Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Sitting Tall Updates

Fall Updates for Sitting Tall

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Important 4-H Rabbit Update, Cloverbud Showmanship Schedule, and Fair Photo Update

4-H Rabbit Update
We were unable to get the water and food dishes previously discussed for the new cages. Because of this, we are asking all rabbit members to supply their own food dishes and water bottles.  Rabbit members are encouraged to bring  water from home to keep rabbits on a water that they are used to.  Each rabbit cage will have a cabinet below it to store food and water.

Cloverbud Showmanship Schedule
Sheep- Sunday August 9th (Please arrive by 2:00)
Goats- Wednesday August 12th (During milk out/lunch break. Contact species superintendent for more information)
Rabbits- Thursday August 13th (Please arrive by 12:00 noon)
Beef, Dairy, and Swine- Friday August 14th 3:00

Fair Photos
As previously discussed at the Small and Large Animal Association meetings, our photographer Jim West is unable to take photos this year at fair. We are still looking for volunteers to cover some of our shows. Volunteers will receive a pass to get them in to take photos. Here is what we still need covered:

Sheep- Sunday 2:00pm
Swine Showmanship- Monday 9:00am
Beef Showmanship- Monday 6:00pm
Swine Market- Tuesday 8:00am
Beef Market- Tuesday 6:00pm
Dairy Cattle- Wednesday 9:00am
Large Animal Auction- Thursday 4:00pm
Large Animal Showmanship Sweepstakes- Friday 7:30pm
If you know of anyone willing to cover the photography for one or more of these shows, please have them contact the Extension Office at (517)788-4292.

Monday, July 27, 2015

4-H Project Check In Schedule, Cloverbud Showmanship, KMS Scholarship Auction, Goat Barn Set Up, and Birthing Barn

4-H Project Check in Schedule
Thursday August 6th
6pm-9pm: Market Poultry
  • This check in will take place at the Jackson County MSU Extension Office (1715 Lansing Ave Ste 257, Jackson, MI)
  • Members are asked to wear nice clothing. Pictures will be taken to be used at the auction.
  • Birds will be processed and buyers will be able to pick them up at the Extension office after fair. (date to be announced)
Friday August 7th
3pm-10pm: Swine
Saturday August 8th
7am-10am: Rabbits
8am-Noon: Goats
9am-Noon: Still Projects
10am-Noon: Sheep 
Noon-3pm: Poultry breeding stock paperwork (Posters and Presentations)
Noon-9pm: Dairy Cattle (as scheduled by Superintendent)
5pm-8pm: Beef Cattle

Cloverbud Showmanship
 Most species will be integrating the cloverbud showmanship show into their regular showmanship day. However, due to numbers of members signed up, Beef, Swine, and Dairy Cattle will be Friday at 3:00pm.  We are working with each superintendent to determine where to put the Cloverbud Showmanship event within the show.  Here are the dates for each Cloverbud Showmanship show (Specific details such as show order or times will be posted later this week.):

Sheep: Sunday, August 9th
Goats: Wednesday, August 12th
Rabbits: Thursday, August 13th
Beef, Swine, and Dairy Cattle: Friday, August 14th (3:00pm)

 Each Cloverbud member is still allowed to show one large and one small animal.

KMS Silent Auction
Again this year, we will be holding the KMS silent auction to benefit the Kyle Mason Samson Scholarship Fund.
Item donations are being sought from clubs and individuals. Items can be dropped off at the Extension office prior to fair or brought to the 4-H information desk at the fairgrounds on Saturday August 8th.

Goat Barn Set up Reminder
We will be painting parts of the Goat barn during pen setup on August 2nd. The goat superintendents wanted us to remind you to wear clothes that you don't mind getting dirty. 

Birthing Barn
Our fair vet, Duane Trupiano, is still looking for some clubs and individuals that might be interested in volunteering at the Birthing Barn. This fun opportunity is a great way to earn volunteer hours and spend some time with baby animals. Please call his clinic at (517) 524-8180 to sign up.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Barn Set Up Dates and Rabbit Cage Sponsor List

4-H Barn Set Up Dates
Swine: July 23rd 6:00pm
Goat: August 2nd, 10:00am
Rabbit: August 2nd 10:00am
Sheep: August 4th 6:30pm
Beef: To be announced. Superintendents will be contacting leaders once barn configuration is determined.

