The Teton County Board of Health will meet on May 26 at 2 p.m. in the conference room on the main floor of the county Courthouse in Choteau to consider granting permission for a youth steer show on June 6 and the county 4-H Fair on June 24-28, both in Choteau.

Organizers for both events are encouraging high-risk individuals (those over age 65 or with underlying health conditions) to stay at home. Similarly, people who have frequent contact or live with high-risk individuals should not attend.

Chelsee Yeager will present a summary of the Renegade Youth Steer Show and Jackpot event, which would be held at the Weatherbeater Arena.

The Renegade Show written health plan provides that:

•No one who is ill will be allowed to attend.

•The Weatherbeater Arena barn will be well marked with signs to ensure social distancing guidelines are being met.

•Social distancing will be enforced for participants and their families, trailer parking, judges and show workers.

•Everyone who comes into the event will be screened for symptoms of COVID-19.

•Registration will be done by mail before the event.

•Handwashing stations will be available and bathrooms will be cleaned by show staff every hour.

•A local food truck and coffee truck will be invited to attend and customers will be asked to continue to socially distance.

•Attendees will be advised to wear face masks when in public places and to practice social distancing at all times.

•No spectators will be allowed.

Teton County Extension Agent Jane Wolery will present the Teton County 4-H Council’s written plan for holding an abbreviated and condensed county fair for 4-H club members.

The Teton County 4-H Fair is an event where youth and their families gather to showcase educational project work, learn through evaluation and connect with others. Typically, around 150 4-H youth participate in the fair through static exhibit judging and animal shows. The shows and exhibits are open to the public and the event culminates with a 4-H supporter reception and livestock sale, which draws an estimated 500 people. The facilities used are the Choteau Pavilion, the Weatherbeater Arena and the rodeo grounds.

Under the Council’s COVID-19 fair plan, many of the typical events will be changed. The animal shows will be modified to allow for the fewest touch points and to accommodate social distancing. The market livestock sale will be converted to online and in person (at the Stage Stop Inn) using photos and/or videos of the cattle, sheep, goats and lambs. Static exhibits will be judged and photographed at the Choteau Pavilion but there will be no public display and 4-H’ers will have the option to take part in interview judging or opt out. None of the events will be open to the public.

The 4-H Council will allow 4-H members and limited immediate family members to attend the livestock shows, and families will be encouraged not to bring their younger children or other children who aren’t in 4-H to the events. Registration will be done online or through the mail.

New protocols will also be instituted for weighing in and photographing livestock, for participating in the livestock shows and for shipping the animals after the fair.

Hand sanitizers will be provided at all the livestock shows and equipment used in the shows will be sanitized between each use. There will be no bleachers in the arena, families should plan to stand or bring their own seating, in accordance with social distancing measures.

There will be no common or picnic gathering areas and no food or beverages will be sold or provided.

All participants and everyone else attending will be screened for COVID-19 symptoms. Staff will wear masks at high contact points or when six-feet social distancing cannot be maintained. Judges will not shake hands with participants.

The following events will be dropped from the 2020 fair: Textile judging, textile show, family dance, Round Robin showmanship, public spectators, live animal auction, ribbon and premium disbursal in person, Meat and Greet Buyer’s reception, concessions and the in-person carcass evaluation event.

The textile judging will be rescheduled for late July under certain conditions.

The new schedule will be: 

•Tuesday, June 23: Each species superintendent and MSU Extension agents will select a minimal crew to set up any pens in the area and the office staff will set up their supplies and computers in the Weatherbeater Arena.

•Wednesday, June 24: Interview judging for those who choose to participate will be from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Choteau Pavilion.

•Thursday, June 25: Lamb, goat and small animal shows will be held at the Weatherbeater.

•Friday, June 26: Market beef and breeding show will be held at the Weatherbeater.

•Saturday, June 27: Market swine and breeding show will be held at the Weatherbeater, and the market animal sale will be held that evening at the Stage Stop Inn’s Rocky Mountain Convention Center.

The Board of Health will listen to the presentations, take public comment on each plan, discuss each plan and then vote whether to allow the event as proposed in the plans or to allow the events as planned with modifications or to prohibit the events as proposed.

The state will move from Phase I to Phase II in Gov. Steve Bullock’s Reopening the Big Sky plan on June 1. One major change from Phase I to Phase II is that gatherings with up to 50 people (rather than up to 10) will be allowed.