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JacksRBack Livestock Judging COVID-19 Plan

SDSU Livestock Judging - COVID-19 Plan

OPERATIONAL OVERVIEW

The SDSU Livestock Team members and Coach Brady Jensen will adhere to South Dakota State University guidelines for safe operation in a pandemic environment. These guidelines align with guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the South Dakota Department of Health (SDDOH).

This plan is also grounded in the SDSU Guiding Principles for Return to Campus and SDSU COVID-19 Protocols.

Who: SDSU Livestock Judging Team

  • One full-time faculty member and 11 undergraduate students
  • Each student will be made aware that this is optional and if they wish to remove themselves from this activity at any time, they may.
  • We have continued to evaluate the schedule for fall 2020 judging activities and been in contact with the contest superintendents who conduct the competitions which we attend. Our hope is this outline reassures the steps and procedures the team is taking to be healthy and safe while gain expertise in a field that will bring them lifelong success. The career ready skills gained from this activity are seen as critical in the work place. Skills include: excellent and quick decision making, public speaking, time management, professionalism and etc.
  • Currently, multiple competitive teams from highly respected Animal Science programs around the country have already been cleared to practice and travel.

Definition of Good Hygiene Practices

Throughout this document, the phrase “good hygiene practices” arises anytime an in-person activity is considered. Below are specific steps we request our team members to follow:

Team Member Responsibility

Understanding that livestock judging workouts and competitions are closed events to the public, we have taken into consideration the following recommendations from the CDC Guidelines for Coronavirus Prevention. Livestock judging provides an ability to modify aspects of the events to ensure greater precautions:

  • Stay home if you are feeling sick or symptomatic.
  • Face Coverings: Individuals are required to follow the current University and SDBOR face covering protocols.
  • Maintain physical distancing (PD) with non-family members. Ensure students and coaches are not confined to a single location in close proximity.
  • Limit touching high-contact surfaces as much as possible.
  • Wear a facial covering/mask and sneeze/cough into your elbow.
  • Replace common touch-oriented etiquette behaviors (e.g., hand shake) with safer behaviors (e.g., greet with a wave).
  • Regularly wash your hands or use sanitizer.
  • Capacity can be reduced/managed to allow for appropriate social distancing through the utilization of outdoor facilities for most activities and limited access to enclosed areas.

Judging practices, workouts and competitions occur primarily outdoors and in large open air barns which provide the opportunity to practice safe social distancing. The activities and interaction associated with the events can be accomplished with distancing of 6 feet or more and a very limited number of common contact points as a result of the event parameters described below.

Additional Measures for health and safety of our students and the public:

Face Coverings: Individuals are required to follow the current University and SDBOR face covering protocols.

Closed to the public. Competitions are working towards limiting the number of attendees. All practices will be closed to the public.

Signage: Placed throughout campus and competition facilities, signage will remind attendees of physical distancing requirements and general health and hand washing reminders. 

Sanitizer stations: Will be available in motor pool vans and located around campus and contest facilities.

Doors: Individuals will follow the JacksRBack Building/Door Access Plan.

Common Contact Point: Enhanced cleaning/sanitizing of restrooms or any other common contact points.

In Person Oral Reasons: Contestants typically stand 8 – 10 feet away from reasons takers during judging competition.  This is the only part of judging competition requiring two people to be in the same room. Contests will also include physical barriers (like Plexiglas) in between reason takers and reason officials that are in the same room together. The oral reasons portion of the contest will be held outdoors when possible.

Social Distancing: Other parts of workouts/judging contests can be conducted in a socially distanced format. Contests are incorporating drop boxes at class end, to hand in class placing cards, rather than handing them to a group leader.

Travel: 12 passenger Vans will be limited to 50% of capacity and all other SDSU Protocols and approval methods will be followed. Approval from the department head of Animal Science and Dean is required to travel.

Hotel Rooms: Every team member will be assigned separate beds in hotel rooms. Beds will include: standard double room beds, cots, pull out couches, etc. Additionally, individuals will follow the JacksRBack Travel and Transportation Guidelines.

How we will ensure proper social distancing:

Student Personal Health Responsibility: Students will be asked to follow all guidelines set forth by JacksRBack. We will follow the guidance of local, state and national health officials and JacksRBack in our response to a positive diagnosis of a student team member. If we receive confirmation that a member of the team has had a positive COVID-19 diagnosis, there are important measures that will be promptly taken including contact tracing, communication and facility disinfection. If we have team member test positive, they will not be allowed to resume team activities until cleared by the necessary health officials, JacksRBack and SDSU.

Limiting Social Activity: Students should limit exposure to others outside of team and avoid close contact with people who are sick during the 90 day fall judging schedule (mid-August to mid-November). During travel necessary for practice and competition, team members will be asked to act like a “household unit.”

Face Coverings: Individuals are required to follow the current University and SDBOR face covering protocols.

EVENT-SPECIFIC PRACTICES

Risk Level Chart

Livestock Judging COVID-19 precautions follow the guiding principles of South Dakota State University which seek a balance in public health and educational opportunity.  To simplify our response and communications, three risk/precaution levels have been designed for the SDSU Livestock Judging program: 

  • Level A corresponds with the lowest risk approach.
  • Level B corresponds with a lower risk approach where judging activities occurs as a blend of at-home, virtual and in-person. In-person activities are limited to essential attendees. 
  • Level C corresponds with a low risk approach where judging activities are mostly in-person with mild modifications and good hygiene practices to reduce any lingering viral risk.

