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Iowa bans 2015 poultry shows

By Staff | May 29, 2015

-Farm News photo by Peter Kaspari Anna Lewandowski, 14, of Fort Dodge, holds her New Hampshire red chicken, Sunshine, that she was planning on showing at the Webster County Fair this summer. Because of a statewide ban on poultry shows, she won’t be able to show her chickens or ducks.

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FORT?DODGE?- The ban on poultry shows at all Iowa fairs due to the avian influenza outbreak has local show organizers thinking of alternative events for 4-H’ers.

As of Friday, there were 51 confirmed sites affected by the bird flu in Iowa, according to the Iowa Department of Agriculture.

More than 25.5 million birds are affected, it reported.

While there have been no cases reported in Webster County, Linda Cline, 4-H youth coordinator with Iowa State University Extension, said it was not surprising that the decision was made to cancel all poultry events in the state.

Linda Cline Mug

“There were many county fairs already making this decision,” Cline said. “We decided to just kind of wait and see what would happen.”

The decision to cancel will impact 35 exhibits that were expected to be shown this summer at the Webster County Fair.

“We have a pretty big poultry show,” Cline said. “It was about five hours last year.”

Instead, Cline said Webster County 4-H officials will come up with an alternative.

“We will be working on how they could demonstrate their knowledge some other way at the fair,” she said. “They always have an opportunity to have a static exhibit at the fair, as well.”

The exact plans have yet to be determined.

“We’ll probably work with the fair board and different project leaders,” Cline said. “See how we can help the kids and learn from this opportunity.”

This isn’t the first time a disease has impacted a fair show, she said.

“There is always security. We work closely with the fair veterinarian with what’s going on. Each year is different with what can occur.”

Anna Lewandowski, 14, of Fort Dodge, was going to show her chickens and ducks at the Webster County Fair. But the member of the Sonrays 4-H Club can’t do that now.

“I was a little disappointed,” Lewandowski said Friday. “But it’s for safety.”

Even though she understands why the ban was issued, Lewandowski said it’s frustrating to not be able to show her hard work.

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