4-H Youth Programming Will Continue Despite Cancellation of Local County Fair

JAMESTOWN, NEW YORK (May 4, 2021) -- Cornell Cooperative Extension of Chautauqua County supports the Chautauqua County Fair Board decision to postpone the fair until 2022 for the health and safety of our community. CCE 4-H recognizes that during these continued times of uncertainty, it can be difficult to plan, afford, and host a large scale in-person event.

Chautauqua County 4-H youth however have been working since November on a variety of projects and are raising livestock and pets for competition and showcase at such an event. So, the cancellation of County Fair for the second year in a row can seem overwhelming. 4-H Staff, with immense support from the volunteers in the program, are making plans to support the youth with a scaled down opportunity.

Plans are being forged for a Chautauqua County 4-H youth only project exhibition and livestock event. The goal is to give the youth an opportunity to finish an animal for market, showcase a breeding animal and hone their animal handling and showmanship skills.

Working with animals is healthy. Research has shown that regular interaction with animals can decrease levels of cortisol, the hormone related to stress. Above and beyond showing an animal can teach lifelong lessons and skills such as economics, persistence, hard work, humility and much more.

Chautauqua County 4-H staff and volunteers are planning an event that will help the youth in our county experience these life lessons. The event will be closed or very limited to the public.

The cost of hosting such an event is yet to be determined, as are many details of such an opportunity, but the staff and volunteers are dedicated and committed to making something available for Chautauqua youth in 2021.

The cancellation of the County Fair also brings forth other complications, such as the loss of 4-H’s second largest fundraiser for the year, the 4-H Snack Bar, of which proceeds typically support nearly four months of 4-H programming. Additional complications surround the scheduling and planning for the Annual Meat Animal Sale in which youth earn proceeds for the animals in which they have raised, learn valuable marketing, promotion, and other life lessons, and provide high quality meat to residents in Chautauqua County. Details are yet to be determined for a 2021 Sale.

The staff and volunteers will continue to review all options that will provide successful and meaningful opportunities for the youth in our county.

If you are inclined to donate towards these programs you can reach out the Cornell Cooperative Extension office, 716-664-9502 Ext 214, visit us online, or email directly at chautauqua@cornell.edu.

The 4-H Program is one of many programs offered by Cornell Cooperative Extension of Chautauqua County (CCE-Chautauqua). CCE-Chautauqua is a subordinate governmental agency with an educational mission that operates under a form of organization and administration approved by Cornell University as agent for the State of New York. It is tax-exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. The association is part of the national cooperative extension system, an educational partnership between County, State, and Federal governments. As New York’s land grant university Cornell administers the system in this state. Each Cornell Cooperative Extension association is an independent employer that is governed by an elected Board of Directors with general oversight from Cornell. All associations work to meet the needs of the counties in which they are located as well as state and national goals. For more information, call 716-664-9502 or visit our website at www.cce.cornell.edu/chautauqua. Cornell University Cooperative Extension provides equal program and employment opportunities.

Last updated May 4, 2021