Dakota County 4-H Fair Edition

July 13, 2022

Make sure to read this newsletter carefully as it contains valuable information for the county fair

Dakota County Fair

Monday, Aug. 8th, 9pm

4008 220th Street West

Farmington, MN

The Dakota County Fair runs from August 8-14, 2022. Make sure to read the premium book closely for judging times and events

This is my first year showing at the fair! What should I expect?

4-H Fair Project Resources- First time showing at the county fair? Check out these resources.

Tell a story with a blue ribbon exhibit

Judging tips for exhibitors

4-H exhibit project pages and judging sheets

4 H exhibitor tips

Premium Book

Premium Book- Review the Dakota County 4-H Premium book posted on the Dakota County 4-H webpage under the Fair participant information tab. This is where you will find project information plus rules and judging schedules. It is important that you know the rules and criteria for each project area before having your exhibit judged.

What if I can't make it to a judging event?

Absentee Judging - If a 4-H youth is unable to attend the in-person judging experience, members have the opportunity to participate in a virtual experience. Review the 2022 4-H Competitive Events: Absentee/ Virtual Judging of Projects for more details. You must reach out to 4-H staff at torg0016@umn.edu prior to July 11 if you are planning to exhibit virtual judging entries.

I have a 4-H member who has special considerations. What do I do?

Special Considerations - it is our goal to make the Dakota County Fair a positive learning experience for all youth. Sometimes there are considerations and requests that we need to be aware of in order to make this event as successful as possible for our members. Please complete the Special Considerations Form by July 11 so our staff are mindful when working with each member.

I made a large project for the fair! How do I let staff know?

Oversized Exhibits - Oversized exhibits are exhibits that take up more than 20 sq. ft. of floor space. Oversized exhibits must have prior approval. This pertains to all project areas. To receive approval, complete the Oversized Exhibit Form by July 11.

Projects Judged prior to the fair

Judging Dates/Fair Dates:

Note some of these events will require you to sign up for a judging time slot in addition to adding your project in Fair Entry

  • July 20 - Photography, Computer, and Video judging
  • July 21 - Public Presentation (Demonstration and Illustrated Presentation) judging
  • July 31- Dog Show Judging
  • August 1 - Animal Science Night
  • August 3 - Clothing and Fashion Revue judging
  • August 5 - Oversized exhibit drop off
  • August 6 - Static/non-livestock project judging
  • August 8-14 - Dakota County Fair
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Click here to sign up for a photography judging time

You will need to sign up for time slot in addition to adding your project in Fair Entry by July 11

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Click here to sign up for a computer/video judging time

You will need to sign up for a time slot in addition to adding your project in Fair Entry by July 11

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Public Presentation sign up (demos), Judging July 21

Public presentation judging is Thursday, July 21 from 12-7 p.m. at the Dakota County Extension and Conservation Center in Farmington.

Livestock and Interactive demonstrations (formally known as Youth-In-Action) judging is Wednesday, August 10 at the Dakota County Fair from 1-5 p.m.

You will use the same link to sign-up for all types of presentations. If the slots fill up, staff will adjust to accommodate the appropriate number of youth. Please sign-up by Friday, July 15. If available, enter your demonstration title in the comments section.

In the sign-up, you will see that you are signing up for a one-hour timeslot. Within that one hour, the judge will view 4-5 presentations. This provides an audience for the presenter(s) and flexibility in the scheduling. Sign-Up Here.

Visit the 'Workmanship & Techniques of Project' section on this 4-H Project Evaluation form for an overview of the components of a demonstration.

If there are any questions, contact Rachel at reza0027@umn.edu.

Volunteer opportunities for 4-H members and families during the fair!

Sign up to help at the BIGGEST fundraiser of the year!

Did you know the Dakota County 4-H Dining Hall and Malt Stand are the largest fundraisers of the year for the Dakota County 4-H program? When you and your family volunteer for dining hall and malt stand shifts during the fair, you are supporting all the wonderful programs we offer year round.

The Dining Hall Sign Up and Malt Stand Sign Up offers many different opportunities throughout fair week that will fit any schedule.

Staff ask you to fill at least one adult shift and at least one youth shift for each participating youth in your family.

Staff need your support to fill shifts for screened cashiers, youth and adult malt makers, dining hall staff, and more.

NEW in 2022, the Federation will be utilizing malt and dining hall funds to support youth going to State Fair with a $125 gift towards fees. An additional $30 gift from the Auction Fund, for a total gift of $155, will significantly reduce the financial burden on families.

