COVID-19 In-Person Suspension Update: April 2

Dear 4‑H Families and Volunteers:

Rutgers University administration continues to monitor all pertinent health information associated with COVID-19, including transmission and positivity rates, updated CDC guidance, and public health guidance and directives issued by the State of New Jersey.

After considering the best available public health information and guidance, the university has extended the prohibition of indoor and outdoor events through at least April 30, 2021.

I understand the disappointment and frustration that this news will bring to some within our broad community of faculty, staff, volunteers, and program participants. This decision comes amid what is being characterized as a “third wave” of COVID-19 in New Jersey, as well as associated concerns over the impacts of virus variants on case numbers.

At the same time, the number of vaccine doses being administered is steadily rising and brings hope that we are moving, albeit gradually, toward the return of our normal operating status. The specific timeline for resuming in-person program modalities remains uncertain. It is possible that future conditions will require the university to again extend program restrictions. However, NJAES leadership is working with central administration on a phased approach to restarting in-person RCE programming. Plans are being reviewed by the university’s emergency operations committee and, once approved, we will develop the necessary training and communicate operating protocols for us to responsibly reinitiate in-person programs.

I extend to you my heartfelt gratitude for all that you are doing. Please stay safe and take time to care for yourselves.


Brian Schilling
Director, Rutgers Cooperative Extension
April 2, 2021

Attention Horse Project Members

The Horse Registration deadline has been extended to May 1

In the hope that we may be able to resume some in-person activities soon, please remember that members who want to participate in 4-H Qualifying Shows and the State 4-H Horse Show must declare their project animals no later than May 1.

The form to register those animals with the county 4-H office can be found at

If your members do not own the animal they will be using, the lease/borrow form is also there and should be sent in with the registration form by May 1 as well.

You may mail, fax, email, or hand-deliver them to the 4-H Office.

Contact Dave ( or Tanya ( if you have any questions.


NJ 4-H Animal Art Contest – Get Creative – Entries Due April 12!

NH 4-H is excited to announce the New Jersey 4-H Animal Art Contest – FREE and open to all NJ 4-H members in grades K-13!  While all artwork must be animal-themed, you do NOT need to be enrolled in that particular animal project to enter art in that department.  You don’t even need to have an animal project to enter the contest, as long as you are a registered NJ 4-H member with animal-themed artwork that you created since September 1, 2020.  Join the fun and showcase your talent!  Entries are due April 12.

The NJ 4-H Animal Art Contest is actually five art contests – you may enter your animal-themed artwork in the following departments.  Each department will recognize their own division winners and best of show recipients:

  • Dogs
  • Equine
  • Livestock (beef, dairy, goats, sheep, and swine)
  • Small Animals (rabbits, gerbils, hamsters, guinea pigs, herpetology, and poultry)
  • Other Species (any animal not featured in the other departments – including alpacas, llamas, cats, and wildlife)

Divisions and Classes
In each of the above departments, there are four divisions: (1) 2-D Art (includes paintings, drawings, sketches using a variety of media), (2) 3-D Art (includes sculptures and crafts using any type of media, including but not limited to clay, foam, fiber, fabric, wood, model magic, etc.), (3) Photography (includes five classes – Action, B/W or Sepia, Digital Darkroom, Still Life, Storyboard) and (4) Videos (includes short creative videos of animals, taken by you).

Classes in each of the above divisions within each department will be organized by grade.

  • Cloverbud (grades K-3)
  • Junior (grades 4-8)
  • Senior (grades 9-13)

In each of the departments, members may enter two art projects in each class.  For example, a member may enter two projects in 2-D Art, two projects in 3-D Art, two projects in each of the five Photography classes, and two projects in Videos  – for each department.

Each participant will receive feedback from our judges.  All Cloverbuds will be recognized with a participation ribbon.  Those in the Junior (grades 4-8) and Senior (grades 9-13) classes will receive ribbons using the Danish system (Excellent, Very Good, Good, etc.).

In addition, $25 gift cards to Shop 4-H will be awarded to the exhibitor earning Best in Show recognition in each of the five departments for both the Juniors (grades 4-8) and Seniors (grades 9-13).  All Best in Division winners for both the Juniors (grades 4-8) and Seniors (grades 9-13) will receive a rosette.

