Friday Forecast - 6/24/22

Dakota County 4-H Weekly Newsletter- June 24, 2022

Extension 4-H

Welcome to the Dakota County 4-H Friday Forecast

This weekly newsletter will provide you with the most up-to-date information and happenings in the 4-H program.
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Plan ahead for visiting the Extension office

As we move into the summer months, staff will be out in the community delivering programs. We ask that you call or email to set up an appointment to assure that you get the assistance needed. If you have questions, contact 4-H staff. Staff contact information below.


Deadline to enroll with full eligibility is May 16, 2022

Please pay your membership dues

4-H county membership dues of $25/member are paid every year. Dues should be paid before participating in 4-H events including county fair and state event. Family Member Dues Payment Form 2021-2022

Contact Cherie at if you have questions. Dues payments can be mailed to the Extension Office or placed in the drop box between the front doors of the Extension Office. Scholarships are available to cover dues if needed and can be requested by completing the dues payment form.

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County fair registration is open! Registration due July 11

County fair registration is open! All exhibits/activities for the county fair are registered in On page 2 you will find directions on how to exhibit projects for the 2022 Dakota County Fair.

See the FairEntry user guides and tutorials for detailed instructions on FairEntry. Contact Cherie if you have questions.

4-H Premium Book posted on website; review for new exhibit opportunities, rules & schedules

Dakota County 4-H Premium book is posted on the Dakota County 4-H webpage under the Fair participant information tab. Th premium book is where you will find information on project, class details for your projects, rules, requirements, and schedules pertaining to fair and judging.

County fair registration takes place through All registrations need to be completed by July 11.

Static/ Indoor 4-H project updates

You will notice when going through the premium book this year that some of our project names look a little different. There are also a few new projects for 2022! If you have any questions about where to put a 4-H project, we encourage you to speak with a staff member.

Sign up for 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 provide 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.

4-H Judging Team Opportunities

Have you ever wondered what judges are looking for in evaluating your animals during a show? Do you want to know what criteria a judge uses to judge the show? Livestock judging can give you the tools and ability need to select quality livestock projects.

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-H'ers interested in dairy, general livestock (beef, meat goat, sheep and swine), horses and rabbits can become good judges by knowing:

  • The parts of the animal and their locations

  • Which parts are most important for meat and breeding stock production

  • Making keen observations

  • Comparing the animal to the ideal

  • Weighing the good and bad points of each animal

Judging can also enhance your understanding of the industry and perfect skills needed in the future such as:

  • Self-confidence

  • Overall animal knowledge

  • Organization

  • Critical thinking

  • Oral communication skills

This program is geared toward youth in sixth grade and above; however, youth in grades 3-5 are welcome to participate!

Dairy judging team practice begins Sunday, June 26

Thanks to Gabriella and Eric Houdek! They have agreed to coach the 2022 4-H Dairy Judging Team. The first practice session will be this coming Sunday, June 26th beginning at 5 p.m. Practice will be held at the Sorg family dairy; 13569 Mississippi Trail, Hastings. Dairy Judging is open to all age levels and individually geared to each 4-Her's level of experience. It doesn’t matter if you are a first year lease member or a seasoned veteran at judging. 4-Hers will learn how to evaluate the type and conformation of their animal as they place four animals in a class. When they are ready, they will learn how to give a set of oral reasons that can defend their placings. Judging is noted for developing stronger decision making and communication skills. If you can't make this first session, no problem - more will follow. Please connect with Gabriella (Sorg) Houdek if you are interested and can’t make this first session. Her cell is 651-387-5598.

Join the rabbit judging team

If you are interested in joining the rabbit judging team, practices are held Thursday evenings after rabbit agility in the rabbit barn at the Dakota County Fairgrounds. Practice runs from 7 to 7:45 p.m. Upcoming practices are: June 30, July 7 and July 21. We look forward to seeing you!

