As of June 2, 2015, the Ohio Department of Agriculture made the decision to cancel all live bird exhibitions in Ohio for the remainder of 2015 in a proactive approach to the Avain Flu that is affecting other states. This means that there will be NO live poultry at the 2015 Noble County Junior Fair. Ohio is the 2nd largest egg producing state in the nation and the poultry industry in Ohio generates BILLIONS of dollars for the state. This is why ODA made this move to protect the poultry industry in Ohio.
The decision made by Ohio Department of Agriculture in regards to no live birds being allowed to show at any county fair in the state of Ohio does impact 4-H, FFA and Open Class poultry and water fowl exhibitors at the Noble County Fair. While completion of a 4-H project is not contingent upon exhibition at the Fair, we recognize that it is a meaningful part of the 4-H experience. The Noble County Senior Fairboard, OSU Extension Office and the Noble Co. Livestock Sale Committee will be working together to finalize the alternative opportunities we can offer for those poultry project participants. We still don’t know answers to some of the questions that we have and are awaiting responses to those questions before we make final decisions. Please be patient. We will continue to share information as it becomes available.
Can we complete our project without an animal?
4-H and FFA members already signed up for those projects can still complete their projects by completing record books turned into advisors and with a display in the fair booth. If a display or poster is at the fair they will receive a fair premium. Exhibiting an animal at the fair is not a requirement for project completion.
Can we change 4-H project?
Substituting or changing projects is not an option supported by the Ohio 4-H Youth Development program.
What do we do if we already have our birds?
If you already have your birds we encourage you to keep the poultry project and practice the recommended biosecurity measures. The youth exhibitors would have to provide their own way to harvest the bird. If you have not received your birds, Dr. Tony Forshey (State Veterinarian) has recommended that you cancel those orders. But that is up to you. If you want to raise the birds for your own use, please continue to do this. We know that some families raise their extra birds as meat for their family.
We’ve already heard that we can sell in the Junior Fair Sale without an animal?
This is one of the opportunities that Senior Fairboard and the Noble Co. Livestock Sale Committee will be meeting to discuss as to how that might be accomplished. NO DECISION has been made yet!
We are sorry to all those poultry exhibitors for the inconvenience; we are taking these measures to practice good quality assurance and to prevent a storm from turning into a hurricane. Just as in life, unexpected things come along and new learning experiences occur. If you have any questions feel free to contact us at the OSU Extension Office (740)732-5681.