For more information and how to register go to:
NJ 4-H Animal Art Contest – Get Creative – Entries Due April 12! (

Congrats to Lauren Guerriero for placing 5th in the Senior Individual division during the NJ State 4-H Equine Presentation Event held virtually on March 14, 2021.

Lauren is a member of the Sussex County Merry-Go-Riders 4-H Horse Club.

Agricultural Scholarships are now available

Agricultural Scholarships are presented each year by the Ag. Division of the NJ State Fair/Sussex County Farm & Horse Show and applications are now being accepted for any Sussex County graduating high school senior or college student currently enrolled in an agricultural program pursuing a two or four-year degree, or graduate studies in one of the many fields of Agriculture. 

For more information and the application please go to and click on Fairgrounds/Ag/Ag. History for the PDF application.  Information is also available in local guidance offices.  Mail application to the Ag. Scholarship Selection Committee, c/o G. Danko, P.O Box 2456, Branchville, NJ 07826.  The deadline is April 15th.

To view all scholarships that may available to 4-H members go to Forms – Sussex County 4-H ( and scroll down to the Scholarship section.

Community Service Opportunity for 4-H TEEN, LEADERS & Parents

WGIRLS INC is seeking volunteers who can help seniors without any help or computer knowledge get COVID-19 appointments. The group connects volunteers with a senior and gives them the tools, such as apps, bots, and resources, to help schedule appointments.

A link to more information and the sign-up form is here:

Save the Date for Virtual Rutgers Day

Join us for science experiments, demonstrations, readings, contests, and more, all from the comfort of your home. Our faculty, staff, and students are working hard to prepare exciting virtual programming for you to enjoy.

For a list of planned events go to: Program Listing | Rutgers Day

For more information about Virtual Rutgers Day, contact the Office of Community Affairs, 848-445-1921, or

USDA Agency Launches New Site for Science-Minded Students
AgLab, a new science-education website operated by USDA’s Agricultural Research Service, is now “open for business” to students and educators alike. For more information go to

Information and Programs For Our 4-H Parents and Leaders

Rutgers NJAES Calendar: All Statewide Events

Classes scheduled for next weeks are:

Monday, April 5, 2021; 6:30 pm – Earth Day Every Day Webinar: Infusing EcoTherapy Into Your Life
Tuesday, April 6, 2021; 2 pm:
Nutrition & Physical Activity for the Childbearing Year: Preconception Health
Tuesday, April 6, 2021; 3:00 pm – Live Well & Stay Healthy Webinar: Food and Mood
Tuesday, April 6, 2021; 6:30 pmSustainable Beekeeping (fee)
Tuesday, April 6, 2021; 6:30 pmPet First Aid & CPR Certification  (Fee)
Wednesday, April 7, 2021; Artistic Creativity for Health Across the Life-Span
Thursday, April 8, 2021; 6:30 pm – RU Ready 2 Garden FREE webinar: Controlling Garden Weeds Without Pesticides

Friday, April 9 – 15, 2021; – CORE Training Program for the NJ Pesticide Applicators LicenseONLINE COURSE (fee)

Monday, April 12, 2021; 6:30 pm – Earth Day Every Day Webinar: From Rain Gardens to Rain Barrels; Protecting Watersheds at Home
Monday, April 12, 2021; 6:30 pm:
Gardening@Home Series – Perennials for All Seasons (Day 1 of 4) (fee)
Tuesday, April 13, 2021; 2 pm: Nutrition & Physical Activity for the Childbearing Year: Pregnancy
Tuesday, April 6, 2021; 3:00 pm – Live Well & Stay Healthy Webinar: Food and Mood
Wednesday, April 7, 2021;
Thursday, April 15, 2021; 6:30 pm – RU Ready 2 Preserve Food at Home: Freezing
Thursday, April 15, 2021; 6:30 pm – RU Ready 2 Garden FREE webinar: Irrigation Options for the Home Gardener

Rutgers “Earth Day Every Day!”
Spring 2021 series

Rutgers Cooperative Extension’s “Earth Day Every Day” educational webinar series is back for Spring 2021. Open to the public, these free sessions focus on steps everyone can take to protect the environment. We can all do our part to take actions that make our homes more sustainable, from starting a native plant garden, to protecting local watersheds, to choosing the right trees for your property. These actions, more than ever, start at home.

