By MEGHAN GLOVA
CENTRAL OREGON DAILY
4-H programs are known for hands-on learning in subjects from health and science to leadership and agriculture.
“It gives them an opportunity to have something to do and to learn a lot more about where your meat comes from and how to use wood working in your life,” Moriah Riley, an 11-year-old Crook County 4-H member, said.
Riley has spent the past two years learning about animal fair showings and wood working. This year, COVID-19 has changed how her 4-H classes are run.
“It’s affected me by not getting to see my friends and learning hands-on at meetings,” Riley said.
While members like Riley make the best of it, COVID-19 puts the entire Crook County Fair into question.
The fair is where students show off their work and receive prize and auction money. Many students put their winnings toward future 4-H projects or college.
“We don’t get to show our hard work to people and we don’t get our paycheck,” said Riley.
But if the fair planned for August ends up being canceled, 4-H may still provide a virtual way for kids to shine.
“To either hold a virtual auction or virtual show, we’re looking at all opportunities to make sure that these kids have a chance to showcase the work that they worked on throughout the year,” David White, a 4-H youth development specialist, said.
Riley’s mom and Crook County 4-H leader Leslie Riley said a virtual show just wouldn’t be the same.
“You can’t play basketball by yourself and send it in,” Leslie said. “Even though it is a one-on-one thing, it just really kind of changes the dynamics of it.”
Whether it be a virtual or in-person competition, Riley hopes she gets her chance at some prize money so she can put it toward next year’s 4-H project.