With seniors not receiving the full recognition due to COVID-19 outbreak, Brown County 4-H would like to spotlight graduating 4-H seniors. If you would like for us to spotlight you on Facebook and the newsletter follow the link below to fill out the form


https://brown.agrilife.org/brown-county-4-h-senior-spotlight/ We would like for you to start submitting your forms by April 22. The final deadline to submit your form will be May 5.


For more information contact Nick Gonzales at the Extension Office.


BROWN COUNTY YOUTH FAIR CHECKS


The 4-H checks for the Brown County Youth Fair are available for you to pick up at the Brown County Extension Office.  A thank you letter should be written to each buyer who contributed towards your project. Make sure that it is stamped and addressed as you will be responsible to mail these letters off.


Due to COVID-19 we are restricting face to face contact; therefore, we will have our drive through window available for check pick up. The window will be open from 8:30 a.m. – noon and 1 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. The drive-up window is located on the east side of the building (where Misty usually parks her vehicle) and the gates will be open so you can drive through and exit on Brown Street. Thank you for working with us during this time, as we are trying to make it as convenient as possible but still allowing everyone to remain safe.


30 DAY PHOTOGRAPHY CHALLENGE


Put your photography skills to the test. Review the challenge topic for the day and then take your best photos with whatever camera you have available. Keep it simple. Interpret the topic however you like, or research that type of photography online for ideas. The intent is to give youth some photography challenges during this time when most will still be sequestered at home. This is not a contest, but simply a personal challenge youth can compete on their own to hone their skills. There is a Texas 4-H Photography Project Facebook page and group you can follow at https://www.facebook.com/TX4Hphotography/ instructions and guidelines are outlined on the page.


RABBIT HEMORRHAGIC DISEASE


The Texas Animal Health Commission (TAHC) was notified of the presence of Rabbit Hemorrhagic Disease Virus 2 (RHDV2) in domestic rabbits on a Hockley County premises on April 10. This is the first confirmed case of RHDV2 in Texas.


RHDV2 is a fatal, viral disease that affects both domestic and wild rabbits, including hares, jackrabbits and cottontails. It does not affect human health or affect other animal species.


The RHDV2 strain is a rare disease in the U.S. and was first identified on several islands in Washington State in July 2019. Since that time, it has been confirmed in both wild and domestic rabbits in New Mexico and Arizona.


The highly contagious foreign animal disease spreads between rabbits through contact with infected rabbits or carcasses, their meat or their fur, contaminated food or water, or materials coming in contact with them. RHDV2 can persist in the environment for a very long time. These factors make disease control efforts extremely challenging once it is in the wild rabbit populations.


"Vaccines are not available or approved for use in Texas at this time," said Dr. Andy Schwartz, State Veterinarian and TAHC Executive Director. "It is of the upmost importance that rabbit owners practice strong biosecurity in order to protect and mitigate the risk of disease in their rabbit herds."


Protecting Your Rabbits with Biosecurity


The following procedures can reduce the chance of RHDV2 and other contagious diseases from affecting domestic rabbits.


• House rabbits indoors if possible.


• Do not allow pet, feral, or wild rabbits to come in contact with your rabbits or gain entry to the facility or home.


• Always wash your hands with warm soapy water between pens and before and after entering your rabbit area.


• Keep a closed rabbitry. Do not introduce new rabbits from unknown or untrusted sources.


• If you bring new rabbits into your facility or home, keep them separated from your existing rabbits. Use separate equipment for newly acquired or sick rabbits to avoid spreading disease.


• Control flies, rats, cats, dogs, birds, etc. that can physically move the virus around on their feet or body.


• Do not collect outdoor forage and browse to feed rabbits since it may be contaminated.


• Remove brush, grass, weeds, trash, and debris from the rabbitry to reduce rodents.


• Protect feed from contamination by flies, birds, rodents, etc.


• Remove and properly dispose (i.e. bury or incinerate) of dead rabbits promptly.


• When moving rabbits or restocking pens disinfect all equipment and cages with 10% bleach mixed with water or other approved products. Properly dispose of bedding. Items made of wood are difficult to disinfect and best discarded.


