May 8 Update

Today’s update will provide you with information related to the status of the Extension OfficeJunior Fair Entries and Events, the Ohio State Fair Horse Show and FAQs without Answers.

According to our current instructions, OSU Extension staff will be teleworking through July 6. We have limited access to mail (Debbie can pick up office mail every two weeks) and we can only go to our office with permission from our supervisor, which is only being granted in specific cases.

Junior Fair Events – Answers to Frequently Asked Questions

  • Will there be a fair? Right now, planning for fairs across the state continues. Some early fairs have adopted modified schedules or plans. If plans for the Muskingum County Fair should change, we will provide information to families as Senior Fair Board instructs.
  • What about Quality Assurance and Horse Education Programs? These programs will still be required for youth enrolled in specific projects to exhibit. Virtual options for both will be released in the near future.
  • Are entries for leased horses still due May 15? YES. Please refer to instructions later in this e-mail about submitting entries.
  • What about horse body condition scoring and vaccination requirements? Both requirements are still in effect for the 2020 fair. Body condition scoring will NOT take place on May 27, June 2 or June 3. As Junior Fair rules indicate that the fair horse veterinarian must do the body condition scoring, the Saddle Horse Committee will be discussing options at a meeting in the near future. Signed documentation of a five-way vaccine from a veterinarian is required when completing the Junior Fair entry (due May 15 for leased horses and June 15 for owned horses). Exhibitors should get the vaccinations and documentation from their own veterinarian.
  • Will Market Lamb and Goat Registration take place on June 1? Market Lamb and Goat Registration will NOT be held on June 1. Instead, exhibitors will be required to submit three photos with their entry form: 1)  FRONT VIEW photo of the animal from a close distance, Scrapie ID should be visible; 2) Photo of the ear with Scrapie ID tag so the number can be read; 3) SIDE VIEW photo of the animal from a close distance. Please refer to instructions later in this e-mail about submitting entries.
  • Will Breeding Rabbit Registration take place on June 1? Breeding Rabbit Registration will NOT be held on June 1. Instead, breeding rabbits must be tattooed at the fairgrounds during Market Rabbit Registration on July 16, 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. if they have not been tattooed. If your rabbit does not have a tattoo at the time of entry, please enter “none”. If your rabbit does have a tattoo, please enter it on the entry form. Please refer to instructions later in this e-mail about submitting entries.
  • I haven’t seen any stall sheets on the website. Are they Junior Fair Entries still due June 15? YES. As a result of the July 6 programming/office restrictions and the Stay Safe Ohio Order, no paper or PDF Registration and Stall Sheet forms will be provided for Junior Fair entries due June 15. Instead, youth will submit Junior Fair livestock entries by completing the appropriate Qualtrics survey, available on the Extension Office website under 4-H Youth Development>Junior Fair. Exhibitors are encouraged to review 2020 Muskingum County Junior Fair Livestock Entry Instructions to familiarize themselves with the process and reach out to Jamie ( if you have questions.

Ohio State Junior Fair Horse Show
There will not be PAS qualifying horse shows this year. Registration for the Ohio State Fair will be accepted first-come, first-serve with members in their final year of 4-H receiving priority. Registration opens June 1. State Fair has allowed counties to have additional requirements to qualify for the horse show. The Muskingum County 4-H Saddle Horse Committee has determined eligibility requirements and communicated this information to volunteers with horses in their club. Results of the selection process will be shared with club volunteers on May 25, allowing youth to have time to register for OSF. Reminder: State Fair horses must have a current negative Coggins test dated on or after January 1, 2020. Coggins paperwork must be submitted to Jamie ( by July 1 for submission by the entry deadline. All Coggins paperwork will be submitted by the county.

FAQs without Answers
The following questions are being frequently asked, and we are still waiting on guidance before finding solutions. Thank you for your continued patience, as we work through numerous unknowns.

  • What is the status of royalty/ambassador contests?
  • What about public speaking contests, workforce preparation day and still project judging?
  • What about Livestock Skillathon?

