Our busy fair season officially starts this weekend with the Hennepin County Fair! I look forward to getting out to many of the fairs around the state, and seeing the 4-H youth and their accomplishments from the past year.
4-H is kicking off summer with a bang. Here are a few highlights:
- On June 10-13, 241 youth and 25 Minnesota 4-H State Ambassadors from across Minnesota, gathered at the 4-H building on the Minnesota State Fair grounds to participate in the annual 4-H Youth Exploring Leadership and Learning Out loud! (YELLO!) youth leadership conference. This year’s theme was “Route 4-H,” and Ambassadors led participants on a trip through the 4-H pledge, each day focusing on a different part of the pledge - head, heart, hands, health - and how they could apply that in home, family, club, community, country, world. Youth also participated in service learning activities for Feed My Starving Children (went to three locations around town) and Habitat for Humanity (built Adirondack chairs and toy storage boxes, and participated in poverty simulations), and went on fun field trips to the Big Thrill Factory/Grand Slam and Minnesota Science Museum.
- National 4-H Council is partnering for the third summer with the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME Group) to deliver Commodity Carnivals that teach youth about the enormous value of agriculture and its impact on the economy. Minnesota 4-H is excited to participate in this partnership again, and will be delivering the carnival activities at several county fairs and the Minnesota State Fair. The Commodity Carnival game helps youth learn about managing the business risks associated with producing and bringing livestock to market.
- 47 teams with 279 youth from 25 counties have signed up so far for this year’s 4-H Rube Goldberg Challenge to build a machine that will put toothpaste on a toothbrush, more than double the number from last year! The excitement and learning about engineering will be a highlight at county and state fairs this summer.
- 49 youth on 15 teams from across the state are currently on the St. Paul campus as part of our first annual 4-H Science of Agriculture Challenge. In judging presentations today, youth are sharing their research and solutions for ag-related issues they identified. They also participated in workshops on interviewing and building resumés. Tomorrow they will take campus tours to explore agriculture and science resources at the university, share their research at a showcase fair and connect with representatives from the agribusiness community who are eager to meet the next generation of leaders in agriculture. The event will end with an awards and recognition celebration where the top three teams will receive scholarships that can be used at any university, college or accredited trade school.
I’m very excited about all of this wonderful work, and look forward to seeing all of the learning and accomplishments from 4-H’ers around the state at county fairs this summer!