash area?
Wirt said yes. She explained in the dairy building, dairy cows would be allowed bedding and the 4-H members understand it’s their responsibility to clean it up. Wirt noted for the beef show they are pushing for a “no fit” so the 4-H members would not have to bring on the equipment.
She said the bleachers would be available for the social distancing aspect.
Wirt explained with 4-H exhibitors, immediate family and essential workers would have access to the ring. She commented the pig show would be impacted the most because there are five or six in a class. Wirt noted each pig has to go into an individual pen. She explained that once they come out of the pen, they head to the show area to be judged. Wirt noted it’s hard to social distance animals in the show ring.
“These decisions that we have had to do have come not just from the state 4-H office. It’s way up in SDSU,” commented Wirt.
She said these requirements satisfy SDSU to host achievement days in Turner County. She noted several counties decided not to have their 4-H fair events when state requirements were released.
Wirt explained that in January, any animal that goes to the state has to participate in the fair. She noted only two animals at the state fair per species.
VanHove asked if the achievement days would be held the week of the fair?
Wirt said the board talked about moving the dates, however, many parents already asked for those days off.
Commissioner Mick Miller questioned if there are a reasonable projection number of participants?
Wirt noted the final number of 4-H participates wouldn’t come until Friday, July 31.