Join the horse judging team

Horse judging is the art of ranking animals, using your knowledge of ideal horses. Then, use your public speaking skills to defend your choices.

If you are interested in learning more and to sign up, please click here.

This program is geared toward youth in sixth grade and above; however, youth in grades 3-5 are welcome to participate!

General Livestock Judging Practice Schedule set through June

Please note these practice dates for those interested in the General Livestock Judging Team.

  • June 28 - SW Regional 4-H Judging Contest - Slayton, MN: We will need to leave early in the morning and likely will not return until late afternoon to early evening
  • June 30 - 6:00 p.m. cattle practice at Neil's. Address: 27536 Chippendale Ave, Northfield, MN 55057

Be sure you let Matt Duff or Charlie Radman know if you are interested in the Slayton practice so that adequate transportation can be planned.

LQA&E Training - June 28; register by June 24

LQA&E training is scheduled for Tuesday, June 28 from 12:30-3:30 p.m. at the University of Minnesota, St. Paul Campus Beef Barn. Registration begins at 12:15 p.m.

Registration required by Friday, June 24.

Bussing provided from the Dakota County Extension office in Farmington. Email Cherie to reserve a spot on the bus.

Cost is $5 and will be collected at the door for supplies and snacks.

Livestock Quality Assurance (LQA&E) training helps youth provide excellent care for their food animals and ensure a high level of food safety to consumers. All youth participating as a State Fair 4-H livestock exhibitor (must have completed 6th grade or higher) in beef, dairy, sheep, swine, poultry, rabbits, meat goat, dairy goat, and llama-alpaca must have completed a livestock quality assurance training by July 25.

If June 28 does not work for your schedule, additional trainings hosted by other counties and the YQCA training link can be found the MN 4-H Livestock Quality Assurance Training website.

Dairy workshop interest survey

Are you new to the 4-H dairy project? Or maybe you want to fin-tune your showing skills. If there is interest, we are looking to host a dairy workshop which will be open to all those enrolled in 4-H in grades 3 and older. The workshop topics would include: fitting, clipping, daily care leading up to a show, judging, how to pick your next dairy project, showmanship, and proper nutrition. This is also a great opportunity to meet other 4-H'ers with the similar interests.

Complete the dairy workshop interest survey to let us know you are interested in participating. More updates to come, so stay tuned!

4-H Sheep and Meat Goat workshop - June 29; register by June 26

Dakota County 4-H is hosting a sheep and meat goat workshop on Wednesday, June 29 beginning at 5 p.m. at the Dakota County Fairgrounds, in the Children’s Barnyard. The workshop is for meat goat and sheep 4-H members in grade 3 and older. Youth grades 3-5 must have a parent or guardian present. Topics include showmanship, fitting, lamb lead, skill-a-thon and livestock judging. Pizza will be provided.

Members should bring one lamb or goat, fitting stand, clippers, soap, hose, and a blower.

The workshop is free but participants must register in 4-H Online by June 24. The 4-H Online event registration guide has step-by-step instructions to walk you through how to register. To register for an event in 4-H Online, the participant must be an active member in 4-H Online.

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Arts-In application available; due July 1

New this year, grades 3-5 will be added to the older kid's show!

Please complete the Arts-In registration form and return with payment to the Dakota County Extension Office in Farmington.

Arts-In is a performing arts summer program for youth grade 3 and above. All participants are cast in the show and learn a 30-minute original musical during the encampment. Arts-In shows are filled with singing, acting, choreography, and a whole lot of creative energy and fun! The shows are performed at the Dakota County Fair.

