BOX ELDER COUNTY – By Cari Doutre – April 16, 2020
The Box Elder Junior Livestock Board of Directors has made one thing clear, “At this point, there are no plans to change the dates of or suspend the 2020 county fair.”
The announcement was made in a statement sent to participants and parents of the Box Elder Junior Livestock program on April 15, 2020.
The need to address these issues four months before the 2020 Box Elder County Fair, became necessary after the Utah State Junior Livestock Show announced that they have cancelled their May show (that was to be held in Spanish Fork) on April 13.
This news sent a rush of anxiety and rumors for those involved in Box Elder County’s junior livestock show. Would Box Elder County follow suit?
As of April 15, 2020, in Box Elder County, no changes or suspensions have been made. However, the Box Elder Junior Livestock Board of Directors are making some adjustments to the program and upcoming events, in accordance with recent state orders and restrictions regarding COVID-19 (coronavirus).
The Box Elder Junior Livestock Board of Directors sent out this statement to parents and participants involved in the program to ease any worries or concerns. The statement also gave further instructions on adjustments. They include:
All in-person livestock tagging and registration for hogs, lambs and goats has been suspended.
Instead, the board asks that participants fill out registration forms online. The links for the following registrations are listed below.
However, the Box Elder Junior Livestock Board of Directors will support local and state government guidelines related to COVID-19 concerns, to ensure the safety and health of the entire community.
“We live in very fluid times and it is impossible to know for sure what the future will bring, so we will keep everyone abreast of any changes,” the statement added.
Josh Dallin, Associate Professor for the USU Extension office in Box Elder County, added a few remarks about recent announcements and the future of the junior livestock program.
“In Box Elder County we know that these livestock projects are more than just an animal. They are an avenue to teach life’s lessons of responsibility, grit, honesty, integrity, ethics, hard work, continual learning, mastery, and much more,” Dallin said.
The cancellation of the state show in Spanish Fork has also been on Dallin’s mind.
“Though I think that it is devastating that the early Spanish Fork State Show was forced to cancel, I remain extremely optimistic in the reality of our fair, our youth, our families, and our traditions here in Box Elder County,” he said.
After the announcement was made to cancel that show, the aftermath of that decision was apparent.
“Amazing efforts are being made to take care of the youth throughout the state that weren’t able to participate in the Spanish Fork show,” Dallin said. “It is incredible to see the livestock community rally to support in this time of need.”
Dallin, along with many others involved in the junior livestock program, have been working hard to ensure that Box Elder County traditions stay strong. Story continues below...
“We are so blessed to live in a county that celebrates agriculture at its finest. Box Elder County is one of the largest agricultural producing regions in the state. Our roots run deep here and so does our desire to teach our children the importance of our agricultural heritage. Though we are facing unprecedented times, our agricultural producers continue each day to rise to the challenge of feeding the world,” Dallin said.
Another priority for USU Extension as well as the Bear River/Box Elder FFA Chapters, are continuing efforts to ensure livestock education is available to the youth through the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We have offered, and continue to offer, numerous livestock education experiences online. We hope that our youth will be able to apply what they are learning to their livestock projects that they have at home,” Dallin stated.
“I think that you will see that there is incredible leadership and optimism in regards to our livestock program and projects for the 2020 year,” he added.
Dallin isn’t worried about the future of the junior livestock program in Box Elder County.
“I am very excited for this 2020 year and have optimism that it will pan out to be one of the best yet,” he said.
Dallin also expressed his own feelings of confidence in Box Elder County and in the youth throughout the state of Utah.
“I don’t want to discount that it is a tragedy for so many youth across the state, but I am confident we will all rise together from this,” Dallin said.
“I am also so confident in the incredible people that make Box Elder County amazing,” he added.
For more information visit https://extension.usu.edu/boxelder/
The full statement released by the Box Elder Junior Livestock Board of Directors on April 15, 2020, is attached below.