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Extension > Youth Development > Minnesota 4-H > 4-H events

State 4-H events by project area

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Minnesota State Fair

4-H plays a pivotal role in youth development and public education at the Minnesota State Fair. More than 7,000 4-H youth have the opportunity to interact with the public and educate fairgoers through 4-H exhibits, demonstrations, performances, and 4-H promotion. More info.

4-H online adventures

Like all 4-H activities, online adventures are driven by young people’s passion for learning. They may be one week, one month or longer in duration. Typically, youth respond to one video challenge per week with a video recording of their response. More info

Sign up now for the latest 4-H online adventure - The Better World Film Festival. You'll learn how to make a 3-5 minute film about your vision of a better world using only your smartphone or tablet computer.


Engineering Design Challenge: Rube Goldberg

The engineering design challenge encourages critical thinking, creativity, innovation and problem solving in a non-traditional learning event while having fun! Young people in third through eighth grade can compete in these friendly science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) competitions, which take place BOTH online and at county fairs. More info

Engineer It!

Youth leaders and 4-H volunteers will guide participants through a fun-filled session of hands-on challenges that engage potential and current 4-H members in STEM learning. You might be inspired to form a 4-H Engineering club! More info

National Youth Science Day

4-H’ers across Minnesota and the country become scientists on 4-H National Youth Science Day! 4-H National Youth Science Day (NYSD) is an exciting, interactive learning experience that engages thousands of youth across the country in conducting the National Science Experiment. Each year’s experiment helps youth learn engineering concepts, develop math skills, learn about nutrition and help solve a relevant, global issue. More info

Science of Agriculture Challenge

4-H is challenging Minnesota youth to identify agriculture-related issues in their communities and work with local experts to come up with solutions. Find out about this hands-on learning experience and get involved in your area. More info.

Citizenship & leadership

BLU - Building Leadership and Understanding

Building Leadership and Understanding (BLU) is an exciting and fun leadership adventure. More than 400 youth from across Minnesota come together to learn and practice valuable leadership skills that they will use in their communities throughout their lives. More info.

Citizenship Washington Focus

CWF is a citizen and leadership event for high school youth from across the United States. Youth learn about citizenship and government, the legislative process, meet with elected officials and visit many national monuments and historical sites in Washington D.C., with an expectation that Minnesota youth will develop and implement an action plan upon returning home. More info.

CWF: Presidential Inauguration Focus

A delegation of 50 Minnesota 4-H members will join youth from across the country to take part in this quadrennial Washington, D.C. event. Participants will learn about the democratic process, explore the history of the U.S. presidency, examine the role of press in politics, and enhance their citizenship role through service and hands-on learning. More info.

YELLO! conference

Youth Exploring Leadership and Learning Out Loud! is an annual statewide, four-day leadership conference with group discussions, workshops, service opportunities, challenging speakers and hands-on activities designed for youth. More info.

Youth Day at the Capitol

Youth Day at the Capitol is an experience for 4-H youth to engage with other youth from throughout the state, learn about legislative processes, and meet their local legislator. More info.

National 4-H Conference

The National 4-H Conference is a working conference in which youth and adults, at the invitation of the Secretary of Agriculture, assist in the development of recommendations to help guide 4-H Youth Development Programs nationally and in their communities. Upon returning home from this national experience, Minnesota youth delegates will be expected to develop and implement a "Taking it Home" action plan that will "make a difference." More info.

Camp counselor training

Camp counselor training is designed to provide the skills and knowledge to be an effective camp counselor and leadership team member. Training topics include: role of camp counselor, theme and program development, recreation leadership, group facilitation, conflict resolution, outdoor environment and nature programming, and much more. More info.

Foundation Golf Classic

The Minnesota 4-H Foundation's annual Golf Classic brings together 4-H Youth and golfers from around the state and raises funds to support a wide range of high-quality youth programs. Golfers have the opportunity to meet and learn from 4-H members. More info

Expressive arts & communications

The Better World Film Festival | A 4-H online adventure

Learn how to make a 3-5 minute film about your vision of a better world using only your smartphone or tablet computer. Led by an expert, completely online over the course of six weeks. Youth share their videos with other 4-H'ers in grades 5-8.

