With things starting to open up again, kids in 4-H are optimistic that they may get to bring their animals and projects to fairs soon.
Obviously, things are not out of the woods yet; large groups are still ill advised which has made it harder for 4-H to hold true meetings. Gretna’s Daring Dragons, which consists of ages eight to 18, have stayed busy with their animals and projects and have found ways to keep in contact as they hope to still have their hard work payoff by showing their work at fairs.
“We just had our first zoom meeting,” Ference said. “We currently don’t have anything planned until June 7 and it’s going to depend on if we can all get together or not then. One thing we have tentatively planned is one of us going to members places and giving demonstrations on grooming their steer. That’s going to be a situation where we, the advisors normally would have gone there to help out the students with it, but it also might have to be done through a virtual meeting.”
Not being able to meet in person has made the kid’s projects and tasks more challenging than usual. Though everyone has kept in contact with communication apps such as zoom, the app only allows the meeting to last 40 minutes, which is considerably shorter than what the normal has been, thus fully communicating what needs to be said and done has been a tough task at times.
“Not being able to get together and visit with each other has been tough,” Ference said. “It’s harder to know what projects everyone is working on outside of the club. Now that the weather is warming up, for those families that do want to venture out, and if we do meet in an outside setting, that could help smooth out some things.”
“Just keeping connected in terms of giving deadlines, time frames and knowing when things usually need to be done has been a challenge, because everyone has been having to do so much on a computer there’s always a fear that people aren’t going to read all their email that they get and might miss something. It can get overwhelming fast.”
Despite society slowly reopening, Ference and the 4-H members know there are a lot of precautions in terms of social distancing going on. With that in mind, Ference believes that her Daring Dragons will have the opportunity to display their livestock, pets, and projects, but thinks that there could be some possible abnormalities this year.
“At this point we don’t know if the structure of the fair will change given everything that has happened,” Ference said. “For now kids are still encouraged to still work with their animals like they normally would, there just may not be a ribbon at the end of it.”
“My guess is they will probably have a limited fair. It will probably be done on a smaller scale. Certain projects could be done through video, pictures or through the 4-H’s website. Or you might just drop it off somewhere and pick it up later and it just may not stay during the fair’s whole duration.”
Something similar may happen with the animals, maybe the animals won’t be there for several days, instead they might just say bring your animals and we’re going to judge them on this date and then we take the animals home.”
The Sarpy County Fair is currently scheduled for July 29. No changes or major announcements have been made yet in terms of how this year’s fair will be operated.