Every year, people get sick from diseases spread between animals and people, or zoonotic diseases. Along with pets and zoos, local and state fairs are places of high interaction between people and animals. Some instances of outbreaks related to salmonella, E. coli, and flu can be traced back to exposure at fairs. Fairs provide a spot to gather for youth who exhibit animals. This increases the potential of disease exposure, yet also provides a venue for educating both exhibitors and the public about these diseases and disease prevention strategies.
4-H prepares and empowers youth to be change agents within communities. Youth see a need and seek to make a difference. Youth in 4-H desire to make positive impacts in their community, and training youth as public health educators is one way to utilize their energy and talent with the community’s need for public health safety. These youth opportunities are also important skill building activities for career readiness. The Division of Youth and 4-H is proud to partner with both other federal agencies and the land-grant extension system to provide opportunities for youth to serve as public health safety leaders in their communities.