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:
www.michigan.gov/aviandiseases



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.


Regards,
T.J. McCully
Damian Bruce
Sabrina Edgar







Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

4-H Meeting Schedule for May

May 4-H  Meeting Schedule
A few of our meetings have changed locations or dates. Here is what we have for the rest of the month:

May 6th and 7th: 4-H Hippology Testing
  • 6:00pm-8:00pm at the Extension Office
May 7th: Small Animal Showmanship Clinic
  • 6:00PM-9:00PM at the Extension Office
May 9th: Sheep and Swine Pre Fair Check in
  •  10:00AM-12:00noon at the Extension Office
May 9th: Rabbit Pre Fair Check In Make-Up
  • 10:00AM-12:00noon at the Extension Office
    • The Superintendents will be available to check in any members who were unable to make it to the regular check in. 
May 11th: 4-H Horse Council Meeting
  • 7:00PM at a horse leader's house (contact Superintendents for directions)
May 19th: Small Animal Association
  • 7:00pm at the Extension Office

Thursday, April 30, 2015

May 1st Deadlines

May 1st Deadlines for 4-H
Just a reminder that we have several deadlines coming up Friday May 1st. The following things need to be completed prior to the end of the day:

Enrollment: Any members wishing to show 4-H exhibits at the 2015 Jackson County Fair need to create a profile (for each member) by Friday. Directions can be found in our February 9th post. The website for creating a profile is mi.4honline.com

     *please note that you have met the deadline as long as your status says "pending" or "active".

Poultry: Poultry Registration Forms are due. Also,  Broiler, Roaster, Fryer, or Duck Order forms are due. Forms can be located under the Fair Documents Tab at the top of the website. Forms can be faxed or emailed to the superintendents. They can also be dropped off at the Extension Office.

Rabbits: The date of possession for rabbits is May 1st. Don't forget that Rabbit Pre Fair Check in is Saturday May 2nd 9:00am- 12:00noon. Forms are located in the Fair Documents Tab at the top of the website.

Sheep and Swine: The date of possession for both species is May 1st. The Pre Fair Check in for both species will be Saturday May 9th from 10:00am-12:00noon. All Pre Fair Check in paperwork is located under the Fair Documents Tab at the top of the website.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Michigan 4-H Day at Comerica Park

Michigan 4-H Day at Comerica Park

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Small Animal Showmanship Clinic Date Change and Rabbit Pre Fair Check In

4-H Small Animal Showmanship Clinic Date Change

Due to some scheduling conflicts with the leaders of the Small Animal Showmanship Clinic originally planned for April 30th, we are moving the date of the clinic to May 7th. The species schedule will remain the same: 6:00 Poultry, 7:00 Rabbits, and 8:00 Goats. We will no longer be having the clinic on April 30th, so please update your calendars.


Rabbit Pre Fair Check In
As announced at the small animal expectations meeting, we will be holding a Rabbit Pre Fair Check in on May 2nd 9:00am-12:00noon.  Exhibitors are asked  to bring their breed stock rabbit(s) to the MSU Extension office for possession verification. Breed stock rabbits not verified on this date will not be allowed entry to fair.  Please also bring any breed stock alternatives that may be used for fair in place of your primary breed stock rabbit.

Please note that possession check is not confirmation that a rabbit meets breed ARBA standards or guarantee of health.

Pre fair check in paperwork can be found by clicking here or by clicking on the Fair Documents tab at the top of the page. Please bring this form to the check in with you.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Online PQA, Small Animal Showmanship Clinic, and Record Books

Online PQA
If you missed the PQA session last week,  there is still time to get your certification before the date of possession (May 1st). Anyone who was unable to make the face-to-face class can complete the training online through the National Pork Board.

To register for the training, please click here. Users can register with or without a certificate number.  Parents can locate existing youth records or add children to their account, and then grant access to train.   Based on the birth year provided, youth will be directed to the appropriate age level course. There is an exam for Intermediate and Advanced. PQA is a required component of the Swine Project. Please note that swine leaders and superintendents would like youth who plan to exhibit swine at the 2015 Jackson County Fair to have their PQA certification before they drop off swine paperwork on May 9th.

Small Animal Showmanship Clinic
Looking for a way to learn more about Poultry, Rabbit, and Goat showmanship? Small animal leaders from around the county are hosting an educational clinic for members to learn the skills required for small animal showmanship. The clinic will be held on Thursday April 30th at the Extension Office (1715 Lansing Ave, Ste 257 Jackson, MI) The meeting will run from 6:00pm to 9:00pm. Poultry Showmanship will be taught 6:00-7:00, Rabbit Showmanship will be taught 7:00-8:00, and Goat Showmanship will be taught 8:00-9:00. Leaders will have live animals for Poultry and Rabbit demonstrations. Members of all skill levels are encouraged to attend!

Record Books
Rabbit and Sheep record books are now available. They can be located under the "Fair Documents" tab at the top of our website.

Friday, March 6, 2015

Beef Weigh In, PQA, Exploration Days Books, and KMS Reminder

4-H Beef Weigh In
If you are taking beef cattle to the 2015 Jackson County Fair and you plan to participate in the Rate of Gain contest, weigh in will be Saturday, March 7th 9:00am-11:00am at Napoleon Livestock Commission. Please bring your steer in between those hours to be weighed. Note that this weigh in is optional. Contact Mershell Cook at (517) 206-5066 with any questions.

Youth PQA
We will be offering an in person session of PQA on April 7th, 2015. The session starts at 6:30pm. Please remember that PQA certification is required for all youth that are bringing swine to the 2015 Jackson County Fair. Swine leaders ask that you have your certification prior to turning in pre fair paperwork. If you are unable to attend the face-to-face PQA session, we will be offering the online option again this year. Contact the Extension Office if you have any questions. Online PQA details will be posted at a later date.

Exploration Days 2015
Registration books are now available. Exploration Days will be held June24-26, 2015 at MSU.
This event is open to all members age 11 and up (age is determined by your age on January 1 of that year). Here is what you can look forward to if you attend:
  • There’ll be more than 200 session choices held on and off campus. You’ll choose one or two for your three-day stay.
  • You’ll live in a Michigan State University dorm and eat in the cafeteria—just like MSU students do.
  • Sessions are taught by people who know their stuff, including MSU faculty members, 4-H volunteers and staff members and other experts.
  • It’s not all sessions! There’s plenty of time for fun, including swimming, skating, souvenir shopping, exploring, bowling, basketball—even a great dance Thursday night.
Registrations are now being accepted at the Jackson County MSU Extension office. You can pick up a book and form at the office or click here to get it online.  Registration forms will be entered in the order that they are received. Keep in mind that sessions fill up quickly!

New this year: The Jackson County 4-H Foundation and the 4-H Council have agreed to pay 100% of the registration fee for members who are attending for the first time. They will also pay for 50% of the registration fee for any returning members. This is a great opportunity for youth to learn new skills and experience college life in a safe environment. Please contact the Jackson County MSU Extension office if you have any questions.

Kyle Mason Samson Scholarship
Just a reminder: The deadline is fast approaching for the KMS Scholarship. Applications are due by March 15th. The application can be accessed by viewing our January 26th post or by stopping at the MSU Extension office to pick up a hard copy.