We are sorry to have to deliver this message to you. Along with 4-H staff, the state dog project volunteer show planning committees from La Crosse and Washington Counties have made the decision to cancel the following education experiences for 2020:
- WI 4-H Dog Agility Show (Middleton, WI)
- WI 4-H Obedience & Showmanship Show (Washington County Fair Park)
The WI 4-H dog show planning committees are extremely dedicated to doing everything they can to provide these educational experiences for Wisconsin 4-H participants and we are very grateful for their efforts to host the shows this year. Throughout the pandemic, they had held out hope that they would still be able to host these shows in August. With current public health safety restrictions for the months of June and July, county dog projects around the state are unable to gather for practices as dog training is an inherently social activity necessitating close physical contact. The lack of ability to hold behavioral dog training in preparation for these shows creates an unacceptable safety risk for 4-H participants and volunteers to gather for these state shows. Additionally, current COVID-19 health restrictions are unclear for off-campus youth events in August and it is likely that we may be forced to cancel these shows to avoid community spread as the health of our participants and their families is our top concern. Lastly, the planning committees were unable to fundraise sufficiently to host these shows as many local business sponsors have taken a financial hit due to the economic slowdown.
We deeply regret the need to cancel these events for 2020 as we know it is yet another loss for our young people this year. For youth in their final year of 4-H participation (13th grade), we invite them to return in 2021 to participate in the alumni class at the obedience and showmanship show. We also invite youth to apply the leadership qualities and mastery of skills by supporting these future events as 4-H volunteers to continue the 4-H tradition.
In the absence of these events, we want to encourage participants to continue to stay as active with dog project education and training. Please check out the Wisconsin State 4-H Dog Project Facebook page for some great obedience training videos provided by the Kewaunee dog project. The Wisconsin 4-H Program page also has links to dog project resources. Also, check out the American Kennel Club (AKC) Titles & Programs You Can Do From Home and a Virtual Rally program. Please take care of yourselves and loved ones during this challenging time.
WI 4-H Staff & State Dog Show Committees
For questions and more information, please contact:
Joe Muellenberg, Wisconsin 4-H Program Outreach Specialist