4-H Participation is Withdrawn from the Des Moines County Fair until 2021

June 21, 2020
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
 
4-H Participation is Withdrawn from the Des Moines County Fair until 2021.
 
Barbara Kerr, Chairman Iowa State University Extension and Outreach – Des Moines County 319- 671-7165 xdesmoines@iastate.edu 
 
West Burlington, IA – June 21, 2020 -   Due to the ongoing social distancing guidelines, legal considerations, additional precautions taking place to reduce the spread of COVID-19, as well as the challenges with enforcing 4-H best practices, the Des Moines County Extension Council has withdrawn the 4-H participation in the Des Moines County Fair until 2021.
 
Barbara Kerr, Chair for the Iowa State University Extension and Outreach of Des Moines County Extension Council, said, “The health and safety of our 4-H youth, staff, volunteers, and families are our number one priority when making this decision.  After reviewing guidance from the Iowa Public Health regarding mass gatherings, local COVID-19 epidemiology data, legal guidance and the number of youth and volunteers needed on the fairgrounds at one time, we regretfully realized that in-person 4-H events and the measures necessary to keep everyone safe were unmanageable”. 
 
Des Moines County 4-H is home to 320 4-H members in 4th through 12th grades, and 78 Clover Kids in grades kindergarten through 3rd grade. Each year, 312 youth, on average exhibit projects atthe Des Moines County Fair.
 
“4-H is a year-round positive youth development program where adult volunteers mentor, role model, and teach citizenship, leadership, communication, and resilience to reach their full potential”, says Mary Steffener, County 4-H Youth Coordinator. For many, County Fair is an opportunity to showcase all that 4-H and FFA youth have learned throughout the year and to receive feedback and recognition about their exhibits and learning. This feedback, recognition, and learning will still happen this year in different ways including an online showcase for static exhibits to be announced soon.”
 
Annually, Des Moines 4-H partners with the Des Moines County Fair Board to provide a community celebration and educational experience. 
 
 “The Des Moines County Fair Board supports the decision made by the Des Moines County Extension Council to withdraw 4-H from this year’s fair and we are moving forward to provide the best experience possible for participating youth”, said Travis Holsteen, President of the Des Moines County Fairboard.
 
Both entities appreciate the community’s understanding as they navigate these uncertain times.
 
For more information regarding this year’s 4-H opportunities please follow Des Moines County 4-H on Facebook, and at https://www.extension.iastate.edu/desmoines  Please email xdesmoines@iastate.edu.  The details for the 2020 Des Moines County Youth Livestock Exhibitor Fair are being finalized by the Des Moines County Fair Board and will be posted on the fair website at www.desmoinescountyfair.com
 
Iowa State University Extension is an equal opportunity provider. For the full non-discrimination statement or accommodation inquiries, go to www.extension.iastate.edu/diversity/ext 

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