Rabbit Cage Sponsor List
Thank you to all of our rabbit cage sponsors so far:

Harry S. Thomson DDS
Dr. Robert Doane
Grass Lake Storage Units
Grass Lake Dental Center
Brooklyn Lawn and Landscape
Cricket Ridge Rabbitry
Still Water Acres
InBetweeners 4-H Club
Women First Health Services
Kelly Fuels
Ralph & Cheryl Kluk DDS
Patriots 4-H Club
Jackson Pediatric Dentistry
Ekins Family Farm
Tompkins 4-H Club
Schonhard Chiropractic
Napoleon Community Schools
Concord Veterinary Clinic PC.
Alan Trupiano
Raymond Ludlow

Thursday, July 16, 2015

4-H Rabbit Cage Painting Day, Swine Pen Tear Down, and Large Animal Auction Brochure

4-H Rabbit Cages
     Thank you to all of you who helped build and paint the cabinets this past Saturday.  We will be assembling the cabinets and painting them this coming Saturday July 18th starting at 10:00AM.  Please come out and help us complete this project as we are getting very close to fair and we need to get the cabinets into the Rabbit barn so that the sheep pens can be set-up. All Rabbit members and families are encouraged to come.

Swine Pen Clean Out

New this year: Due to falling participation in Swine pen clean out on the Sunday after fair, pen tear down will be required this year. We have split the clubs based on numbers of members bringing swine into two groups. One group will tear down the pens this year, the other group will tear down pens next year (2016). The group that was choosen for 2015 was randomly selected last night at the Large Animal Association meeting. This year, the following clubs will be responsible for tear down:

Concord All Stars
Farmer Commandoes
Concord Contenders
Jackson Area Career Center
Kountry Kickers
New Horizons

Each swine member is required to come to tear down. If you are unable to attend, you are allowed to arrange with the superintendents for a representative to come in your place. Failure to attend tear down or to send a representative will result in $50 being withheld from auction checks.

Pen Tear Down begins on Sunday, August 9th at 9:00am. Please contact species superintendents with any questions you may have.

Large Animal Auction Brochure

The Large Animal Auction Brochure is now available. It can be found under the Fair Documents tab at the top of our website.

Friday, July 10, 2015

4-H Dog Letter and Small Animal Cage Building

4-H Dog Project Letter

All members enrolled in the dog project should click on the link below to  read a letter from the Dog Superintendent, Melissa Allen. Please contact her with any questions.

Letter to Dog Project Members

4-H Rabbit and Poultry Cage Building

Just a reminder that we will be assembling and painting the cabinets for the new cages on Saturday July 11th at the fairgrounds starting at 10:00AM.  Please bring a power drill and a paint brush or roller if you have one.  If we have enough help we will also be taking down the poultry cages.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

4-H July Meeting Schedule

 4-H Meeting Schedule
We have lots of meetings scheduled for July. In addition to our usual committee meetings, the Poultry Superintendents are offering Poster and Presentation Help Sessions. Each session will be offered 3 different times to help outline the expectations for Poultry presentations and posters. This is a great way to learn about the new process for this year. Here is what we have for July:

Monday July 6th
6:00pm-7:00pm Poultry Poster Help Session
7:00pm-8:00pm 4-H Council Meeting
8:00pm-? Poultry Presentation Help Session

Wednesday July 8th
7:00pm-8:00pm Livestock Executive Committee Meeting

Monday July 13th
7:00pm-8:00pm 4-H Horse Council Meeting

Tuesday July 14th
6:00pm-7:00pm Poultry Poster Help Session
7:00pm-9:00pm Small Animal Association Meeting
8:00pm-? Poultry Presentation Help Session

Wednesday July 15th
7:00pm-9:00pm Livestock Association Meeting

Monday July 20th
6:00pm- 7:00pm Poultry Poster Help Session
7:00pm-8:00pm Poultry Presentation Help Session

All of the meetings are held at the Extension Office (1715 Lansing Ave, Ste 257 Jackson, MI)

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

2015 Small Animal Expo & May Master Gardener Newsletter

2015 Small Animal Expo
For the registration form click here

2015 May Master Gardener Newsletter

The May MG Newsletter can be viewed here

Friday, June 12, 2015

4-H Bird Project Possession Dates and Small Animal Expo

4-H Bird Project Possession Dates

We have updated the possession and expected delivery dates for our Bird and Poultry Projects. These dates can be found by clicking here.

Please note that any member wishing to withdraw from a market project may do so by contacting the Superintendents and cancelling their order.

