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Extension > Youth Development > Minnesota 4-H > 4-H at Minnesota county fairs > Judging 4-H at Minnesota county fairs

Judging 4-H at Minnesota county fairs

Minnesota 4-H depends on the skills, talents and dedication of hundreds of adults who judge 4-H projects at county fairs across Minnesota.

If you are (or have recently been) active as a 4-H judge in Minnesota you are likely included in our database of county fair judges which means that you can log in to 4HOnline to view/edit your contact and profile information as well as participate in an online training designed especially for county fair judges.

To access your 4HOnline profile and/or take the training, See the user guide. (PDF)

Becoming a judge

If you are new to judging, or if you haven't judged in a while but would like to share your expertise with 4-H youth by judging projects that interest you, please give us some information about what and where you'd like to judge. (Note, you must be at least 19 yrs old and no longer eligible to enroll in 4-H.) You can either fill out an online survey or complete a form (PDF) and send it to us. We'll add your information to our 4HOnline judges database, which staff access to find judges for projects in their county fairs. If you have any questions, please contact us at or 612-624-2116.

Online training:

"Creating quality 4-H conference judging experiences"

All Minnesota 4-H judges are invited to take the online course "Creating Quality 4-H Conference Judging Experiences".

See instructions and get started with the online training.

Our job in 4-H is to build blue ribbon young people--not blue ribbon projects! It is important for you to understand how to best interact with young people and how judges can help them learn and grow through this experience. For 4-H members, a judge is a very special person. In many cases members have spent significant time preparing their projects for exhibit and it is this adult waiting at a table at the fair or another showcase event that is there to help them reflect and apply what they have learned.

At the completion of this training, conference judges will be able to:

This training consists of three components and will take approximately 45 minutes to complete:

Rube Goldberg Machine Challenge: Judges' orientation

This short video provides judges with information to ensure a quality conference judging experience for youth. It includes an overview of the RGM challenge, explanations of the judging criteria and scoring, and tips on what to look for when interviewing RGM team members.

Quality toolkit for 4-H judges

Create a quality judging experience

Practical strategies to support youth with encouragement

As a 4-H judge, your comments and questions can encourage and support youth!

Cloverbud judge's information sheet

It is important that 4-H Cloverbud evaluators understand the importance of their role, and represent positive models of the behavior we wish children to develop.

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