April 24 Update

Greetings 4-H Families!

I wanted to reach out to you because I know that questions and uncertainty are a big part of our daily life. 4-H is no different. We are still waiting for answers related to a variety of summer events from the State 4-H Office, Governor Dewine and the Ohio Department of Agriculture. Please know that our staff has a lot of the same questions you have, and in many cases we do not YET have answers.

This e-mail will serve as a summary update of information we have shared so far, as well as answers to some of the most frequently asked questions we are receiving. I will share status of events as I know them to be TODAY, through still project judging July 8. After reading this e-mail, it is likely you will still feel a sense of uncertainty and incompleteness. I feel it every day. While we do not currently have the answers, we will find them – and I ask for your patience as we work through this process.

One answer I do feel confident about: 4-H will not be “cancelled” in 2020. We will still have an active presence in Muskingum County. We will have mechanisms for youth to work in clubs, participate in a camp-like experience, complete projects and be recognized for their work. What we must realize is that many pieces of the experience may look different as we adapt to our current circumstances. 4-H is an organization built on a long history of adapting to changes in our culture. We began with boys & girls clubs focused on agricultural pursuits and in 100+ years of existence we have grown to offer more than 200 project options. We also support a variety of delivery methods outside the community club, including school enrichment, after school, SPIN clubs and 4-H CARTEENS. This pandemic presents yet another opportunity for 4-H to show flexibility and resilience, and come through stronger on the other side.

As a reminder, OSU Extension has instructed us to cancel all face-to-face 4-H events between now and July 6. Face-to-face 4-H Camps are cancelled through August 31. Extension staff will work from home until further notice and we do not currently have regular access to our office, mail, etc. – which makes it difficult to collect hard copy paperwork. Not everyone has the ability or access to print and/or scan at home in order to submit paperwork, so we are examining strategies. We are still holding off on rescheduling any face-to-face events, even after July 6.

Answers to Frequently Asked Questions

  • How do I change projects? Members who wish to make a project change should do so by e-mailing those changes to Debbie ( by April 30. Families cannot log in to make these changes in 4HOnline. It is our preference that these change requests come directly from the family.
  • How do I order project books? I provided instructions to club volunteers about how to proceed with project booking ordering for 2020. Please reach out to your club volunteers to find out about the process for your club. 
  • I enrolled in Archery Project 751. Is that still happening this year? We are currently examining options for virtual learning, postponing the program to later in the year, etc. I am instructing those who ask to stay enrolled in the project for now.
  • Will the number of meetings members are required to attend change? What if members are unable to attend virtual meetings? I am not sure yet about changes to the meeting requirement. I think it is important for clubs to consider that not all members have technology to participate in virtual meetings.

