Purdue University officials have given a green light for local boards to hold 4-H fairs in July, but certain restrictions that will be in place mean it is still not clear yet what the fair will look like in Miami County.
“We are still in the wait-and-see,” Kim Frazier, Miami County Purdue Extension Educator, told the Tribune on Monday. “We’ve only known since 4:30 on Friday.”
Notice came in the form of an afternoon letter from the university that said fairs could move forward after the June 30 expiration of a restriction on face-to-face meetings put in place over concerns stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Friday’s letter came a month to the day after Purdue announced those restrictions, which prompted local 4-H officials to announce they were postponing the June event.
“We are definitely not using the word ‘cancel,’” Frazier said at the time, expressing hope that she and others would be able to plan a fair around whatever restrictions or obstacles would remain later in the summer.
In the most recent Purdue news release, Jason Henderson, senior associate dean of the College of Agriculture and director of Purdue Extension, said that Purdue Extension “will comply with all federal, state, and local regulations and public safety guidelines and will adhere to Purdue University policies for public health and safety.”
“County 4-H educators have received implementation guidance,” the news release said. “The guidance, developed from industry and government best practices, will aid 4-H councils, fair boards, and county educators in planning over the next six weeks. In some cases, 4-H councils and extension boards may choose to virtualize their fair experience due to financial limitations, PPE availability or other locally determined restrictions. Purdue Extension 4-H specialists have developed models for virtual 4-H fairs in preparation that some counties may not be able to adequately follow federal, state, and local guidelines.”
Frazier said Monday that the task locally is to now plan an event around that guidance.
The 4-H Board, she said, will likely meet sometime this week to begin sorting out those plans.