The chart below serves as a general overview:

Lowest RiskLower RiskLow Risk

Strive to move towards Virtual Events and Practices

Good Hygiene Practices High Encouraged

Consider a hybrid of in-person and virtual events

Good Hygiene Practices High Encouraged

In-person events but still modified to abide by social distancing protocols

Good Hygiene Practices High Encouraged

SDSU LIVESTOCK JUDGING PRACTICE

Lowest RiskLower RiskLow Risk

Zoom based meetings with students

Typed, emailed and critiqued reasons

Online evaluation instruction

Good Hygiene Practices High Encouraged

In person practices on farm and livestock production sites.

Oral reasons practice hybrid (zoom and in-person when necessary)

Good Hygiene Practices High Encouraged

In person practices on farm and livestock sites.

Reasons practice in Animal Science Arena

Good Hygiene Practices High Encouraged

In person considerations:

  • Good Hygiene Practices: All students will be asked to follow Good Hygiene practices during all times (travel, class room, on farm, etc).
  • Face Coverings: Individuals are required to follow the current University and SDBOR face covering protocols.
  • Closed to the public.  No outside groups or individuals will be allowed to overview practice. We would encourage the production site manager to instruct over the phone or by email on how to properly access the livestock and practice at that specific site.
  • Sanitation: Will be available in motor pool vans and located around campus
  • Oral Reasons: Contestants typically stand 8 – 10 feet away from reasons takers during judging competition.  This is the only part of judging competition requiring two people to be in the same room. Contests will also include physical barriers (like Plexiglas) in between reason takers and reason officials that are in the same room together. The oral reasons portion of the contest will be held outdoors when possible.
  • Travel: 12 passenger Vans will be limited to 50% of capacity and all other SDSU Protocols and approval methods will be followed. Approval from the department head of Animal Science and Dean is required to travel.
  • On farm site practice: Have instructions from farm manager via: telephone, email, zoom or etc on how to access the farm and practice on the livestock. This will totally remove any outside exposure of the public to our students.

Livestock Judging Competitions

Lowest RiskLower RiskLow Risk

Cancel

Cancel trip: if in a hot spot region

Cancel trip: if not suitable to travel out of South Dakota

Zoom based introduction for rules and coaches meetings

Zoom and virtual award banquets (if not available, SDSU will not attend banquet)

In person contest

Reduce team to 6 - 7 members

Good Hygiene Practices High Encouraged

In person contest

In person awards banquet

Zoom based introduction and coaches meeting

Reduce travel team if needed

Good Hygiene Practices High Encouraged

In person considerations:

  • Good Hygiene Practices: All students will be asked to follow Good Hygiene practices during all times (travel, class room, on farm, etc).
  • Face Coverings: Individuals are required to follow the current University and SDBOR face covering protocols.  
  • Closed to the public.  No outside groups or individuals will be allowed to overview practice. We would encourage the production site manager to instruct over the phone or by email on how to properly access the livestock and practice at that specific site.
  • Sanitation: Will be available in motor pool vans and located around campus
  • Oral Reasons: Contestants typically stand 8 – 10 feet away from reasons takers during judging competition.  This is the only part of judging competition requiring two people to be in the same room. Contests will also include physical barriers (like Plexiglas) in between reason takers and reason officials that are in the same room together. The oral reasons portion of the contest will be held outdoors when possible.
  • Travel: 12 passenger Vans will be limited to 50% of capacity and all other SDSU Protocols and approval methods will be followed. Approval from the department head of Animal Science and Dean is required to travel. 
  • Signage: Placed throughout campus and competition facilities, signage will remind attendees of physical distancing requirements and general health and hand washing reminders. 
  • Doors: Individuals will follow the JacksRBack Building/Door Access Plan.
  • Common Contact Point: Enhanced cleaning/sanitizing of restrooms or any other common contact points.
  • Hotel rooms: Each team member will have a bed to themselves. No team member is allowed to sleep in the same bed as another. Additionally, individuals will follow the JacksRBack Travel and Transportation Guidelines.
  • Contest departure: The team will understand each destinations current COVID status, protocols, recommendations, and etc. The team will not depart for a contest if it is canceled, in a hot spot or travel is denied by administration.
  • Current Contests Scheduled for the fall: Each contest/competition listed with a date has spoken with the National Livestock Coaches Association (NLCA) and is planning for a contest. Each contest will accept and promote good hygiene practices and follow CDC guidelines and respect the wishes of each contestant and University representative. The NLCA met with contest administrations on July 28 to ensure the scheduled events would continue as planned.
  • National Barrow Show II, Des Moines, IA Sept. 14
  • Aksarben Stock Show, Sept. 27 in Grand Island, NE.
  • Flint Hills Contest, October 2, Hutchinson, KS.
  • The American Royal in Kansas City, MO is scheduled for October 19.
  • The North American is scheduled for November 16 in Louisville, KY.