Status of Events/Calendar Items

  • April 30 Deadline for Sale Committee Scholarships – The Small Animal Sale Scholarship Application is not currently available on our website – in fact, it still needs to be created. We have not promoted the Large Animal Sale Scholarship widely this year. I will work with those committees to ensure youth have time to submit those applications this year
  • May 15 Deadline for Club Paperwork, Horse Permission Forms, Dog Permission Forms and Winning 4-H Plans – This deadline was already extended from April 15. If necessary, this deadline can be extended again. See note earlier in the e-mail about current challenges in collecting paperwork
  • Junior Fair Events (registrations/weigh ins, horse body condition scoring/vaccinations, etc.) – These events COULD still take place on the scheduled dates if government restrictions allow and social distancing measures are followed. Collection of horse leases (May 15 deadline) and stall sheets (June 15 deadline) is also under consideration, as it is likely the Extension Office will not reopen to the public before those deadlines, and the Senior Fair Office is currently closed. I will be dialoguing with Senior Fair Board and appropriate committees to determine a course of action
  • Quality Assurance/Horse Education Programs –Because these programs are conducted by Ohio 4-H, we must abide by the July 6 face-to-face restriction. Ohio 4-H has presented us with Zoom training options that we are not yet ready to roll out in Muskingum County. Zoom options will be free. There is an option through YQCA, but there is a fee associated with each child. We will offer face-to-face training when/if restrictions allow. At this time, the deadline to complete these requirements is Day 1 of the Muskingum County Fair for 2020. Youth who wish to exhibit at the State Fair will need Quality Assurance before the start of State Fair
  • PAS Show – Because this is an Ohio 4-H event, PAS shows have been cancelled for 2020 because they need to take place before July 6. The Saddle Horse Committee is in the process of sharing details related to the State Fair Horse Show with clubs who have horse members
  • Royalty/Ambassador Night – This is an event that involves 4-H, Junior Fair and local commodity groups. I need to touch base with these groups and determine how they wish to proceed based on current restrictions
  • Health & Safety Speaking Contest – COULD convert to a virtual format
  • Junior Fair Board Meetings – Scheduled meetings are taking place via Zoom. The group will discuss a 2020 Junior Fair Theme this Monday
  • 4-H CARTEENS – The program is not currently taking place
  • 4-H Camps – Our 2020 Junior Camp is cancelled face-to-face. Our Camp Team is considering a “camp-like” virtual opportunity during the same dates our camp was scheduled, June 9-13. Early stage conversations about Cloverbud Camp indicate we will partner with Windy Ridge Jerseys for camp in 2021
  • COVID 19 Camp Shirts Available – Ross County Camp Counselors are working with a company in Ross County to sell a “COVID-19 Camp T-shirt”. Families can order online through May 1: $3 of each shirt purchased from Muskingum County will benefit 4-H Camp Ohio. The 4-H Committee is purchasing shirts for our camp counselors and staff
  • Still Project Judging – We will offer a still project judging opportunity in 2020 – it may be virtual, rescheduled later, etc. A state team is currently developing best practices
  • Communications/Workforce Prep Day – COULD convert to a virtual format.

If you have questions, please reach out to Jamie ( or Debbie (  We can also be reached through our office phone number, 740-454-0144 if you follow the menu prompts.

April 17 Update

Greetings 4-H Families,

I wanted to send out a couple quick notes for the weekend!

Special Announcement! Ohio 4-H is offering the opportunity in 2020 only for already enrolled members to add/change/drop projects through April 30. This is not an extension of our enrollment deadline and only applies to youth enrolled by the deadline. This is intended to allow families flexibility in case they need to make changes related to financial strain, availability of livestock, etc.

I have discussed this with the Senior Fair Board and they have agreed to honor any project changes by this date and allow them to exhibit at the Muskingum County Fair. If members drop projects, they cannot re-add them later. If members choose to add projects, please encourage them to only add projects they will work hard to complete – as having youth enrolled in projects they do not complete makes it more difficult to make plans for judging events. Members who wish to make a project change should do so by e-mailing those changes to Debbie ( by April 30. Families cannot log in to make these changes in 4HOnline. It is our preference that these change requests come directly from the family. 

Answers to Frequently Asked Questions

  • Ordering Project Books – I provided instructions to club volunteers earlier this week about how to proceed with project booking ordering for 2020. Please reach out to your club volunteers to find out about the process for your club. 
  • Quality Assurance – Ohio 4-H has presented us with Zoom Quality Assurance training options that are being allowed due to the extension of our restrictions. We are not ready yet to roll these options out in Muskingum County. YQCA remains an option, but it does have a cost. In April, there is a coupon code that can be utilized for a $3 discount. Please reach out to me if you want details on the coupon code.
  • Skillathon Study Materials – Amidst the chaos, I forgot to send out the link to the Downloadable Skillathon Study Kits on April 1. Here’s the link: Please remember not to share this link on any public sites due to copyright issues.
  • Summer Programming – There are a lot of (still) unanswered questions about summer events. We are awaiting details and instructions from state teams to make informed decisions about how to proceed. Stay tuned.

Be well!

