County fairs are all about showing the real farm outside of its borders. But due to health reasons the Elkhart County 4-H fair will use stuffed animals instead.
Recently Indiana state has issued a ban on poultry transport to prevent the spread of the H5 avian influenza virus, Goshen News reports. This means that birds will not be on display or able to take part in any way during the 2015 County Fair.
The 2015 Elkhart County 4-H Fair carries the motto “Planning Toward a Bright Future” and is scheduled between July 24th to August 1st. It is expected the ban to last until the end of the year and there will be no exceptions.
The news were troubling for the fair organizers, the 4-H Poultry Club, because they want to keep the participating nearly 200 students involved. Keeping the birds away presents a challenge since they often get quite a lot of attention.
“It’s definitely been a different year,” Valerie Jacobs, leader of the 4-H Poultry Club, says. “But honestly I’ve been very fortunate to have a good leadership team. We’re just trying to make as many lemonades and lemon pies out of the lemons we’ve been getting.”
So there will be lots of alternative events and the news about the banning of chickens didn’t seem to phase registrations. There are already nearly 50 more registrations than last year and there is still quite a lot of time left until the fair.
The Indiana State Board of Animal Health also joined with ideas. Amongst them is to get a few stuffed chickens like Buffy the Hen to use them for displays. The organizers loved the idea and Buffy the Hen will take part in the County Fair.
There will also be a Chicken Flying Contest but with a new touch. Rubber chickens will be flung from a slingshot in order to be caught.
This year the main goal of the Fair will be expanding knowledge about the animals, poultry and health while having fun.