‘UnFAIR’ PLANNING UNDERWAY; Chautauqua County 4-H Youth Development needs help with 2021 Celebration

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4-H members show sheep during the 2019 Chautauqua County Fair

Cornell Cooperative Extension of Chautauqua County’s 4-H Youth Development Program is making the best out of a bad situation. The news of the cancellation of the 2021 Chautauqua County Fair brought about mixed emotions across the county. While some agreed with the decision or related to the circumstances, many are disappointed and saddened. For the 4-H youth in the county it was just another disappointment in a year full of cancelled programming and missed opportunities. Chautauqua County 4-H staff and volunteers are determined to provide a viable opportunity for youth to showcase their 4-H projects, an opportunity they have not had since 2019.

Dubbed the “UnFair”, plans are fully underway for the 2021, 4-H Celebration. The “UnFair” will be July 21-25 at the Chautauqua County Fairgrounds in Dunkirk, NY. Traditionally the fair is a time when 4-H families come together to learn, strengthen friendships, and have fun. That is the goal of this year’s UnFair.

The UnFair will provide an opportunity for Chautauqua County 4-H youth members to exhibit their club projects in the 4-H Youth Building, and those who participate in the beef, dairy, goat, hog, horse, poultry, rabbit, and sheep projects will show and exhibit during the week. This event is open to 4-H members and members of their immediate household only. All COVID protocols will be followed.

The 57th Annual 4-H Meat Animal Sale will be the only portion of the program open to in-person public participation and will take place Saturday, July 24th at 12:00pm. An estimated 60 hogs, 8 goats, 35 pairs of chickens, 28 lambs, and 15 steers will be sold by live auction to the highest bidder.

The Chautauqua County Fair Board is graciously donating the use of the grounds, water, and electric for the event. This means that 4-H is responsible for the remaining costs including cleaning and sanitizing, security, sawdust, ribbons, trash, manure removal and more. It is estimated to cost the program approximately $15,000. This is especially difficult coupled with the fact that the County Fair snack bar is typically a major fundraiser for the County 4-H Program. An opportunity obviously not available for this year.

The Chautauqua County Legislature was the first friend of 4-H youth to step up and support the effort with a special program allocation of $6,637.00. News spread and 4-H supporters are offering in-kind and monetary donations to make the 2021 celebration a success. You too can be a friend of 4-H. Raber’s Blacksmith Supply in Conewango has agreed to match the first $500 in monetary funds raised. Now is a great time to show your support and be part of history, providing an opportunity for our youth to showcase their projects and enjoy the 2021 celebration.

4-H is part of Give Big CHQ, a community day of online giving, June 10, 2021. Please consider supporting the 4-H UnFair by donating during Give Big CHQ at www.givebigchq.org/organizations/cornell-cooperative-extension-chautauqua-county. Donations by cash or check can be dropped off or mailed to the Cornell Cooperative Extension Office located at 525 Falconer Street PO Box 20 Jamestown, NY 14702. Please contact the 4-H office for additional details or questions, 716-664-9502 Ext 214. Thank you for supporting positive youth development opportunities at the 4-H UnFair!

The 4-H Youth Development 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.