Dear YD colleagues,
Today is the first day of the Minnesota State Fair! Over the next 12 days, thousands of 4-H youth throughout the state will travel to the fairgrounds in St. Paul to showcase their accomplishments and learning from the year.
More than 65,000 4-H youth worked very hard throughout the year, participating in clubs, after-school programs, community service, civic engagement, school enrichment, volunteering and more. All 4-H'ers learn problem solving, decision making, project management, communications and public speaking. Some 4-H'ers choose to share their accomplishments and educate the public about their projects at their local county fair. And approximately 6,000 4-H'ers will participate in 4-H at the Minnesota State Fair!
We also have a number of other exciting new things happening at the State Fair this year.
National 4-H Council is partnering for the second year with CME Group to educate youth about the vital role of agriculture commodities in daily life, and will have a commodity carnival in the cattle barn the first weekend of the fair with fun investment activities to teach youth about the market.
In the 4-H building, we will host the first 4-H Engineering Design Challenge: Build a Rube Goldberg Machine! Twenty-one teams of 4-H youth from across the state have built a Rube Goldberg Machine that zips a zipper. The teams have competed at their county fairs, improved their machines based on judges input, and will participate in the statewide competition in the 4-H building Aug. 25, 27, 29 and 31. The goal of the new annual event is to make Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) fun and exciting for youth, and help them develop 21st century learning and innovation skills such as critical thinking, communication, collaboration, and creativity.
We also have an activity to highlight our new 4-H Science of Agriculture Challenge launching this fall. The 4-H Science of Agriculture Challenge will ask teams of youth to partner with local experts to explore and develop science-based solutions to agriculture-related issues they have identified in their communities. Visitors to the 4-H Building during the state fair can participate in an activity that highlights the possibilities for the new 4-H Science of Ag Challenge, and operate drones equipped with cameras to monitor crop yields, wildlife and natural disaster recovery in Minnesota.
I hope to see some of you at the Minnesota State Fair! If you do see me, please stop and say hello.
Associate dean & state 4-H director