COVID-19 updates for youth livestock families
The Wisconsin Youth Livestock Program provided important updates for families as they navigate through the fluid events revolving around COVID-19.
The University of Wisconsin Division of Extension is requiring all 4-H Clubs and 4-H Groups that coordinate/lead livestock weigh-ins to postpone or cancel these activities effective immediately. Some counties have beef weigh-ins that should delay. In general, lamb weigh-ins are farther out on the calendar. Swine weigh-ins, in most cases, have been discontinued because of the introduction of the swine health rule.
Fairgrounds have been closed to events, and livestock markets may be closed or will not entertain that activity. Many livestock markets have made alternative modifications for producers in dropping off livestock with no interaction of workers with producers.
Fair animal tags
Fair animals need to be identified for several reasons, such as animal management and animal health. Counties needing to get tags to exhibitors should do so with minimal to no human-to-human interaction. Have exhibitors communicate how many tags are needed for their families. Have someone package these tags wearing rubber gloves. Identify packets and leave at an unmanned distribution area. Communicate with families where the tags are located and utilize a staggered schedule for pickup. (Ie: Last name – A-F at 10 a.m., G-P at 11 a.m. and so on.)
Purchasing of animals
Since this situation is fluid and uncertain at this time, it ultimately is a family decision whether they purchase animals this year. Families should use the same precautions as instructed by the CDC when purchasing animals minimizing human-to-human interaction and social distancing.
Many livestock auctions or sales are now online, and arrangements to acquire animals could be delayed.
Fairs and auctions
The current situation doesn’t lend itself to make any announcements or comments on these events. We hope activities will resume soon.
YQCA (Youth for the Quality Care of Animals)
YQCA instructor-led meetings (ILT) should be postponed and students should utilize the online modules. There will be information forthcoming on YQCA online modules.
Disclaimer: These are recommendations based on the current information as of March 20, /2020, related to state and national public health to minimize the spread of COVID-19. Further updates to these recommendations are based on new information from state and national public health recommendations.
Recommendations from this document can change. When possible, refer to CDC or other expert guidance. www.cdc.gov.