Share the Fun state fair showcase

Youth from counties prepare and perform a play, dance, musical, or other act. Each county nominates one group to perform at the state fair. State Fair Share the Fun nominations/applications are generally available around June 1st each year. Rehearsal times are assigned on a first come, first served basis upon receipt of the nomination/application forms. More info.

State Arts-In

Minnesota 4-H Arts-In is an eight-day intensive arts experience. Youth prepare a musical to perform during the Minnesota State Fair. They gain experience in the performing arts including singing, dancing, acting, instrumental accompaniment, costume design, set construction and technical work. Each year, 4-H State Arts-In youth perform at least 40 shows to 12,000 audience members in the 4-H Building on the fairgrounds. More info.

Animal science

Dog Obedience, Rally and Showmanship judges workshop for current and prospective 4-H judges

This is a workshop for current judges and prospective judges in agility. Current 4-H dog project judges are also invited to attend. It is NOT a seminar designed for younger 4-H members (though a youth leader in a county leadership position with interest in future judging would be welcome). More info.

4-H Lama Judges Clinic

This exciting training is designed for those interested in getting started in judging county fair 4-H lama shows as well as those who would like to get a 4-H lama project started in their county. More info

  • Super Session: A 4-H Dog Project Training Workshop

    Save the date, June 17-18, 2017 - 4-H dog owners bring their dogs to this training and networking workshop for youth age third grade and older, their families, trainers, potential trainers, youth and adult leaders. More info.

  • Animal judging contests

    Effectively evaluating breeding and market animals is highly important in the animal industry. Judging is an art developed through patient study and long practice. 4-Hers interested in dairy, general livestock (beef, sheep & swine), horses, poultry, and rabbits can learn to be a good judge by knowing the parts of the animal and their location, which parts are most important for meat and breeding stock production, making keen observations and comparing to the ideal, weighing the good and bad points of each animal, and much more. More info.

    Dairy showcase

    State fair 4-H dairy cattle exhibitors who receive a purple or blue ribbon in their class will qualify for the Showcase. Points will be earned for their involvement and success with the state fair interview process, dairy project bowl, dairy judging contest and showmanship. Youth must also complete an online leadership portfolio that awards points in the areas of 4-H and dairy industry involvement and leadership, along with community, school or church involvement. The portfolios will be judged by a panel of anonymous judges. All of these things will be compiled in a scorecard format and the top 25 applicants will be announced Saturday evening following the State Fair dairy show. More info.

    Dog Project State Fair showcase

    The state dog committee likes to highlight the Minnesota 4-H Dog project at the Minnesota State Fair during the livestock encampment weekend, and needs youth from the 4-H dog project to be involved in this showcase. This is a great opportunity to help promote the Minnesota 4-H Dog Project and we need lots of help to make this a success! More info.

    Eastern National 4-H Horse Roundup

    Winning Project Bowl teams, hippology teams, judging teams, and speech and demonstration winners can compete at a national level. More info.

    Expo tack sale

    The tack sale at Minnesota's Horse Expo is held annually in St. Paul at the state fairgrounds. The sale is managed by the Minnesota 4-H Horse Association and is its major fund raising event. More info.

    Horse judges' certification

    Every spring, a Minnesota 4-H horse judges seminar offers the opportunity to certify or recertify as a 4-H horse judge. More info.

    Livestock Quality Assurance & Ethics training

    All youth participating as a state fair 4-H livestock exhibitor in beef, dairy, sheep, swine, poultry, rabbit, meat and dairy goat, and lama must have completed the LQA&E workshop. Certification is good for three fair seasons. The level of training required is determined by the grade of the youth at the time the training takes place. More info.

