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2,868 4-H youth showed livestock at the Minnesota State Fair

Extension 4-H'ers from 87 counties brought over 2,800 animals to the 2018 "Great Minnesota Get-Together" for 4-H's annual livestock encampment. Held Aug. 22 - 26, the livestock exhibits included:
  • Beef: 578 exhibits
  • Dairy: 447 exhibits
  • Goats: 366 exhibits
  • Poultry: 232 exhibits
  • Rabbits: 336 exhibits
  • Sheep: 372 exhibits
  • Swine: 462 exhibits
  • Lama: 75 exhibits
Extension 4-H'ers prepared for this event all summer long. There are several components youth consider when deciding to exhibit livestock, including selection and preparation of the animal, educational programming, scholarship applications and participation at county fairs.

Education is integral in 4-H's learn by doing philosophy. As part of the educational component, Extension 4-H requires every livestock encampment youth to participate in interviews to demonstrate their learning. Examples of the interview process include an on-line knowledge test, skill-a-thons, and personal interviews about their project area.
4-H youth from Pennington County

Along with interviews, all 4-H youth participating in livestock programming complete the Livestock Quality Assurance and Ethics (LQA&E) Training. Through this certification, youth are educated on bio-security, educating the public on the role of livestock production and animal welfare.

Returning again this year is the peer mentor program, Speaking Up For Agriculture. It's goal is to help youth understand livestock not only as a project, but as products that consumers purchase and use. As 4-H exhibitors share their animals with the general public, they build communication skills essential for educating consumers about all stages of livestock production.

Many 4-H youth earned the opportunity to further their education as recipients of academic scholarships. The 10th annual Dairy Showcase awarded special recognition and scholarships to 25 outstanding participants based on their dairy industry knowledge, 4-H dairy project involvement, along with state fair dairy show results. The annual Purple Ribbon Auction, sponsored by the Minnesota Livestock Breeders Association (MLBA), presented over 40 scholarships to youth with well-rounded leadership, community service and livestock involvement throughout their 4-H career. And two youth were awarded scholarships with the 4-H Poultry Prince and Princess Competition, sponsored by Gold 'n Plump.
4-H youth from Goodhue County

4-H don't only produce purple ribbon animals. More importantly, 4-H is focused on producing purple ribbon kids!

Congratulations to all the youth who participated in the 4-H Livestock Encampment at the 2018 Minnesota State Fair.

See full results and photos at 4-H at the Minnesota State Fair.

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