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AgFest 2021 Planning Update

The AgFest Board is committed to hosting a live show this year and is working with the health department to develop a plan for the show that incorporates current Covid precautions. The San Joaquin County fairground is our preferred location and so far, negotiations have been positive, so we plan to host the event there as usual. We have also been in contact with the management of the Stanislaus County fairground as a backup location in the unlikely event that our planning with the local fairgrounds falls through. 

A live show will by necessity look very different than what we have done in the past. In order to accommodate CDC guidelines for limiting the spread of Covid-19, we will need to organize the show in such a way that allows for 6-foot social distancing and other guidelines. At a special meeting this week, AgFest members reviewed three approaches for accomplishing this and voted for an approach that allows us to proceed with all of our live show activities (market, breeding, still exhibits), while still minimizing contact. In order to do this, we will need to bring in one species at a time. The animals will come in, be shown, and then go home. In addition, AgFest members voted to restrict exhibitors to showing 1 market animal/replacement heifer in 2021. They will still be allowed to enter 2 animals but must select 1 to show. This will allow us to limit class sizes and exhibitor/parent presence throughout the day, thereby further limiting contact. At this time, we do not plan to limit breeding animals, but will revisit this decision in the event that Covid restrictions change. Still exhibits will be displayed and judged outdoors. We will hold another virtual auction similar to last year with market animals being delivered to a central location following the online sale.

This preliminary plan is based on Covid restrictions as they stand today. But as we all know, this is a moving target and the plan will be adjusted as needed. In the unlikely event that we are unable to make a live show work, either due to health department restrictions or issues with our chosen location options, we will pursue the virtual option.

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