2016 Animal Crackers: Udderly Moomentous!

Held on Saturday, May 7th, the 26th annual educational spring outreach event, affectionately known as “Animal Crackers” hosted by the Department of Animal Science, filled Morrison Hall with nearly 300 participants travelling from over 32 different counties in New York State.  The workshop series was once again organized by a planning committee of campus and county based Cooperative Extension 4-H Educators in cooperation with Department of Animal Science staff and was designed to encourage youth to engage in science themes related to animals.

From healthcare, nutrition and disease prevention to anatomy, animal behavior and safe handling topics, Animal Crackers introduces new 4-H project members to best management practices for raising healthy animals that provide food and fiber for the world.    This year, with the help of nearly 40 volunteers, 14 different workshop experiences were offered to 4-H’ers who had an interest in goats and dairy cattle.  2016-bGuests were treated to opening remarks by Dr. Andy Turner, NYS 4-H Youth Development Program Leader.  Dr. Turner encouraged attendees to think about Cornell in their future, especially if they had an interest in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) fields.  He also welcomed participants to campus and reminded the audience of the many year ‘round opportunities the New York State 4-H youth development program has to offer. He concluded by thanking all the volunteers involved and shared an inspirational 4-H Public Service Announcement recently broadcast across the nation to tell the 4-H story. You too can share your story about #True Leaders. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ka5vblCkGF8

2016-cClosing speaker, Ed Facer, a CALS alumni now with Red Barn Consulting, encouraged youth to take advantage of opportunities wherever they exist.  The primary objectives of the 4-H youth animal science program are to: 1) Increase understanding of and engage youth in critical thinking about animal biology concepts, 2) Increase understanding of safe, ethical, responsible and sustainable ways to raise and manage domestic animals, and 3) Increase career awareness and access to educational opportunities needed to prepare for animal related careers in adulthood.

For more than a quarter century, Animal Crackers has been credited by 4-H’ers as their very first step onto a college campus which provided motivation and encouragement to continue exploring opportunities to learn more. Many thanks go out to all the volunteers from Cornell University, Cooperative Extension and the community.  In addition, the 2016 event would not have been possible without the generous support of sponsors including the NYS 4-H Foundation Willman Fund, Nabisco and Agri-Plastics.  To learn more about future opportunities to connect kids to Cornell, visit Cornell Cooperative Extension’s 4-H Youth Development website  http://nys4h.cce.cornell.edu/Pages/default.aspx  or Cornell’s Department of Animal Science http://4h.ansci.cornell.edu/events-2/animal-crackers/

Poultry Ban Lifted for NYS Fair

The ban has officially been lifted on poultry exhibits at fairs.  Officials will continue to watch out for Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza.   Producers and 4-H members are encouraged to observe good bio-security practices.  If HPAI should arise close to NY and the risk seems high, poultry activities may be limited once again, so please encourage 4-H leaders to be thinking about alternate projects…just in case. See Repeal of Poultry Order 2016.

New York State 4-H Livestock Teams Excel

livestock15_photo1ITHACA, N.Y —15 New York State 4-H teens and their coaches and chaperones represented New York’s 4-H Livestock program at the North American International Livestock Exposition (NAILE) and the National 4-H Poultry & Egg Conference in Louisville, KY in November 2015. These youth representatives were selected based on their performance at state level competitions held annually at the New York State Fair in Syracuse. (More … )
Poultry Team members: Ethan Jacobson (Orange), Madeline Chairvolotti (Clinton), Richard Lawson (Ontario), Camille Ledoux (Lewis), Kevin Lewis (Orange), Marlie Lukach (Tioga), and Grace Nicol (Ontario), coached by Michele Ledoux (Lewis), Lucy Joyce (Orange), and Rachel Moody (Orange).

Livestock Judging Team members: Branden Decker (Chautauqua), Michelle Parsels (Steuben), Zachary Wratten (Oneida), and Chase Gerhardt (Erie), coached by Sarah Hardy (Oneida) and Dale Gowanlock (Erie)
Livestock Skillathon Team members: Melissa Keller (Genesee), Rachel Rouland (Wayne), Megan Wilmot (Otsego), and Molly Watson (Otsego), coached by MacKenzie Waro (Otsego)

Congratulations to teams representing NY

EasternNationalA hearty CONGRATULATIONS to all of the members of the teams representing the NY Horse 4-H program at the Eastern National 4-H Horse Roundup in Louisville, KY this year! You should be very proud of yourselves!

This year there were a total of 310 contestants from 26 states across the US.NY had a great showing this year with all of our teams placing in the top 10! Our Hippology Team placed 4th in 3 of 4 of the phases of the competition: The Written, Stations, and Problem Solving phases.  In addition- the team placed 4th Overall!  Our Horse Bowl Team placed 4th as well in their competition.  In the Judging competition, the NY team placed 6th in the Conformation classes, and just missed the top 10 in the Halter classes and Overall, coming in 11th in both. The 2015 Communications team placed 10th Overall.
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