4-H Small Animal Expo
Don't forget that our annual Small Animal Expo is being held June 27th 9:00am-2:00pm. The entry fee is $5 and this will cover lunch. This year, the morning will be divided into two tracks. Members will have their choice of going to the Goat sessions or  Birds and Poultry Sessions. The afternoon will be spent helping members with their Record Books and then a Quizbowl. Prizes will be awarded during the Quizbowl. We will post the flyer for the event soon.

*Please note that the Expo is especially important this year because Bird and Poultry members will have a chance to practice the new showmanship process for fair*

Monday, June 8, 2015

4-H Poultry Information Session

4-H Poultry Information Session
We encourage all of our 4-H Families who are involved in the Poultry project to come to an information session this Wednesday, June 10th at 7:00pm. The meeting will be held at the Extension Office. We will be going over the new procedures for the 2015 Jackson County Fair.

Please do not wear boots or clothing to the meeting that you have worn while doing chores. As always, please follow proper biosecurity practices to maintain the health of your flock:
  • Washing and disinfecting hands, boots, gear and equipment when going from one coop to another.
  • Not sharing equipment with other farmers or between coops.
  • Washing and disinfecting equipment between uses. 
  • Providing birds with well water or municipal water – not surface water – to drink.  
  • Keeping poultry feed secure so that there is no contact between feed or feed ingredients and wild birds or rodents.  
  • Preventing contact between wild and domestic birds. 
  • Separating birds that show any sign of illness and caring for them only after caring for healthy birds. 
  • Wearing only clean clothing and footwear that has not been worn in a home coop at public venues such as fairs or into other producers’ facilities. 

Friday, June 5, 2015

4-H Poultry Contests for 2015

*Important Poultry Update*

We are happy to announce the alternative plan for Poultry contests at the 2015 Jackson County fair. With this plan, members will still be able to participate in  Market Classes and Showmanship.

Click here for the rules and processes for 2015

Don'f forget to register your poultry project at the Fair Office!  Please contact the Extension Office or Poultry Superintendents if you have any questions.

Without poultry at the 2015 fair, we will have the space to accommodate additional rabbit pen. This only applies to rabbits that went through the Rabbit Pre Fair Check-In. Click here for more details.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Important Poultry Update

Poultry Update
 The following message is for all members and families enrolled in the Bird and Poultry Project. Please distribute to any families this may impact.

     On June 1, 2015, the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) issued a statement cancelling all poultry shows and exhibitions held in Michigan as a precaution against the spread of avian influenza. This decision affects all 4‐H poultry shows at county and regional fairs, as well as other local 4‐H events, until further notice. Co-mingling animals from various flocks and facilities at these types of events provides an opportunity for diseases to spread quickly.
      In addition, for the health and safety of all birds, no avian species will be allowed to be displayed as part of any 4‐H project, whether at a show, a club or group meeting, a petting zoo, or at any other event or venue. The affected birds include, but are not limited to, those that are part of Michigan 4‐H’s poultry (such as chickens, pheasants, turkeys, quail, water fowl, guinea fowl and pea fowl) and exotic bird projects (such as emus and ostriches). 
     MSU Extension understands that the cancellation of 4‐H poultry shows is disappointing to the many 4‐H youth and volunteers who have invested their time and talent into poultry projects. While unfortunate, the decision is in the best interest of the state’s poultry farmers, backyard hobbyists and 4‐H families who participate in the poultry project.

Some things to keep in mind:
  • MDARD’s decision is a precautionary measure made in the interest of animal and public health, as well to protect Michigan’s poultry population. The avian influenza virus has not been found in Michigan, and there are currently no known cases of HPAI (highly pathogenic avian influenza) in the state.      
  • The strains of HPAI affecting other states are not zoonotic (capable of being passed from animals to humans or vice versa); no human infections have been detected at this time. The CDC considers the risk to people from these HPAI viruses to be low, so families with poultry projects should not be concerned about contracting the virus themselves. However, it is recommended that families use proper biosecurity practices to minimize the risk to themselves. 
Ways to keep your flock healthy:
  • Washing and disinfecting hands, boots, gear and equipment when going from one coop to another.
  • Not sharing equipment with other farmers or between coops.
  • Washing and disinfecting equipment between uses. 
  • Providing birds with well water or municipal water – not surface water – to drink.  
  • Keeping poultry feed secure so that there is no contact between feed or feed ingredients and wild birds or rodents.  
  • Preventing contact between wild and domestic birds. 
  • Separating birds that show any sign of illness and caring for them only after caring for healthy birds. 
  • Wearing only clean clothing and footwear that has not been worn in a home coop at public venues such as fairs or into other producers’ facilities.