April 7 Update – Note from State 4-H Leader Kirk Bloir

The situation related to the COVID-19 pandemic continues to change more quickly than we can wrap our heads around. With each new announcement, the questions we are all asking get louder in our heads. With that in mind, it is difficult to share the latest update with from our State 4-H Leader. Please know that I’ve only had definitive information a few hours before sharing it with you; as a result, I don’t have answers to the questions this will generate. I have already communicated with camp counselors and adult volunteers about camp, because I wanted them to hear it from me first.

Thank you for your continued patience. I will share more information when I have it.


Dear 4-H members, families, volunteers and supporters,

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 through 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 Bloir, Ph.D.
Assistant Director, 4-H Youth Development
College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences – Ohio State University Extension
Nationwide & Ohio Farm Bureau 4-H Center, 2201 Fred Taylor Drive, Columbus, OH 43210
614-247-8168 Office  |  |

4-H Updates – Responses to Current Frequently Asked Questions

Project Book Distribution: Per Ohio 4-H, 4-H project book distribution is suspended, effective as of close of business 3/18/2020 through 3/31/2020. This means there will be no project book distribution at the local or state level until after March 31. They will continue to monitor the coronavirus situation and will re-evaluate project book distribution as we get closer to March 31. Office staff is prepared to make our second countywide order once this process resumes so that we can have our shelves fully stocked before beginning book orders.

If members are interested, they can visit: and view the first few pages of their project book to begin thinking about leadership, citizenship and learning activities that are part of their project(s). If they are enrolled to take a self-determined project, they can start now: If they aren’t enrolled in a self-determined project, the self-determined project idea starters still have a lot of ideas for educational activities to fill their time!

Camp Scholarship Application, Due March 31: At this time, please encourage members to continue working on them and submit via e-mail ( before the March 31 deadline. I am considering a deadline extension, but need more time to process items related to camp before deciding. Download the application here.

Summer Events: I recognize that this constantly evolving situation is challenging, frustrating and causes many of us anxiety. I would love to be operating under our normal schedule, having regular meetings with teen leaders, etc…and I know that you want to be having 4-H meetings! The reality is, none of us can predict for certain the trajectory of the virus and what it means for our jobs, schools and many other things in our lives. I remain hopeful that if we all do our part to stop the spread, we will be able to resume some or all of our summer activities, although they may be in a revised format.

    • What do we do about Quality Assurance? You may have noticed in one of the recent updates that the Ohio Department of Agriculture is allowing youth ages 8-18 to take the online YQCA course for QA credit this year. This is certainly an option for our families, but there is a cost associated with it for each child that we cannot expect to receive any discounts on because it is not a program distributed by OSU Extension. We currently have two face-to-face quality assurance sessions still scheduled for April and May, and might consider adding other dates if necessary. Since ODA waived the requirement that QA must be completed 45 days before exhibition this year, we have more time to schedule additional opportunities.
    • Will there be camps? We had a virtual 4-H Camp Ohio Board meeting last week and are still making preparations for summer camps to take place based on the information we have available to us at this time. I can assure you that this group is very passionate about camp and will consider all possible avenues for ensuring camps take place if restrictions allow. As a member of the state 4-H Camping Design Team, I am working with colleagues to develop ways to training counselors in a virtual environment so they have the required hours and skills they need. A decision to cancel or postpone Cloverbud Camp will be made based on current restrictions, health & safety of all involved and schedule availability.
    • Will there be a fair? The decision of whether or not there will be a fair will not be made by OSU Extension or our staff. The Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA), Ohio Fair Managers Association and Muskingum County Senior Fair Board are actively monitoring the situation and currently plan to have fairs. I know many are concerned about purchasing livestock if there is the possibility that they cannot be shown or sold. Word from is that they are currently exploring online auction options should fair exhibitions not take place.
    • Take into consideration that if you are unable to show or sell at the fair, we have several local processors who could process these animals and you would have food for your family or neighbors. I think it would be a tremendous educational opportunity for our youth to raise an animal from start to finish AND experience the food product results of their project first hand. In purchasing animals, you will have to consider what your family can afford – this may mean purchasing animals at a different price point than in the past or not purchasing a back up animal because of the unknown status.

