Mikayla Opatz showed various sheep during the showcase held last month. She won Champion Market Lamb, Champion Pen of 3 Lambs, Reserve Champion Sr. Sheep Showperson and Reserve Champion Ewe. Photo sumbitted

Youth showcase a year of 4-H learning in Brown County

Throughout Minnesota, 4-H educators and youth put their innovation skills to work as they created alternative experiences to replace 2020 county fairs, including the Brown County Fair.

On August 10 - 15 , Brown County 4-H’ers shared their skills and accomplishments with judges in a modified showcase environment, as necessitated by COVID-19. The annual livestock shows took place in a modified setting which prioritized safe practices for youth and judges which were able to be held in-person. General projects were also judged in a virtual format which allowed youth to show off a variety of project areas for judges.

“This has been a challenging year for 4-H’ers. We’re truly proud of how they’ve risen to the occasion to help make their showcases happen,” said Extension educator Abigail Schwab. “We’ve seen some amazing displays of ingenuity from Brown County 4-H’ers.”

“4-H’s priority is to provide learning and leadership experiences that guide youth in building relationships, developing communication techniques, and strengthening organizational skills,” said Jennifer A. Skuza, Extension Center for Youth Development Associate Dean and State 4-H Director. “We’ve been committed to helping maintain the county fair experience as much as possible, recognizing that possibilities and limitations vary among all of Minnesota’s 87 counties.”

Springfield’s local 4-H group Burnstown/Brookville did a wonderful job at the showcase. They were awarded numerous champion and reserve champion awards.

Educator Abigail Schwab noted that the events could not have been conducted without the help of families, volunteers, Brown County fairboard and grounds crew, and the New Ulm Farm City Hub Club. . “We’re grateful to 4-H supporters for helping us put youth at the center of our alternative fair and creating a memorable, meaningful experience.”

To learn more about 4-H in Brown County, contact Extension 4-H Educator Abigail Schwab, at

507-217-7527 and visit the website, www.4-H.umn.edu .

Check out our back page for more 4-H photos. 

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