MASON COUNTY — Mason County 4-H members are continuing on with their projects while in-person meetings and activities are suspended.
Lorrie Wright, the West Virginia University (WVU) Extension Agent for Mason County, said all extension activities, including the Mason County CEOS clubs and all 4-H club physical meetings, are suspended through April.
“That situation will be evaluated at the end of April, then we’ll make a decision going forward,” Wright said. “But this is something that was set forth by WVU Extension. It’s a state-wide decision.”
Wright said that although in-person activities are canceled, she will be holding leader meetings and camp planning meetings through video conference calls. Wright said that they are still going to continue with planning for June camps, which are scheduled for June 14-18 and June 21-25. Wright said a lot could change, but they are moving forward. They will know the decision on June 4-H camps by April 24.
Members also have their enrollment completed for their projects and Wright said they should spend this time working on their projects.
“I do encourage all of them to be working on their projects at this time,” Wright said. “It’s the perfect time to get them done and get them over with.”
Wright added that some exhibits for the projects may be difficult to complete right now, but the book work can be started.
The 4-H programs in West Virginia accept new member year round, however, Wright said that members who wish to take a market animal project must enroll by January 2 of that year. Wright said she has had many calls from families concerned about the county fairs and whether or not they should purchase the project animals.
“I think they should use their own judgment on what they want to do,” Wright said about purchasing animals for the fair. “Understand that purchasing a fair animal doens’t necessarily mean that you’re going to be able to show and sell at the county fair.”
Wright said that her family purchased their fair animals.
“We already have our animals,” Wright said. “We’re taking that risk and praying for the best.”
Wright said that the decision to postpone a county fair will likely not be made by the local board.
“Today I was made away that the situation with county fairs, that decision will probably come from the governor’s office,” Wright said. “So it’s not something that we can make a decision on on our own.”
Wright said the “WVU Mason County Extension” Facebook page will lead 4-H members to the Mason County 4-H page where they can find several online resources to assist members with projects. Wright said more activities will be made as they continue the social distancing and suspension of meetings, but they are all getting acclimated to the process now.
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Kayla Hawthorne is a staff writer for Ohio Valley Publishing. Reach her at (304) 675-1333, ext. 1992.