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Important Information for 4-H members exhibiting animal projects at the fair!

Plan to attend the Animal Science PDC county fair planning meeting - July 14

The date for the Animal Science (beef, dairy, goat, horse, poultry, rabbit, sheep and swine) PDC county fair planning meeting has been set for Thursday, July 14 beginning at 7 p.m. at the Dakota County Extension Office.

This is a very important meeting for the above species. We will be sharing fair entry numbers and discuss any County Fair updates. Each species committee will be able break into groups to discuss fair planning.

Adult volunteers and youth who have completed the 6th grade are invited. We are looking for 4-H members and Adult volunteers who share a common passion for 4-H livestock education including all of the good things that happen in the fair setting. On this night we will discuss the many details and assign tasks that need to happen to help make County Fair livestock shows run smoothly. If this fits you, please plan to attend. This group will be convened again in the fall to evaluate the 2022 County Fair and begin planning educational opportunities for 4-Hers.

4-H Animal Science Night! August 1, pre- registration required in Fair Entry by July 11


Dakota County Fairgrounds; Sheep & Rabbit Barns, you will need to register by July 11 in Fair Entry for these judging opportunities

4-H Animal Science Judging includes:

• Livestock including horse Interviews

• Rabbit Skillathon

• Horse Knowledge Test

• Science of Animals Education Exhibit judging

• Horse Related Educational Exhibit

• Horseless Horse Educational Exhibit

• Dairy Production & Genetics forms due

See other premium book sections for individual requirements for above items being judged on Animal Science Night. No make-up judging date for Animal Science night classes.

4-H’ers MUST PRE-REGISTER in FairEntry.com for animal science interviews and skillathon by JULY 11 to be eligible for awards higher than a blue ribbon.

Animal Science Interviews are designed to further enhance educational opportunities for young people exhibiting livestock. Animal science interviews recognize 4-H’ers who have utilized their animal science project to grow and develop as a young person. Interviews will empha size many life skills such as communication skills, responsibility, decision making, and problem solving. 4-H youth will be tested on their animal science knowledge through one-on-one conference judging. 4-H’ers will be asked questions about the species they are involved in and can share their knowledge and understanding of agriculture.

Are you showing a horse at the fair this year? What you need to know!


Also, we are looking for strong volunteers to assist with setting up stalls in the horse barn on Monday, July 25 at 5 p.m. Please sign up here if you are available. It is important we get the barn set up prior to barn clean up night on August 2nd.

Dakota County 4-H Premium Book


Note judging dates and times:

For more details see the horse section in the premium book, pages 25-28

  • Horse Knowledge test – judging Monday, August 1
  • Horse Interviews – judging Monday, August 1
  • Horse Related Education Exhibit – judging, Monday, August 1 (note new judging date and time)
  • Horseless Horse Education Exhibit - judging, Monday, August 1 (note new judging date and time)
  • Horse Demonstration – judging Wednesday, August 10 (note new judging date and time); sign-up for a judging time by July 15
  • Horse Speech - judging Wednesday, August 10 (note new judging date and time); sign-up for a judging time by July 15.


Proof of negative coggins should be submitted to the Dakota County Extension Office or emailed to frand004@umn.edu no later than Monday, July 25.


If you are interested in ordering a 4-H county fair horse t-shirt, submit the horse t-shirt order form with payment by Monday, July 11.


2022 Dakota County 4-H Horse Show Volunteer Sign-up

It is the expectation that all families volunteer at the 4-H horse shows. Please sign-up early for shifts that work with your families fair schedule.

Minnesota State Fair Information Section

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State Fair Trips for grade 6+

Youth who have completed grade 6 and above and have been awarded a trip at the 2022 Dakota County Fair are eligible to participate in the 2022 MN 4-H State Fair experience! State Fair trip winners will be posted to the Dakota County 4-H website throughout the week of the fair and all youth eligible for a trip will be notified via email. It is the responsibility of the 4-H member to accept/decline state fair trips by the deadline. State fair trip winners are required to complete and submit state fair paperwork by deadline. Paperwork collection times will be announced closer to the fair.

State Fair encampment dates:

4-H at the MN State Fair exhibitor page

Who do I contact with questions during the fair?

4-H Staff can be reached by contacting the main Dakota County Extension Office phone number 651-480-7700