Join us every Monday online to learn and ask questions of the experts at Rutgers Cooperative Extension. Every week we will cover a different topic and leave you with small actions that, together, will reduce negative impacts on the environment. The spring lineup will cover eight topics, from starting a native plant garden to understanding food systems and climate change. There is also an RU Wildlife Wise session with the Rutgers Wildlife Conservation and Management Program about how to help injured or orphaned baby animals.

Each live webinar will be one hour and will be presented via Zoom. To join, you need a computer, tablet, or smartphone with speakers. More information about these free sessions and a link to register can be found here.

4/12/21 – From Rain Gardens to Rain Barrels; Protecting Watersheds at Home
4/19/21 – Food Systems and Climate Change
4/26/21 – Trees, Wonderful Trees

The buzz at Rutgers University OCPE that the Online Mini Bee Series is the Bees Knees!

For more information, BEE sure to contact Pamela Mayer at

Sustainable Beekeeping
April 6, 2021 – 6:30 pm – 8 pm
This 1.5 hour webinar will present ways that beekeepers can maintain their beehives in a more sustainable way.

By participating in the program, 4-H will provide educators with FL curriculum, hard and electronic copies, youth workbooks, take-home sheets for families, and virtual family night opportunities to share with students and club members, and will connect you to ongoing financial literacy content knowledge training and curriculum resources.

Educators are asked to implement a minimum of 6 hours of FL lessons, share family night opportunities with their students, and complete an end-of-program 4-H evolution for students. 

Online Survey Software | Qualtrics Survey Solutions

4-H Partners with JOANN for the ‘Opportunity for All’ Campaign

JOANN stores are helping 4-H bring more hands-on programs to local communities across the nation to inspire kids to lead lives with their heads, hands, and hearts.

Today through April 30, 2021, visit your local JOANN store and donate at the register. A $4 or more donation comes with a $4 off coupon for a later purchase. 100% of the funds donated go back to   4-H with 70% going back to the county 4-H program and 30% going to National 4-H Council. 

JOANN will be offering a free, take-home craft kit event on April 3 in all stores. The craft kits will include LEGO DOTs and kids will be able to create a bunny and chick. In each bag, there will be messaging about donating to 4-H and creating ‘opportunity for all’.

In addition, JOANN wants to support individual 4-H’ers involvement by providing a rewards card for 4-H members, leaders, staff, and parents. The rewards card gives holders 15% off their purchase every day.  To sign up go to

The Sussex County Fairgrounds Presents:
A Day of Learning

May 2, 2021

On May 2, 2021 the Fairgrounds facilities will be transformed into “classrooms” for the day, offering 15 unique lectures on a variety of topics presented by experienced and captivating instructors (some you may even know!) This is an ALL-VOLUNTEER effort to support the Fairgrounds and other community organizations. Please join us!

The day will be divided into 3 time periods. Five individual classes will be taught during each time period. Attendees (“students’) will select one of the 5 classes offered each period, for a total of 3 classes. In addition, students can attend the Bonus Class / Keynote Speaker presentation after the conclusion of the three class periods.

For full event details or to register go to: A Day of Learning: Overview | New Jersey State Fair (

WHAT IS AN ASKABLE ADULT? An askable adult is one who is approachable and easy for youth to talk to about anything that is on their mind. Qualities of adults who are “askable” include patience, consistency, respectfulness, honesty, kindness, attentiveness, trustworthiness, lightheartedness, open-mindedness, non-judgment, and knowledgeability. Askable adults often have a similar racial/ethnic or sexual identity as the young person or common background experience.

WHO SHOULD ATTEND? This training is designed for adults who are interested in becoming more “askable” and supportive of the youth in their lives. Open to all adults, educators, summer programs and camp staff, parents, youth development professionals, and youth group volunteers. Participants will enhance skills that will enable them to have strong, trusting, and affirming relationships, communicate more effectively, strengthen connections, and be a valuable resource for the young people in their lives.


Zoom details will be sent following registration. Participants must attend both sessions. For more info on the Askable Adult Campaign, check out the Vermont Network Askable Adult Campaign. Registration will be capped at 35 participants.

Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Instagram 

tutgers covid message
About the author