Your commitment will require you to be available for the following scheduled events:

  • Arts-In Auditions: July 17 from 5 to 8 p.m. at the Dakota County Extension Office
  • Arts-In Encampment: July 24-27 (depending on your part in the show, times and dates will vary) held at the Dakota County Extension Office
  • Fair Rehearsal Dates: To be Determined
  • Arts-In County Fair Performances: August 12, 13, 14

If you have any questions please contact Abby at

Poultry exhibition ban lifted by MBAH

The Minnesota Board of Animal Health released their statewide ban on poultry exhibitions. This release will go into effect on July 1, 2022. Those enrolled in the 4-H Poultry project can expect to receive a statewide email with details and resources as we all transition back to a “normal year” of having birds at the county fair. Be sure to review the resources provided, especially those related to biosecurity. Poultry exhibitors will need to be good stewards of these practices so that consumers feel comfortable when visiting our barn at the county fair.
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Judging Dates/Fair Dates:
  • July 11 - Fair Entry registrations due in
  • July 20 - Photography, Computer, and Video judging
  • July 21 - Demonstration and Illustrated Presentation judging
  • July 31- Dog Show Judging
  • August 3 - Clothing and Fashion Revue judging
  • August 5 - Oversized exhibit drop off
  • August 6 - Static/Indoor project judging
  • August 8-14 - Dakota County Fair

Enroll in Dakota County 4-H before participating in 4-H activities

Before participating in any 4-H event/acticity, youth are required to re-enroll in 4-H Online 2.0. For liability purposes, 4-H’ers need to have a completed enrollment on file to participate in club, county and regional/state events. Enrollment support can be found here.

Families should submit the Family Member Dues Payment Form 2021-2022 prior to participating in 4-H events. Contact Cherie at if you have questions. Dues payments can be mailed to the Extension Office or placed in the drop box between the front doors of the Extension Office. Scholarships are available to cover dues if needed and can be requested by completing the dues payment form.

Horse Clinics and Fun Show - new clinics added; pre-registration required

Horse clinics are topic specific events that allow youth to dive deeper into pleasure, showmanship, games, and trail with a professional clinician. Horseless Horse youth are invited to participate in all horse related clinics and events, though riding a horse is not permitted at these offerings for HLH youth. Please use this form to sign-up to participate. Sign-ups must be completed by noon on Friday before each clinic; clinics will be cancelled if minimum participant numbers are not met by registration deadline. Clinics run from 6-8 p.m. Please send payment to the Dakota County 4-H office prior to the event (there will be no charge for Horseless Horse participants to attend). All events are scheduled to take place at the Dakota County Fairgrounds.

Clinics & Fun Show Schedule:

  • June 28—Games ($10); register by June 24
  • July 12—Trail/Obstacles Clinic ($10); register by July 8
  • July 12 - Showmanship Clinic ($10); register by July 8
  • July 19—Fun Show ($5)—Gates open at 5pm, check-in at 5:30pm, show begins at 6 p.m.; register by July 15

Become a 4-H volunteer in time for summer!

It takes many caring adults to lead to the success of our 4-H programming!

With summer around the corner there are many volunteer opportunities available including; chaperoning various 4-H events, helping with workshops, working in the food and malt stands and much more.

We hope that you can take the time to complete the 4-H volunteer screening process so you can make an impact on our youth!

Apply to be a 4-H screened volunteer

Library on the go van...June 29

Dakota County is bringing library programs and services to community events, celebrations, and parks across Dakota County this summer with a Library On the Go van. Our library staff will provide library cards, share art activities, deliver story times, and connect residents to the library and its services.

Upcoming Library On the Go event this month includes: Wednesday, June 29 — C.O.P.S. in the Park at Harmon Park in West St. Paul

Horseless Horse bi-weekly sessions; next workshop June 30

We are now partnering with Lucky U Stables (located at 11050 Manning Ave S, Hastings). Please complete their online waiver before attending a session at Lucky U.

Who: Dakota County 4-H members grades 3 through 1 year past high school

When: (updated 5/20/22): 7-8 p.m.– June 30 (Lucky U Stables, new date!), July 7 (Dakota County Fairgrounds), July 21 (Lucky U Stables), August 18 (Lucky U Stables, new date!)—.

