It is with a heavy heart, that we are giving you another update in result of the current pandemic: COVID-19. In an update from our OSU Extension Administration today, the following was announced:
ANY university event scheduled between now and July 6 will be canceled, and no new university events will be scheduled until that time. This includes all OSU Extension events that are face-to-face. Virtual programs and events are still allowed. We will continue to reevaluate based on evolving conditions. This has significant implications for many of our programs and events in OSU Extension.
As our Interim Director, Dr. Wilkins stated today “One thing I know for sure is that our health and safety, as well as the safety of those we serve is priority #1…PERIOD! All of the tough choices we make start with that in mind and as the key criteria for decision-making. Unfortunately, many of those choices also often constrain, delay, or prevent many of the things we most enjoy and look forward to in the work we do and in the activities in which our clientele participate, especially this time of year. It seems strange to be in our yards or on a walk and seeing the gorgeous skies yesterday, and then think about how this virus keeps us from doing so many of the other typical activities of spring and summer. It is hard—that’s the reality. But the tough choices our governor and our university president have made are making a difference. We can see that in the relatively low numbers of COVID-19 cases and related deaths in Ohio, compared to other states. With the next few weeks to months being the critical time for stemming the spread of the virus, it is our duty to keep ourselves and those we serve as safe as we can through the education we provide and the modeling of safety-conscious behaviors. I value the courage you have to lead in this unprecedented time in our history and know that you, as I do, want what is best in the long run for the youth, families, and communities we serve every day.”
Knox County Agriculture Specific Updates
April 6: Lambing and Kidding Simulator- NEW DATE OF: OCTOBER 5, 2020
April 13: Knox County Agrology Club – CANCELLED
April 14: Master Gardener Meeting – VIRTUAL MEETING ON THIS DATE
April 16: Sheep Improvement Meeting – WILL NOT BE HELD AT THE EXTENSION OFFICE (Possibly Virtually)
April 21: Knox County Cattlemen’s Meeting – CANCELLED
April 27: Extension Advisory Meeting – WILL BE HELD VIRTUALLY
April 29: Good Agricultural Practice Training – WILL BE HELD VIRTUALLY
May 2: Mount Vernon Farmers Market- More information on the market will be coming.
May 2: Master Gardener Plant Swap – CANCELLED
May 4: Goat Improvement Meeting – WILL NOT BE HELD AT THE EXTENSION OFFICE (Possibly Virtually)
May 12: Master Gardener Meeting – VIRTUALLY
June 1: Goat Improvement Meeting- WILL NOT BE HELD AT THE EXTENSION OFFICE (Possibly Virtually)
June 9: Master Gardener Meeting- VIRTUALLY
June 16: Knox County Cattlemen’s Meeting- CANCELLED
June 18: Sheep Improvement Meeting: WILL NOT BE HELD AT THE EXTENSION OFFICE (Possibly Virtually)
July 6: Goat Improvement Meeting- WILL NOT BE HELD AT THE EXTENSION OFFICE (Possibly Virtually).
We do ask that you continue to check our blogs, website, and Facebook page to keep updated on this very fluid situation that can potentially change daily. As we get new information, we will be posting to the following mediums.
Knox County 4-H Update
As each day brings something new, OSU Extension Administrative Cabinet has extended the prohibition of in- person programming from MAY 15 to JULY 6. This includes all 4-H program, activities, and events.
A note from our State 4-H Leader, Dr. Kirk Bloir:
It is with a heavy heart that I share this news with you. Due to ongoing health concerns related to the COVID-19 pandemic, the decision has been made to cancel all Ohio State University Extension in-person programming through July 6. This includes all 4-H programs, activities, and events. Additionally, we’ve made the very difficult decision to cancel all 4-H camps thru August 31. Although in-person programming is cancelled, we will continue to offer virtual 4-H experiences.
We know this is an incredible disappointment and recognize how much everyone looks forward to our cherished 4- H summer events. As 4-H professionals committed to providing positive youth development programming, we share your sense of loss.
Given available information, we anticipate the next few weeks and months will continue to be critical times for stemming the spread of the COVID-19 virus. It is our duty to keep ourselves and those we serve safe through the education we provide and the modeling of safety-conscious behaviors. We do not want to get to the other side of this pandemic and wish that we had done more to keep our future generation of leaders safe and healthy.
While we are making decisions regarding the youth events we organize and manage (such as camps and 4-H project judging), we are deferring to local decision-makers and Governor DeWine’s administration on the events owned by others, such as county fairs. Our decision to cancel in-person 4-H activities and events through July 6 and summer camps, should not automatically imply that local county fairs are also canceled at this time. Please keep in mind that 4-H and our FFA colleagues support the education and development of youth, but the decision about whether fairs will occur is in the hands of others. This continues to be an evolving situation that will require some negotiation and monitoring depending on decisions. We will be ready should fairs move forward and to pivot if they are cancelled.
As we work through the impact of these decisions for 4-H activities and events in the weeks ahead, county OSU Extension 4-H professionals will share important updates and information with you as we develop and provide new online opportunities. We know the experiences will be different than we had hoped, yet we remain committed to working together to grow future generations of true leaders.
Yours in service to 4-H, Kirk
We realize that this changes a lot for you as it does for us. Jana and Andrea will be working in the next few days to update the 4-H calendar and have a more detailed plan in place to answer questions and concerns in our 4-H world. Samantha and Andrea will be working to develop a detailed plan for what this will look like in the Junior Fair realm.
Thank you, Andrea & Jana