Missouri Ruralist logo

The Saline County Fair allowed a girl to participate virtually while she was in quarantine.

August 25, 2020

3 Min Read
A collage of a young girl holding her duck and sharing her muffins
ONLINE SHOW: Audrey Tinoco was able to exhibit her duck, along with her muffins, virtually during the Saline County Fair thanks to technology. Photos courtesy of MU Extension

Saline County 4-H’er Audrey Tinoco was set to compete at the Saline County Fair in fashion revue, demonstrations, building exhibits and poultry events. Then a family member tested positive for COVID-19. As she quarantined for 14 days, Tinoco's hopes of participating in this year’s fair faded.

But Chelsea Corkins, University of Missouri Extension county engagement specialist in 4-H youth development, was not going to let all the work by a county 4-H member be wasted. She quickly drew up guidelines allowing Tinoco a chance to provide video and images of her projects — all in less than 48 hours.

“An important component of effective education is that we must meet our learners where they are at — whether physically, mentally or emotionally,” Corkins says. “This was our opportunity to put words into action.”

Show options

Corkins worked with the Saline County Fair superintendent and received a quick approval of submission guidelines. Tinoco submitted her outfits, demonstrations and building exhibits photos and videos by email. She used FaceTime live video to show her poultry entries. This allowed for real-time questions from the judge and participants, just as if she were there in person.

Related: Complete coronavirus coverage

“It was really cool to be able to do 4-H,” Tinoco says. “My mom had told me even though it wasn’t my fault, I would not be able to do any of it this year because of our quarantine. I was really upset because I had worked really hard on my ducks, projects and my demonstrations. When my mom was told I could do it, just differently, I was so excited I couldn’t stop smiling.”

The chance to participate was particularly invaluable this year, Tinoco’s mother, Amanda, says. “We have been trying to make the best of the COVID situation and try to keep things as normal as possible. Even though it has been difficult, 4-H has still been something stable for her that she has been able to keep doing just like past years. She really enjoys it.”

Rewards from innovation

Through the collaborative work of both 4-H and Tinoco, the experience paid off. She qualified for state competitions in fashion revue and egg demonstration and foods, and her duck entry won Grand Champion waterfowl.

Tinoco’s final day of quarantine fell the day before the Premium Sale. Because her entry placed via the FaceTime judging session, she was eligible to show in person at the fair with her duck, newly named “Big Money.”

“This experience helped us see how Saline County 4-H can innovate further,” Corkins says. “We look forward to providing an inclusive environment to youth, including engaging those who have never before been actively involved in 4-H. We’d also like to thank the Saline County Fair Association for their willingness to rapidly adjust and use unfamiliar technologies for this event. Together, we met this unforeseeable challenge for our county’s youth.”

Source: University of Missouri Extension, which is solely responsible for the information provided and is wholly owned by the source. Informa Business Media and all its subsidiaries are not responsible for any of the content contained in this information asset.

Read more about:

Covid 19
Subscribe to receive top agriculture news
Be informed daily with these free e-newsletters

You May Also Like