Goodhue County had 109 youth participate in Livestock Encampment and 67 youth participate in the 2019 Minnesota State Fair General Encampment. County 4-H youth came home with 26 Purple Ribbons, and over $25,000 in scholarship funds.

Throughout the year, 4-H youth select project areas that reflect personal areas of interest and pursue hands-on learning that is both self-directed and guided by adult volunteers. The results of their learning are exhibited at county fairs across the state. A collection of the best exhibits and livestock from each county fair is brought to present in the 4-H Building and barns at the Minnesota State Fair.

Education is integral in the “learn by doing” philosophy of 4-H. As part of the educational component, Minnesota 4-H requires every youth participating in the livestock encampment to part in a livestock interview. Examples of the interview process include an on-line knowledge test, skill-a-thons, and personal interviews about their project area.

Along with interviews, all 4-H youth participating in livestock programming are required to complete the Livestock Quality Assurance and Ethics Training. Through this certification, youth are educated on bio-security, educating the public on the role of livestock, and caring for their animal’s welfare.

The peer mentor program, Speaking Up For Agriculture, returned again this year. This program assists in preparing youth in understanding the role of livestock not only as a project, but as products that ultimately consumers purchase and use. As 4-H exhibitors share their animals with the general public, they use the opportunity to educate consumers about all stages of livestock production.

Exhibiting project work and delivering public presentations at the state fair provides youth an opportunity to showcase their achievements and continue learning.

This year the Dairy Project continued with the 11th annual Dairy Showcase and 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. Goodhue County 4-H had 4 Dairy Showcase scholarship recipients this year, including the 1st, 2nd, 9th, and 18th place recipients. This year the Dairy Showcase also announced its “Rising Star” Program. The Rising Star program will annually honor youth who have completed 6th through 8th grades to encourage younger 4-H members to participate in the 4-H dairy showcase. Of the 10 rising stars selected statewide – Goodhue County had three members!

Goodhue County was fortunate enough to have 4 youth participate in the State Fair Purple Ribbon Auction this year. Katelyn Pearson (Pig), Ben Thompson (Pig), Kylie Mann (Goat), and Samantha Sheridan (Dairy Steer) each received funds for their animals for their successes.

The General Livestock Judging Team brought home first place team honors, and our very own Sydney Poquette was the top overall individual. The team be advancing to the North American International Livestock Exposition in Louisville, Kentucky to judge in November.

The Dairy Judging team placed second overall, and will be judging at the World Dairy Expo in Madison, Wisconsin in October. Emily Benrud took first place overall individual and first place reasons.

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