BERNALILLO — Funding to 4-H was replenished at the Sandoval County Commission Meeting Sept. 17.

At the June 18 county commission meeting, in a 3-1 vote with Commissioner Jay Block, District 2, voting no, and Commissioner Kenneth Eichwald, District 5, absent, the commission reduced funding to the New Mexico State University Cooperative Extension Service by 30 percent for each contract due to the budget crunch from the COVID-19 pandemic.

After this 30 percent cut, the extension service received almost $61,00 from the county to help fund education and skills in agriculture, home economics, health and nutrition, and horticulture via 4-H. Under the other reduced contract, the extension service received $28,600 for the canning center in Jemez Valley, providing nutritional food preservation education.

At that June meeting, commissioners agreed to revisit the contracts in September. On Sept. 17, the commission agreed to amend the $61,000 contract to about $93,800.

Patrick Torres, the northern district department head for the extension service, was able to carry over $20,600 from last year’s budget. This amount will be added to the $28,600 from the county for the canning center for a total of more than $49,000, Torres said.

The canning center remains closed, but Torres said he expects it to be busy once it reopens later this fall. Since March, the extension service moved youth programs and entries to the state and county fair online.

Marisol Tang Rasmussen is the vice president of the Jemez Red Rockers 4-H Club. She submitted to the county and state fairs photos she took. Courtesy photo.

“My favorite aspect about the virtual county fair and virtual state fair was even though we are in a pandemic, I was still able to participate. I work on projects, and participation in the fairs lets me display my photography and artwork. Then I can record it in my 4-H portfolio,” said 12-year-old Marisol Tang Rasmussen.

She is the vice president of the Jemez Red Rockers 4-H Club.

Her brother, Christian Tang Rasmussen, is the parliamentarian of the Red Rockers. The 17-year-old said the virtual fair added convenience and it was less stressful to enter projects digitally.

“My favorite entry was the braided blue corn. The traditional craft item is from Jemez Pueblo. The corn was grown and harvested in my great-grandmother’s field,” he said.

The teenager received a second-place ribbon for his submission.

His sister’s favorite entries to the fair were photography submissions.

“My favorite entries were my portraits and display showing Instagram filters. This is my third year learning photography and showing at the county and state fairs,” she said.

She received first- and second-place ribbons for her photography.

Their mother, Aimee Tang, said the 4-H Club is important in teaching children work ethic and life skills.

“I am always amazed by the work these kids do,” she said.

Tang prefers the in-person experience of the Red Rockers but is so thankful to have this virtual aspect through the pandemic, she said.