Where: Lucky U Stables (11050 Manning Ave S, Hastings) & Dakota County Fairgrounds Horse Arena (4008 220th St W, Farmington--see P on the fair map for arena location)

Cost: $60/participant; must be enrolled in 4-H Online prior to participating: download the payment form HERE.

A quick breakdown of the steps to participate in HLH:

Rabbit Agility practices running Thursday evenings

What is Rabbit Agility? Rabbit Agility is like dog agility where animals maneuver through a course of equipment: over, under, around and through in a timed event/race. Rabbit Agility is fun and exciting for the animals, handlers and spectators and is a great way for 4-H’ers to spend a little extra time with their rabbits and learn some fun training tools. Rabbit agility is for 4-H members in grade 2 and older. This is not a state qualifying event. Rabbit Agility Registration Form

Practices continue June 23, 30, July 7 & 21 from 6-7 p.m. at the Rabbit Barn on the Dakota County Fairgrounds. June 23 and July 21 will include a rabbit agility workshop in addition to practice.

4-H members must have attended at least four Dakota County 4-H sponsored rabbit agility practices during the summer to participate in the county fair rabbit agility contest. 4-H members may attend any practice that works for their schedule.

Dog Training every Monday night; registration required

Dog Training Class are underway!

It's not too late to sign-up to participate in In-person dog training classes on Monday nights at the Dakota County Extension and Conservation Center, 4100 220th St. West in Farmington. See the Dog Training schedule for specific times and dates for each discipline. Registration deadline is May 16.

Complete the Dog Training Registration form and submit with payment before attending training class; but no later than May 16. Registration required before attending training.

Before attending any dog training classes, all dog vaccinations must be up-to-date.

MN 4-H Dog Project website

MN 4-H 2022 Dog Information Sheet

MN 4-H Dog Project Guide

Shooting Sports and Wildlife Opportunity- Go-n-Seine, July 9

If you’re in need of wildlife hours for the SSW State Shoot event, join me at Fort Snelling State park on Saturday, July 9 from 1 to 2 p.m. for Go-n-Seine. We’ll be learning about fish and their habits.

Location: Fort Snelling State Park--- Meet at backwater of Picnic Island, follow posted signs on day of program.

Registration: None. Just show up ready for an adventure. Make sure to be on time.

To study fish populations, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources use nets called seine. This seining program will you help you identify a few fishes and discuss their habitat requirements.

Things to note:

  • Wear good tennis shoes. If you want to get close to the river, be aware that it may get muddy.
  • Bug spray is an absolute must for this event!
  • You will need a park pass. It’s $7 for the day or $35 for a year (then you can attend future events at Ft. Snelling and other state parks). Passes can be bought online ( or on-site at the entrance.
  • If it is raining, we will not go. I will be there if cloudy or sprinkling, but not in rain.
  • Find me (Sara Peters) to sign in for wildlife hours. I will be wearing a bright red shirt with Dakota on the back.

Contact Sara Peters - if you have any questions. Hope to see you on July 9th!

Shooting Sports & Wildlife range practice are going! We welcome you to join!

Are you new to the Shooting Sports & Wildlife (SS&W) program? Have you signed up for the SS&W project area in prior years but haven’t attended any SS&W activities? If so, now is the time to learn more and get involved.

The SS&W program has activities ranging from hikes and picnics (even in the winter) to learning how to safely handle archery, air rifles and pistols, shotguns, .22 rifles and muzzleloading firearms. The SS&W program is for youth grade 3 and older. Participants must be enrolled in 4-H Online before participating in any range activities.


Starting on Wednesday, June 22 trap practice is moving to Wednesday nights at 6 p.m.. Thursday evening practices at the Dakota County Gun Club will continue. If the weather is questionable, check your email be going to the range.

