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New rules for showing animals at fairs

The State of California has initiated new rules for students planning on showing an animal at any fair or exhibition. Any student who is showing an animal at a fair or exhibition must be certified and receive specific training in the care of the animal they are raising.

"Training is a way to provide another layer of preparedness for students who raise animals as a part of a 4-H or FFA project," said Ag Programs Manager for the Fairs and Exhibition Branch Jay Carlson. "Fairs are experiencing with much more frequency society questioning the relevance and value of our animal programs."

Starting in 2019, all students must be certified in animal care, food safety and ethics training before they can participate. According to the state, there are a good number of students who have never been trained on how to take care of the animal they are raising, such as knowing which brand of food is healthiest for their animal, how to make sure the animal is being humanely treated and how to properly train and care for their animal.

FFA and 4-H students will be required to fulfill this training either by doing it online or attending an Assurance and Ethics Awareness training, which will cost $12 if they do it online, or $3 if they attend a Fairs and Exposition Branch-approved training.

On the local level, the agriculture teacher and FFA advisor at Wasco High School, Anthony M. Farao, responded: "At the direction of the department, we cannot comment as we would be commenting as public employees on a public issue." On this same question, the ag advisor of FFA at Shafter High School, Frank Stevens, said, "We already educate our students in these areas."


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