What this means for Jackson County:  4-H members will not be bringing their projects to the fairgrounds for the 2015 Jackson County Fair. We are in the process of working with the state 4-H office, the Fairgrounds, and Poultry Superintendents to provide alternative opportunities for youth to demonstrate their skills. We will update this website once decisions have been made and additional information becomes available. 

For additional information, please visit the MDARD website:

Friday, May 29, 2015

4-H Small Animal Cage Sponsors

4-H Small Animal Cage Sponsors
We would like to thank the following people and organizations for sponsoring a rabbit or poultry cage:

Concord Vet Clinic
Ekins Family Farm
Jackson Ped Dentistry
Kelly Fuels
Kluk DDS
Napoleon Community Schools
Patriots 4H Club
Raymond Ludlow Memorial
Schonhard Chiropractic
Tompkins 4H Club
Women First Health Services

We are still seeking sponsorships. If you know any business or person who might be interested, the flyer is posted below. Order forms can be found by clicking here.  Thank you to all of the members who have secured sponsorships so far. Keep up the great work!

Friday, May 22, 2015

Goat Registration Deadline, Fair Books, and Poultry Update

Goat Registration Deadline
Just a reminder that the deadline for registering your goat project with the Superintendent is May 29, 2015. The form can be found under the fair documents tab at the top of the Connections website. Please keep in mind that this form needs to be filled out in addition to the forms you fill out at the Fair Office.

Fair Books
The 2015 Jackson County Fair Book is now available. It can be found under the Fair Documents tab at the top of the Connections website. The deadline for registering animal projects with the Fair Office is June 19, 2015. The deadline for registering still exhibits is July 10, 2015.
* Please note that this registration is required for ALL projects and is done in addition to any paperwork you have already submitted to the superintendents.

Poultry Update
If you are involved in the Poultry project, please read the following message from our Poultry Superintendents:

We wanted to let everyone know that a strain of Avian Influenza has been confirmed in Whitley County Indiana which is just a little west of Fort Wayne.  Below is some information that we though you should be aware of, to protect your birds and understand what the cause could be if you find a dead wild bird or one of your own. 

As a result of this strain being so close to Jackson County all market project poultry and ducks will be picked up at the MSU extension office not at the superintendents homes (either TJ in Concord or Damian in Grass Lake). 

If you have any questions, you can contact the extension office,  your veterinarian or the poultry superintendents for more information.

Avian Influenza -
In Whitley County, Indiana, a strain of highly pathogenic H5N8 Avian Influenza (HPAI) was recently detected in a backyard poultry flock consisting of ducks, geese, turkeys and chickens. This strain differs from the H5N2 strain that has caused the loss of more than 30 million chickens turkeys and other birds in nearby states and is the first known occurrence along the Mississippi flyway.
Avian Influenza is very contagious among birds. Infected birds can spread it through saliva, nasal secretions and feces.
There are two categories of AI. Low pathogenic avian influenza A virus (LPAI) may cause mild illness or none at all and may go undetected. Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza A (HPAI) causes severe diseases and high mortality rates in poultry. Both types of AI can spread quickly in poultry flocks.
Despite the danger of AI to poultry, the risk of human infection is currently low. To date, no human infections with the virus have been found in the U.S. though people have been infected with other strains of AI in other countries.
Recent articles about AI state that there is not a concern about AI with regard to food safety, but as always, you should take certain precautions when handling and preparing poultry, such as ensuring that it is cooked properly and completely, and washing your hands thoroughly before and after handling meat.
For people who keep poultry, to prevent the spread of the disease we recommend that you closely follow the biosecurity measures listed here and these additional precautions:
1.    Avoid contact with dead or diseased birds or poultry. If you come in contact with dead fowl for any reason, wash your hands thoroughly and wash any clothing that may have come in contact with it.
2.    Do not use poultry feed that was stored outdoors.
3.    Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds both before and after handling poultry and poultry meat.
4.    When cooking poultry, use a thermometer, and make sure the meat reaches an internal temperature of at least 165 F.

Further Reading
1.    U.S. Avian Influenza Backyard Flock Resources from Iowa State University.
2.    Consumer Information on the U.S. Avian Influenza from Iowa State University.
3.    USDA biosecurity for birds website.

T.J. McCully
Damian Bruce
Sabrina Edgar

Wednesday, May 13, 2015