Ohio 4-H Event Youth Assistant Applications Now Available!

  • What: 4-H Event Youth Assistant (4HEYA)
  • Who: Individuals age 13-18 (as of January 1 of the year of application) and have at least 1 year prior 4-H experience.
  • Timeframe: Apply by May 15, selection, training, service to OSF, and evaluation.  Complete responsibilities by August 31, 2020.
  • Requirements (in addition to application/selection process):
    • Training-Must attend one of the options for training (July 8 or July 14)
    • Events-Must work a minimum of 3 events at the Ohio State Fair; may work more if desired
  • Program Fee: $25/person for first year members; $10 for 2nd or more year members
  • Teens Receive:
    • 4HEYA Polo & Nametag
    • State Fair admission, parking ticket, and meal ticket(s)
    • Optional State Fair housing in the Rhodes Center (if desired)
    • Experience of working events at the Ohio State Fair
    • Opportunity to enhance leadership skills and be involved in the State 4-H program
  • What about the Teen Leadership Council? YES, these members may apply for 4HEYA AND TLC this year, if desired.  TLC applications will be available in June and will be due the Friday following the Ohio State fair.  Their term is September 1, 2020-August 31, 2021.  Current TLC members are not eligible to apply for 4HEYA, as they are already fulfilling obligations at the Ohio State Fair.
  • Questions? Contact Hannah (, Kayla (, Sarah ( or Frances (

COVID-19 Special Update 3 – Extension Office Closure

Governor DeWine recently issued a state of emergency and implemented a variety of strategies to reduce the spread of coronavirus. Beginning March 18, 2020, the OSU Extension – Muskingum County office will be closed to the public until further notice.

In order to reduce risk to employees and clientele, Ohio State University has implemented a teleworking plan. While the Muskingum County Extension Office will be physically closed, we are committed to continuing to conduct our work as fully as possible. We are equipped to facilitate effective teleworking and will continue to serve our clientele and communities. You should continue to feel free to call or email with any OSU Extension staff member as you normally would.

OSU Extension is deeply committed to the health and well-being of its staff and our community while doing it’s part to help slow the spread of the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19). If you have questions, please feel free to contact our office at 740-454-0144 and follow the voicemail prompts to reach the appropriate staff member.

*Please note that newly enrolled families have not yet been added to this e-mail communication list. 

We will share new updates as they are available. Volunteers – stay tuned for e-mails specifically sent to you!

March 13 – COVID-19 Update

Greetings 4-H Families!

It has been a quite a week! Thank you for your patience with your county 4-H staff, the state 4-H office and OSU Extension. We know you have many questions:

  • When can we have club meetings?
  • Should we invest in projects?
  • Will there be summer activities?

The answer is: at this point, we just don’t know. Things are changing rapidly. We do know that we’re committed to doing our part to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus. We also know that when we choose to act together, we can have incredible positive impacts.

The actions we’ve taken so far are in alignment with necessary precautions recommended by the World Health Organization, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Ohio Department of Health. These are in place to help keep us all from getting, or unintentionally spreading, this virus.

UPDATE: ALL 4-H events, programs, and activities scheduled between now and April 20 must be held virtually, postponed, or cancelled. This includes Quality Assurance and camp counselor activities.

We are also disappointed to announce that the new Winner’s Circle program will not take place in 2020. We look forward to launching this program in 2021.

For our livestock project members and families, Ohio 4-H and the Ohio Department of Agriculture discussed some changes for this year that will help mitigate the effects the coronavirus is having on holding in-person programming. For livestock quality assurance (QA) for the 2020 year only:

  • QA must still be completed before the opening day of exhibition, however the 45-day prior to the opening of the exhibition requirement will not be enforced.
  • Youth livestock exhibitors (8-18) may take the online YQCA certification. Typically, this is only permitted for youth 12 years and older. View more information on our website.

