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Posted Thursday, September 10th, 2020

All In-Person New Jersey 4-H Fairs Canceled Due to COVID-19

Morris County’s 4-H members showcased their “can do” spirit and creativity by entering projects in the first ever NJ 4-H Virtual Fair.

Morris County 4-Her's Take Home Awards in Virtual Fair

From left, Gwen Wacha-Diaz, Danielle McGrath and Sophia Kissling entered the pet costume category.

Entries for the state-level virtual fair were collected during the month of July and judged in August — a necessity since all 4-H fairs in the state have been cancelled this year due to COVID-19.

To view entries in all of the categories, visit the  NJ 4-H Virtual Fair at http://nj4h.rutgers.edu/virtual-fair/. Explore the fair at https://nj4h.rutgers.edu/virtual-fair/explore.html . View results at  https://fairentry.com/Fair/Results/14600

Statewide, 1,500 entries were submitted by 4-Her’s in kindergarten through one year out of high school. Morris County had 37 youth participate with 138 entries. Morris County 4-Her's Take Home Awards in Virtual Fair

“We are so proud of the accomplishments of these dedicated young people, and for their resilience during these unusual times,” said Deborah Smith, Freeholder Director. “4-H Clubs offer a wide array of programs that allow children to learn by doing and in the process they create friendships and community. We will look forward to the annual fair — in person — next summer.”

“The fair is the highlight event of the year for our 4-H members,” said Kelly Dziak, 4-H Program Associate in Morris County.  “Many see The Fair as a sort-of family reunion where 4-Hers from all the clubs get together and have fun. Not having the fair this year was a big blow to our 4-H community.”

Dziak explained that 4-H fairs showcase the knowledge and skills of 4-H members, celebrating their achievements in a fun environment. The goals of the virtual fair are the same, she said, offering participants the opportunity to present their projects and demonstrate what they have learned about arts and craft, foods, photography, animals and more.

rainbow material around a person in a mask

Jillian Pasquino from Randolph’s entry in the “We’re All in This Together” photo category.

New divisions for this year’s virtual fair include 4-H Spirit, animal costumes, and digital storytelling. Exhibitors were awarded virtual ribbons and received feedback from judges.  The NJ 4-H Virtual Fair is the first state level event of its kind and provides an opportunity for 4-H members across New Jersey to showcase their hard work, their creativity, and have fun!

In addition to the NJ 4-H Virtual Fair, Morris County’s 4-H teen community recreated the county 4-H fair through Minecraft, an online gaming system. Prerecorded tours are available at https://morris.njaes.rutgers.edu/4h/fair/.

Morris County 4-Her's Take Home Awards in Virtual Fair

Heather Doherty’s entry in the 4-H Spirit category

“As is tradition, the virtual fair has a theme that reflects the strength of our 4-H community when faced with adversity. The 2020 NJ 4-H Virtual Fair theme is ‘4-H Pride is Statewide’ and we hope you will show your 4-H spirit by participating in this special opportunity,” said Rachel Lyons, chair of 4-H Youth Development at Rutgers Cooperative Extension.

The 4-H Youth Development Program is under the auspices of Rutgers New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station Cooperative Extension. For information about  4-H in Morris County, visit their website, call 973-285-8301 or email [email protected].