    National 4-H Dairy conference

    200 youth from 4-H dairy projects around the U.S. and Canada gather in Madison, Wisconsin for the National 4-H Dairy Conference held annually in conjunction with World Dairy Expo. Participants learn about production, processing, marketing and use of dairy products, and develop a broader understanding of careers available in dairy production, biotechnology, genetics, marketing and other areas. The conference consists of participatory workshops on the University of Wisconsin campus, speakers, tours and visits to the World Dairy Expo. More info.

    Minnesota 4-H Science of Animals

    Science of Animals at the 2016 Minnesota State Fair is designed to expose 4-H animals project youth to the many dimensions of the industry.  4-H youth will attend and participate in an educational session prior to the judging. Science of Animals is offered in one of 4 topic areas – Animal Health, Breeding, Production and Other, for all livestock species – Beef, Dairy, Dairy Goat, Meat Goat, Poultry, Rabbit, Sheep and Swine More info.

    Poultry Prince & Princess Contest

    State fair 4-H poultry exhibitors have the opportunity to participate in a $1000 Minnesota 4-H and Gold n Plump scholarship contest. The Minnesota 4-H Poultry Prince and Princess Contest at the Minnesota State Fair is an exciting opportunity for 4-H youth to be recognized for their poultry knowledge, experience, leadership and confidence. More info.

    Regional & state project bowls

    Project bowls are an exciting way for youth to explore a project area. Teams compete in quiz competitions with questions about specific project areas. Project bowls are available for dairy, dog, general livestock (beef, sheep & swine), horse, poultry, rabbit and shooting sports & wildlife projects. Winners of the regional bowls advance to the State Project Bowl. More info.

    State Dog Show

    The Minnesota 4-H State Dog Show is an annual event held in the fall after the Minnesota State Fair. The state show consists of agility, obedience, and showmanship events. To be eligible for the state show, 4-Hers must first qualify at their county level. More info.

    State Horse Show

    The Minnesota 4-H State Horse Show is held every fall, and provides lifetime skills and learning experiences for 4-H Horse Project members, families and leaders. More info.

    State Horse Winter Roundup

    Winter Roundup is an exciting three day, two night conference focused on developing youth and adult leadership in the 4-H Horse Project. The conference is packed with speakers and educational workshops.More info.

    Western Heritage State Competition

    Minnesota 4-H Western Heritage is an activity to help youth explore and preserve our Western Heritage. Youth will explore our Western Heritage and develop an appreciation for it; learn to balance competition and education; learn safety skills; develop tools of sportsmanship and realistic goal setting; and develop leisure opportunities. 4-H members participating need not be enrolled in the Horse Project. More info.

    Environmental, shooting sports and wildlife

    Camp counselor training

    Camp counselor training is designed to provide the skills and knowledge to be an effective camp counselor and leadership team member. Training topics include: role of camp counselor, theme and program development, recreation leadership, group facilitation, conflict resolution, outdoor environment and nature programming, and much more. More info.


    Develop a greater awareness, understanding and appreciation of nature and our relationship to it through fun, hands-on discovery and exploration activities. More info.

    Shooting Sports National Championships

    Earn a spot from the state shoot and have an opportunity to attend this week-long national shoot. More info

    Shooting Sports and Wildlife Invitational

    4-H youth in grades 3 through one year past high school who have completed 15 hours of shooting with a certified instructor and eight hours of wildlife education may participate in the following areas: archery, muzzleloading, shotgun, air rifle, air pistol, .22 rifle, silhouette shoot and a skill-a-thon. More info.

    Shooting Sports and Wildlife Leader Certification

    Shooting Sports & Wildlife instructors must be certified. This training is designed to cover the needed knowledge and rules to become a certified instructor in one discipline: archery, muzzle-loading, shotgun, air rifle/air pistol/.22 rifle, wildlife and coordinator. It covers life skills, state regulations, and content skills needed for each of the six disciplines. More info.

    4-H volunteers training, events and resources

    Volunteer training opportunities

    State 4-H leadership offers a number of training events throughout the year where volunteers learn about leading clubs, curriculum, and activity ideas. You may attend trainings in your own county or other counties that focus on specific project areas or regional activities. More info.

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