In the coming days, we’ll share updates via e-mail as we receive new information.

March 12 – COVID-19 Update

Greetings 4-H Families!

There has been a recent confirmation of the coronavirus in the state of Ohio leading to public health concerns related to disease transmission. As a result, The Ohio State University has been proactively implementing protocols for insuring the safety and health for our students, clientele and staff.  After consultation with the college and university leadership, we are following guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control, Ohio Department of Health, and the university in being aggressively proactive to prevent the potential spread of communicable respiratory illness.

We understand this may cause inconvenience, but please know that your health and the health of our community at-large is our biggest priority. We will be postponing or cancelling gatherings, face-to-face programming, and meetings deemed not critical to our mission or considered non-essential through April 20 to provide time for additional vigilance as we learn more about how this virus is affecting Ohioans. No new events will be scheduled.

This situation is constantly evolving. Our office is receiving statewide updates multiple times per day, and we will provide updates related to events and restrictions as we have them.

NEW UPDATE – Status of Club Meetings: Per Extension Administration, no face-to-face meetings should take place effective immediately through April 20. This is different information than I shared in Wednesday evening’s communication with 4-H volunteers. Please take advantage of virtual meeting opportunities where available.

Status of Upcoming Programs on the Muskingum County 4-H Calendar (as of 3/12/2020):

March 14 – Ohio 4-H Conference: Cancelled

March 14 – Junior Leaders/Plowboy Prom: Cancelled

March 16 – Enrollment Deadline is still 11:59 p.m.

March 19 – Camp Team Meeting: Cancelled, may add time to future meetings if needed as camp approaches

March 23 – Junior Fair Board Meeting: Cancelled, April, May, June Meetings will begin at 5:30 p.m.

March 26 – Livestock Subcommittees: 4-H Goat, Poultry, Rabbit and Saddle Horse Committee Meetings are canceled by the Extension Office. Junior Fair Livestock Committee will also not meet, per my communication with Senior Fair Board members. Committees will meet at designated times on May 28.

Per Extension Administration, 4-H Committees cannot meet between now and April 20, unless virtual. Please consult with the Extension Office if you would like to meet virtually or if you feel it is necessary to schedule a meeting between April 20 and May 28.

Goat, Poultry, Rabbit and Saddle Horse Committee Presidents should turn a committee member roster into the Extension Office by April 1. I will be in contact with committee presidents about business that needs to be conducted in the near future.

March 28 – Cloverbud Science Saturday: Cancelled

March 28 – Quality Assurance: Cancelled. March 31, April 22 and May 4 dates remain on the calendar but are subject to change based on status of restrictions.

March 28 – Small Animal Fun Day: Cancelled. May be rescheduled, offered virtually or by individual committees when allowed.

March 28 – Winner’s Circle Kick-Off: Face-to-face event cancelled, Extension staff exploring options to continue program for 2020.

March 31 – Campership Application Deadline still 4:30 p.m.

March 31 – Quality Assurance Test-Out and Session: Will continue as scheduled, but subject to change based on status of restrictions.

April 2 – Junior Leaders Etiquette Dinner: Cancelled.

April 6 – 4-H Committee: Cancelled Face to Face. More information will be shared directly with the Committee.

April 9 – 4-H CARTEENS: Will continue as scheduled, but subject to change based on status of restrictions.

April 13 – Camp Registration Packets Available

April 13 – Quality Assurance Test-Out: Will continue as scheduled, but subject to change based on status of restrictions.

April 15 – Club Paperwork Deadline still 4:30 p.m.

April 16 – Camp Team Training: Will continue as scheduled, but subject to change based on status of restrictions.

April 17-18 – 4-H Camp Ohio Camp Counselor Workshop: Will continue as scheduled, but subject to change based on status of restrictions.

April 20 – Extension Advisory Committee: Cancelled Face to Face. More information will be shared directly with the Committee.