April 9, 2020 - 8:25am -- kirian.31@osu.edu

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 canceled, 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 the 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 pivot if they are canceled. 

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

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We wanted you to hear this message when other counties heard this information, so we are sending it out in the same time frame as others.   Amanda, Mark and Tori will be meeting tomorrow morning to develop a plan for how this new announcement will impact Hardin County.   We were just informed of this information today, and so we need to see how this modifies our summer programming.  

As announced on social media today, Ohio 4-H did release 18 of the project books so that youth can get started on 4-H project work. Livestock resources will be coming out later.

"Want to dig into a 4-H project that’s a good match for staying at home? See our collection of Perfect Stay-at-Home Projects. When a copy opens on your screen, you can save or print it from there. Stay at home and stay healthy, 4-H’ers!"

These are project books that will be FREE to download and work through this summer. So you may want to consider changing your project if you want to take advantage of these free resources. 

https://ohio4h.org/stayathomeprojects

While this 4-H season will be different, we will work to make adjustments so that we can still provide positive youth development opportunities to the Hardin County families.  Stay tuned for more information coming soon.

We will be sending a link for a Lunchtime live for Friday at noon to answer any questions you might have.

Amanda, Mark and Tori