SIDNEY — Kids who are completing poultry 4-H projects for the Shelby County Fair will have to tap into their creativity in order to “show” their project this year.
On Tuesday, the Ohio Department of Agriculture canceled all live bird exhibitions at county fairs to protect the state’s $2.3 billion poultry industry from the avian flu that has negatively impacted states bordering Ohio.
On Thursday, Laura Norris, Shelby County 4-H youth development educator, released the official alternative to bringing birds, turkeys or ducks to the county fair, set for July 26 through Aug. 1.
“We’re going to try to make it as realistic as possible,” Norris said about the fair’s poultry projects. “We’re going to run the show the same as normal, just not sure how we’re going to do classes yet.”
Norris said judges were being contacted to let them know of the changes and they are happy to comply with the new guidelines.
“Judges are still excited and happy to come. We still will have a showmanship opportunity using stuffed animals. It’s more about knowledge than anything,” Norris said.
The ban of birds is being taken very seriously in Shelby County, Norris said, to protect the state’s poultry industry. “It’s a great educational opportunity for the kids. We’re confident and satisfied with the project we came up with.”
One issue discussed during a Friday conference call with the Ohio Department of Agriculture was what to do with project birds following the fair. “It’s a major concern,” Norris said. “For a lot of the youth, this is their one market project they do and they normally don’t take it back home following the fair.”
Since the birds will remain at home, families will have to come up with a processing plan on their own, Norris said. And there will be strict guidelines on how to accomplish this task, taking into consideration distribution and co-mingling issues. More information will be released at a later date.
Norris also wanted to make it clear that kids must actually have a bird in their possession in order to complete the project. Families who have canceled chick orders, but who still want to participate may call the extension office at 498-7239.
The Friday conference call with the Ohio Department of Agriculture offered updates on the ban of poultry and suggestions on how to incorporate appropriate substitutions for 4-H and FFA members who signed up for poultry projects.
Shelby County’s poster project and Pound of Chicken sale was highlighted during the conference call.
Officials with the Department of Agriculture emphasized the importance of adhering to the ban, encouraging 4-H extension agents and fair board members to think creatively on how to help kids complete and show their projects, stating that it was totally a local decision on how to move forward. Providing a way for kids to show their knowledge of their project, rather than complete a project to make money, is a focus.
Following is the Shelby County poultry project guidelines that were announced Thursday. For additional information, contact the extension office at 937-498-7239.
2015 Poultry Project Guidelines
Eligibility for Poultry project(s) completion, receiving premiums, and eligibility for market chicken/duck sale WILL REQUIRE completion of a poster. The poultry is to be raised, but not brought to the fairgrounds. The poster is proof of your completed project. You may choose to scratch your poultry project; however, if poultry is your ONLY fair project, you must complete at least one poster to receive your fair pass for the 2015 Shelby County Fair.
Posters will serve as proof of your Poultry Project for the 2015 Shelby County Junior Fair. In order to receive credit for your project (including premiums and eligibility for market chicken/duck sale), you must follow the guidelines below and participate in all previously scheduled check-ins and show experiences.
1. Any youth properly enrolled in any poultry project by May 1 may enter a poster.
2. One poster per species/project* is to be completed. These include:
A. Fancy Chickens: Class 127, 128
B. Market Chickens: Class 129, 130, 131
C. Market Ducks: Class 132
D. Breeding Ducks: Class 133
E. Goose: Class 134
F. Market Turkeys: Class 135, Subclass A
G. Breeding Turkeys: Class 135, Subclass B
H. Guineas: Class 136
*If you signed up for two meat pens of chicken (including single broilers and fryers), you would only create one market chicken poster.
*If you signed up for five fancy chickens, you would only create one fancy chicken poster.
3. Only one voucher per species/project (i.e., poster) will be given.
4. General Poster Guidelines:
a. Each poster must be made by the 4-H or FFA member.
b. Posters must be made using size 22×28” poster board, displayed horizontally. Poster boards are not to be mounted on any type of stiff backing. Shadow boxes, overlays, or three-dimensional posters are not permitted. No laminated or plastic cover.
c. Each poster must be clearly labeled in the lower right hand corner with the exhibitor’s name, club, project type (e.g. meat duck), and age (as of Jan. 1 of current year)
5. Posters should include: Content
a. Photographs: A minimum of three to five photographs should be displayed on the poster. Exhibitor must be in at least one photograph with the animal. (Photo examples: feeding, watering, developmental stages, etc.)
b. Summary Statement: One paragraph describing your project experience. This could include daily routines, challenges you faced, information about your breed, etc.
c. Feed Tags: Posters must include one feed tag.
d. What I Learned: Include a statement sharing one thing that you learned while completing your poultry project. (Separate from Summary Statement.)
6. Only posters that meet all entry requirements will be eligible for an “A” or “B” ribbon and premium.
1. Posters must be submitted during the original Poultry Check-In time: 4-8 p.m.Saturday, July 25. (No posters will be accepted during or after this time.)
2. Check-In will take place at the YOUTH BUILDING on the Fairgrounds. Posters will be displayed during the week at fair. Location to be announced at a later time.
1. The show will take place during the originally scheduled time: 9 a.m. Wednesday, July 29, in Kent Feeds Arena 1. Junior Fair Board Members will take care of transferring all posters to and from the show arena. Exhibitors are NOT to remove their posters.
2. Following the Saturday check-in, the Junior Fair Poultry Committee will create class lists that will guide the Junior Fair Poultry Show. This will be posted at least one hour prior to the start of the show on Wednesday.
3. During the show, each exhibitor will check in at the arena to collect their poster for judging. The Junior Fair Poultry Committee will have posters ready at ringside at the start of the show and will return posters following the show to be displayed for the remainder of fair week.
4. Projects may be removed any time after 9 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 1. Any poster remaining in the building after noon Sunday, Aug. 2 can be collected at the Shelby County OSU Extension up to one week following the fair.
Sale: “Pound of Chicken Sale”
1. The sale will take place on the originally scheduled date: Saturday, Aug. 1.
2. Exhibitors will only be permitted to participate in the Market Poultry Sale (market chicken/duck) if they have completed all project requirements.
3. Exhibitors will only be permitted to participate in the Market Poultry Sale if their Market Chicken or Market Duck project is the ONLY market project they possess at the 2015 Shelby County Fair.
4. Sale participation will be confirmed by the exhibitor at Poultry Check-In on Saturday, July 25.
5. Exhibitors will be expected to walk through the sale ring during their scheduled sale time. Sale schedules will be posted the morning of the sale.
6. The sale will be conducted like the Dairy: Gallon of Milk Sale. Buyers will purchase shares and the final balance will be distributed equally among the eligible Market Chicken and Market Duck Exhibitors.