• Breeders should review their biosecurity plans for gaps and all rabbit owners should establish a working relationship with a veterinarian to review biosecurity practices for identification and closure of possible gaps.


Rabbit owners who have questions about RHDV2 or observe sudden death in their rabbits should contact their private veterinarian. Private veterinarians are requested to contact the USDA-APHIS or the TAHC to report any suspected cases at 1-800-550-8242. Report all unusual mass morbidity (sickness) or mortality (deaths) events to the TAHC. Visit https://www.tahc.texas.gov/animal_health/rabbits/ for more information about rabbit hemorrhagic disease.


4-H HORSE VALIDATION THROUGH MAY 1


Validation is required for showing at district or state horse shows, and its purpose is to certify that ownership requirements have been met. The horse MUST be owned solely by the 4-H member, his/her parents (biological or stepparents), brother, sister, grandparents, or legal guardian. Horses under lease to, but not owned by any of the named persons, do NOT qualify. Horses owned in partnership or jointly with any person other than those previously listed do NOT meet ownership requirements. The horse validation process will be completed electronically using the 4-H Connect online management system.


All 4-H members who wish to show at the District Show or the State 4-H Horse Show will be REQUIRED to validate their horse(s) on the 4-H Connect system. Horse validation is completed for EACH HORSE and will cover all 4-H youth members in that family profile. When validating your horse(s) on 4-H Connect, you will select ONLY ONE 4-H youth member to conduct the validation under. Once a horse is validated, validation paid, and you begin registering for the District Horse Show, the validated horse(s) can be moved to the appropriate 4-H member(s) that will be exhibiting the horse in the show.


Validation will be open through May 1. Any horse validated before or after this date will NOT be accepted. An illustrated step-by-step instruction guide for families is available for download and reference on both the Texas 4-H website (http://texas4-h.tamu.edu/) and the Texas A&M University Department of Animal Science – Equine Science website (http://animalscience.tamu.edu/academics/equine/state-4h-show/). Validation cost for each horse is $20 from April 16-May 1. Credit cards will be the only acceptable form of payment. If you have any questions, please contact Nick Gonzales at the Extension Office.


The 2020 district horse show will be held in San Angelo on June 16.


HEALTHY TEXAS YOUTH AMBASSADORS


The Healthy Texas Youth Ambassador Program is looking for teens that are motivated, excited, and ready to make a change in their community!  This program is designed for high school age youth who have a passion for health and wellness.  These youth will be trained at the regional level to become youth health experts who can motivate others to make a change in their lifestyle to improve their health.  More importantly, these ambassadors will assist local county extension agents with program efforts, project activities, and much more!


Who’s Eligible?


Youth do not have to be current 4-H members, but must be willing to join 4-H.


Eligibility requirements include:


• Be in at least the 9th grade at beginning of the 2020-2021 school year


• Submit completed application to the local county extension office by May 1, 2020


• Have an interest and passion to serve others in the area of health education which includes nutrition, physical activity, passenger safety, and safe environments!


What does the program entail?


After youth are accepted to the local program, they must fulfill the following obligations:


• Complete and report 40* hours of leadership, program efforts, or community service annually. *This is a reduction in previous hours to be consistent with other ambassador programs.


• Attend a Regional Healthy Texas Youth Ambassador Summit in a location nearest to them.


• Attend face-to-face and online trainings


• Remain academically eligible.


• Must agree to the obligations and requirements outlined in the HT Youth Ambassador Handbook.


• Ambassadorship is a 12-month commitment, beginning June 2020. Ambassadors who fulfill the minimum (40) hours of service will be invited to reapply for the following year. New and returning ambassadors MUST complete a new application annually.


• To meet all commitments for which the Ambassador volunteers and to complete those commitments with excellence.


What is the cost?


Currently, there is no application fee for this program; however, selected ambassadors will be required to pay the estimated registration fee of $75-$100 for the regional Healthy Texas Youth Ambassador Summit.


Deadline to apply is May 1. For more information contact the Extension Office.