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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.

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.

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.

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!

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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."

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.

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.

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.

Animal science

Livestock Day Camps

Do you want to learn more about your beef, meat goat, swine or rabbit project? Would you like to learn from area experts and other youth how to better take care of and show your project animal? If so, we have the perfect day training for you!

Minnesota 4-H is offering 4-H livestock day camps in six areas of the state. The day’s trainings will be the same, just different locations! We will be taking an in-depth look at fitting and showmanship, animal health and hoof/foot care, nutrition and biosecurity in each of these species. Youth will be required to identify one animal type that they will learn about during the day.

Livestock Judging Camp

At this camp, you will learn the basic fundamentals of livestock judging and evaluation, receive instruction with oral reasons, and become more confident with livestock judging! All Livestock Judging Enthusiasts 6th - 12th Grade are encouraged to attend! Camp is June 18-20, 2018 on the St. Paul University of Minnesota campus.

MN 4-H Poultry Judges Clinics

This training will include a focus on individual placing and ribbon distribution in classes common to county fair settings and state fair lineups, showmanship classes, as well as some specifics on judging pigeon and dove classes.

Dairy Goat Judges Training

This exciting training is designed for those already judging county fair 4-H dairy goat shows, as well as those who would like to get started. Guest presenter: Loren Larson, licensed ADGA judge.

Dog Project Train the Trainer

For 4-H Dog Project Trainers and Leaders.

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.

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.

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!

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.

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.

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.

Livestock Quality Assurance training

All youth participating as a State Fair 4-H livestock exhibitor in beef, dairy, sheep, swine, poultry, rabbits, meat goat, dairy goat, and lama must have completed a livestock quality assurance training in which there are two training options 1) a 3 hour in-person workshop (LQA&E), or 2) a 1 hour on-line training (YQCA).  Youth completing either quality assurance training option will receive a certificate of completion.

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.

Minnesota 4-H Science of Animals

Science of Animals at the 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 four topic areas – animal health, breeding, production and other, for all livestock species – beef, dairy, dairy goat, meat goat, poultry, rabbit, sheep and swine.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.


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

Shooting Sports National Championships

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

Shooting Sports and Wildlife Invitational

4-H youth in grades three 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.

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.

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.

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