Bonus trips recognize excellent local youth development programs.
Each county is allowed a number of youth to attend the state fair or state horse show. These quotas are set each spring by state program leaders. Each county can apply for more youth from their county to attend (a "bonus") based on the excellence of their youth development programming. Tribal programs should apply through their county.
Bonus trips encourage local programs to strive for programming excellence across all animal species, and to support positive learning experiences for youth. It does not recognize individual youth or project quality.
Each county may send in one application per animal species for state fair. Each county may send in two applications for state horse show but can only win one. See all details below. Application planning starts in February or March. If you want to help your county prepare its bonus trips application, contact your local 4-H office.
State fair livestock bonus trips
Bonus trips were created to address the increasing requests from Extension Educators for additional State Fair livestock trips. The purpose for awarding additional trips is to encourage counties to strive for programming excellence across all species. Minnesota 4-H’s goal is to encourage educational programming in counties and develop stronger applications in programming excellence - leading to the advancement of quality learning experiences for youth statewide. Livestock bonus trips are only offered in programming excellence. The number of bonus trips is set and will be awarded if quality denotes the awarding of a trip.
Does your local 4-H program offer
- Educational, engaging, interactive and fun activities?
- Creative learning opportunities in project meetings, tours, demonstrations and other settings?
- Hosting a livestock day camp.
- County-wide leasing or ownership opportunities that allow more youth to experience the project.
- Group tours to a business or production facility featuring latest trends and career opportunities.
- Group online learning opportunities that highlight species information on animal selection, animal health and nutrition, biosecurity, etc.
- Traditional offerings such as fitting and grooming clinics will carry less weight than opportunities that are creative and innovative.
- Applications may include information on traditional and statewide opportunities such as Judging programs, Project/Quiz Bowl teams and LQA&E trainings.
In your application, be sure to discuss the size, scope and impact of each opportunity. Include goals, youth involvement in planning and implementation, and any other relevant points that speak to the leadership skills enhanced by participants.
Typically, 56 livestock bonus trips will be awarded
- Beef - 10
- Dairy - 10
- Dairy goat - 4
- Meat goat - 4
- Poultry - 6
- Rabbit - 6
- Sheep - 8
- Swine - 8
Bonus trips are awarded for the excellence of the local 4-H program, not for the quality of individual members' projects.
A youth or adult volunteer completes the application online (posted in early spring). Work with your local 4-H educator to prepare the strongest possible application from your county, please include information about educational programming from June 1, 2020 to June 1, 2022 (extended reporting time due to not having the Bonus Trip Application program in 2021).
Review and notification
Applications will be reviewed by the species subcommittee which includes Extension Staff, youth and adult volunteers. Bonus trips will be awarded by June 25. Counties earning bonus trips will be highlighted with a brief description of programming accomplishments in each species’ show catalog.
State horse show bonus trips
Local committees may apply in one or both of these categories, but they can win only one trip.
The program excellence trip
- Rewards local programs that do an outstanding job of delivering high-quality horse project learning to 4-H'ers.
- Requirements: Cover sheet, 400-word description and two pages of captioned photos or newspaper publicity describing the success and benefits of the program.
The quality program trip
- Rewards local programs whose members have competed well in all areas of the horse project.
- Requirements: Cover sheet, 200-word description, two pages of captioned photos or newspaper publicity and a completed three page award spreadsheet listing the achievements of 4-H horse project members.
A total of 20 horse show bonus trips are awarded each year -- at most one per county. Once awarded, each county has a different way for deciding which 4-H'er will receive the trip.
A youth or adult volunteer completes the application online. For the strongest possible application, contact your local 4-H educator before you apply. Include information about programming since June 1 last year.
Program excellence application
Quality program application and Award spreadsheet
If you can't access the online application, send an email to Amy DeGroot at firstname.lastname@example.org to get a paper application or call 218-828-2300.
Review and notification
Review committees for each animal species are made up of Extension staff, adult and youth volunteers. Each county has a different process for deciding which 4-H'er will receive it. Bonus trips are awarded by July 15.
- Mille Lacs
Winners will be recognized in the state horse show catalog, along with a brief description of their accomplishments.
Reviewed in 2022