Dakota County 4-H Fair Edition

July 29, 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 judging.

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 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

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

Big picture

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

Please help keep them open by signing up for a shift! Volunteering is easy (and fun!) at the dining hall or malt stand. 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.

There are still over 100 open shifts in the dining hall and six open shifts in the malt stand. Throughout the week, there are nine different timeframes in the dining hall where we do not have enough volunteers to remain open and serve the public. These are key times when the stand is very busy and fundraising is most successful.

We ask each family to fill 1 adult shift and 1 youth shift PER participating youth in the program. Remember admission on the grounds is free!

Sign up here: Dining Hall Sign Up Malt Stand Sign Up

NEW for 2022:

We'll be serving malts from the dining hall so we need malt makers there too! To claim a malt maker shift in the dining hall, see the dining hall sign-up.

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.

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

Animal Science Questions? Who to call for help

If you have questions, please feel free to connect with:

● Taylor: 651-480-7755 (tjerde@umn.edu)

● Brad: 651-480-7758 (ruggx002@umn.edu)

Poultry pre-fair workshop - July 31

The poultry pre-fair workshop is scheduled for Sunday, July 31 from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. at the south end of the Poultry barn on the Dakota County Fairgrounds.

Primary focus of the workshop includes fair prep and how to get your birds ready for the show.

Do not bring your birds to this workshop.

4-H animal science pre-fair letter posted

The 4-H pre-fair animal science information letter is posted on the Dakota County 4-H website.

We suggest that you print this information as it will be helpful as you navigate through the 2022 Dakota County 4-H animal science programming leading up to and at the Dakota County Fair.

If you have questions, please feel free to connect with:

4-H Animal Science Night-August 1

4-H Animal Science Night is Monday, August 1 from 5 to 8 p.m. at the Sheep/Goat and Poultry/Rabbit Barn on the Dakota County Fairgrounds.

Animal Science Night judging includes:

  • Livestock interviews
  • Horse knowledge test
  • Science of Animals educational exhibit
  • Horse related exhibit
  • Horseless horse related exhibit
  • Rabbit Skillathon

  • Pullorum-typhoid testing for poultry

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

When you get to animal science night, go to each species tables that you have exhibits. You will be asked to review your county fair exhibit lists. Volunteers will be verifying what animals you are bringing to the fair, so before arriving at the fairgrounds for interviews, know what animals/tag number you will be exhibiting at the fair. This will help the committee determine barn space for your family for final stalling.

Some species have volunteer shifts for such things as barn duty; you will be asked to sign up this night; the link will be posted at the sign-up tables as well. Species with these sign ups include: sheep, rabbit and horse. Please make helping in the species area in which you are showing a priority.


Monday, August 1 from 5 to 8 p.m.

● Goat

● Dairy

● Beef

● Rabbit

● Horse

Wednesday, August 11 at 7 a.m. (during the week of the fair)

● Poultry

● Sheep

Horse barn clean-up and stall decorating - August 2

All horse families should plan to attend horse barn clean-up and stall decorating on Tuesday, August 2 at 5 p.m. We would like to get an accurate count of people attending for food. You can sign up here: Horse Barn Clean Up - Google Forms

Livestock Demonstrations

Livestock demonstration judging is on Tuesday, Aug. 9 and Wed., Aug 10, depending on species.

First encampment demonstrations will be recorded on Tuesday, August 9, from 1:30-3:30 p.m. Species included are: dairy, goat, rabbit, beef cow/calf or feeder calves. The location will be communicated as the date approaches and facilities are confirmed. Swine, sheep, poultry, market beef and horse demonstrations will be on Wednesday, August 10 from 1-3 p.m. in the Swine Barn Arena.

Regardless of encampment, sign up here for livestock demonstrations. Visit page 52 of the premium book for specific information for each presentation type.

Contact Rachel at reza0027@umn.edu if you have questions.

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


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
  • Horse Speech - judging Wednesday, August 10 (note new judging date and time); sign-up for a judging time


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.


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

Big picture

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