For more information on SS&W contact Peter Vogel at or Abby Wagner at

Minnesota State Fair Scholarship due Aug. 1

The Minnesota State Fair Foundation will award up to 22 scholarships of $1,000 each to young adults from greater Minnesota or those currently enrolled in a an agriculture program. Applications for the Minnesota State Fair Scholarship are due Aug. 1.
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Scholarships available

Are you a Minnesota 4-H livestock project participant who will be enrolled in an undergraduate program in the coming academic year? If so, consider applying for a 2022 MLBA 4-H Purple Ribbon Auction Scholarship! Apply by August 1.

Help wanted at MN State Fair!

The Minnesota State Fair is just over two months away, and we're busy looking for staff to make amazing 4-H fair experiences a reality! We have variety of open positions, including dorm staff, food service, livestock staff and more.

If you're looking for a fun experience working at the State Fair, check out these job opportunities and fill out an application.

Save the date- 4-H Federation meeting

Monday, July 11th, 7pm

4100 220th Street West

Farmington, MN

Agenda items include: discussing the county fair, program updates, and more.

Farmfest invites 4-H clubs to create hay bale sculptures

Farmfest is inviting 4-H clubs and FFA chapters to design and build hay bale sculptures to be displayed and auctioned at Farmfest 2022, Aug. 2 - 4, in Redwood County. Proceeds from the sale of each sculpture go directly to the youth group. Reach out to with questions. Entries are due June 30. Check out details, rules, and the entry form.

How to become a 4-H judge for fairs and 4-H events

Judging makes 4-H competitions possible! To be a judge, you don't need to be 4-H alum or an expert. You do need to know how to evaluate the learning that a 4-H'er has done. We will train you to do that.

Once you are signed up as a judge and have done your basic training, your name will be in our judges database, which 4-H staff use to locate judges for events. Some projects require specialist judging training. Find out how to become a judge.

Seeking 4-H project workshop instructors and ideas

Do you have a special interest or skill to share? Have an idea for a workshop or a connection for a workshop that you feel the 4-H’ers would enjoy? Let us know!!! 4-H staff are looking for volunteers to help lead new workshops this winter. If you have an interest in leading a workshop or have a suggestion of a great new idea please contact Abby.

Some specific classes looking for instructors include;

  • Valentines Candy/ Cookie Decorating
  • Fishing Sports- fishing lure making
  • Graphic Design
  • Cultural Cooking
  • Shop/ Wood Science
  • Photography
  • Drama/ Theatre/ Performing Arts
  • Career Exploration
  • Demonstrations
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The leading a 4-H club web page has launched

Resources for club leaders and volunteers leading a 4-H club have been reorganized. Explore these categories: Beginning the 4-H year, leading a 4-H club meeting (organized around a sample agenda), managing 4-H club operations, and ways to support club members. Suggest improvements to the site by using the gray “feedback” button on the right side of the screen.

Explore the new site.

Volunteer & Club Leader Helpful Resources

Apply to be a 4-H screened volunteer

Club project kits available

Club project kits to be used at club meetings are available for check out. Below is just a sampling of project kits available. Email Abby to reserve materials

- Crop art

- Geology

- Water Color

- MN Birds


- Wood Burning

- Snowshoes

- Cooking Kits

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Summer State and Regional Offerings:

  • September 9-11, State Shooting Sports Invitational

  • September 16-19, MN 4-H State Horse Show

  • September 24 & 25, MN 4-H State Dog Show

Summer Camps:
  • June 29 - Day camp - grade K-3 - Dakota County Fairgrounds in Farmington

4-H and JOANN

Current and lifetime 4-H members, parents, volunteers and staff can save 15 percent off all in-store and online purchases with JOANN'S 4-H REWARDS PROGRAM, and the retailer will give a minimum 2.5 percent of every eligible transaction to support 4-H programming. JOANN Fabric & Crafts Stores are partnering to ensure every kid has an equal opportunity to succeed.

Purchases made with the JOANN 4-H Rewards card help support the opportunity for all kids to experience hands on learning. Custom 4-H fabric is now available at JOANN stores or online. See the fabric designs. Share your creations on social media with #JOANNLOVES4H.

Dakota County 4-H Contacts