Extension in Blue Earth County
Welcome to Blue Earth County
Blue Earth County partners with Extension to deliver practical education and research you can use at home, at work and in your community.
4-H is the University of Minnesota’s out-of-school, a hands-on learning program for youth from Kindergarten through one year past high school graduation. It is a public program for all youth delivered in each county through UMN Extension. Through hands-on learning, youth in 4-H build not only confidence, creativity, and curiosity but also life skills such as leadership and resiliency to help them thrive today and tomorrow. There are so many ways to participate in Minnesota 4-H!
- What is Minnesota 4-H? (you tube)
- Frequently Asked Questions about Blue Earth County 4-H
All 4-H members in grades K-2 are called Cloverbuds and this is a special time in 4-H. Cloverbuds focus on non-competitive discovery and learning!
- Learn more: What is a Minnesota 4-H Cloverbud? (you tube)
4-H clubs meet on a regular basis to learn together with friends. They work on 4-H projects, serve their community, develop leadership skills and learn to work together. Many people choose the club closest to them. Others choose to be with friends they already know.
- Learn more about Current Blue Earth County 4-H Clubs, when and where they meet and how to connect with the club leader.
- Learn more: What is a Minnesota 4-H club? (you tube)
4-H, youth choose projects that are interesting to them to explore with peers and caring adults. 4-H offers learning experiences in science, photography, agriculture, healthy living, civic engagement and much more. Projects are important in 4-H because we believe in experiential learning, which is why our motto is “Learn by Doing!”
- Learn more: What is a Minnesota 4-H project? (you tube).
- What is a 4-H project vs. a fair exhibit?
- Step-by-Step Project Workbook
What is University of Minnesota Extension?
We are excited to have you join us!
Step 1) Find which club you are interested in joining. Blue Earth County has 6 4-H Clubs. Feel free to contact the club leader listed with specific questions about each individual club.
Step 2) Create a 4HOnline account - we use an enrollment software called 4HOnline. This keeps everything for us - health forms, contact information, projects and interest areas. Once you have logged into the account you can enroll in Blue Earth County 4-H! The step-by-step instructions are also attached here for your convenience.
Step 3) Get in touch with us if you have any questions - that is why we're here.
4-H events in Blue Earth County
Attend a 4-H event near you.
All 4-H events
Find a 4-H event in Minnesota.
4-H news in Blue Earth County
Stay informed about all that is happening in Blue Earth County 4-H.
Statewide 4-H news
Learn more about what is happening in Minnesota 4-H.
The Blue Earth County Fair is held each year in July at the Blue Earth County Fairgrounds in Garden City. The fair provides 4-H members with a place to showcase exhibits about their project learning and share what they have learned with friends, judges and community members.
4-H members who earn blue ribbons at the Blue Earth County Fair (and have completed grade 6) may earn the opportunity to advance to the Minnesota State Fair. Similarly, members in the horse and dog projects are eligible to advance to the state horse and dog shows, which are held at the state fairgrounds later in September.
Blue Earth County Fair 2023
Summer is here! Are you ready to show us what you’ve learned? Enclosed is the 2023 Blue Earth County 4-H Premium Book. This is your guide for planning and registering exhibits for the Blue Earth County Fair, July 20-23, 2023.
The fair registration deadline is June 16 at 11:59 p.m.
Starting today, May 22, 2023, you can log into Fair Entry with your 4HOnline email and password to register exhibits for the fair.
Please take some time to review the Premium Book and fair schedule.
All families are expected to read the ESSENTIAL INFORMATION FOR EXHIBITORS section and other information related to your exhibit entries.
The Premium Book is also published online at z.umn.edu/BE4H, along with a user guide for Fair Entry, our online fair registration program.
Here are a few highlights and reminders as you register for the fair:
What’s new in 2023?
Thursday, July 20th: Award Plaques will be given out to Static/General Projects & Farm Family Recognition at the Judging Arena before Ag Olympics Contest
Thursday, July 20th: General Project Premiums Given Out by Fairboard, Table outside Fairboard Office Make plans to stop by the fairboard office to pick up premium money for general projects. Robin Tietz will be handing out the cash prizes. (This is a strict pick up time for general project premiums, livestock premiums will still be mailed after the fair.)
State Fair Exhibitor Meeting: After the Fair: July 26th-Envelopes given out: Gate Passes, Meal Tickets, Logistics for transportation discussed *If you cannot make it to this meeting, please pick up your materials from our office. *If you have any projects you can bring them to our office for us to transport to the State Fair.
Fair Entry Made Easier
We’ve made some big changes to make it easier to register for general project exhibits, Cloverbud exhibits, dog, and horse. You’ll be able to register for all your classes on one screen.
We love when Cloverbuds come to the fair! We work hard to offer a rich learning experience for our youngest members at the fair.
All Cloverbud information is in one section in the premium book, and now is all in one section in Fair Entry, too. Even animals for Cloverbuds are now registered in the Cloverbud section of Fair Entry.
Food stand shifts for Cloverbuds are optional. The food stand is a great way to get to know other 4-H families.
Don’t forget about these sign-ups!
We do some of our sign-ups outside of 4HOnline. Visit these links to sign up for everything else:
Food Stand Shift - z.umn.edu/BEFoodstand
Volunteer at the fair - z.umn.edu/BEVolunteer
Ag Olympics team registration - z.umn.edu/AgOlympics
Animal Science Interviews - z.umn.edu/BEInterviews
Bunny Barn - z.umn.edu/BEbunnybarn
Other helpful links:
Blue Earth website with all fair information - z.umn.edu/BE4H
Guide to 4-H projects - z.umn.edu/BE4H
County Fair exhibitor checklist. - z.umn.edu/BE4H
Projects and more - find all project area ideas, evaluations, and more here - z.umn.edu/ProjectsandMore
Reminders about Registering Animals in Fair Entry
All animals coming to the fair must already be identified in 4HOnline (except Cloverbud animals, pets, and poultry). You must now register youth in Fair Entry for fair exhibit classes outlined in the premium book and attach animals to those entries .
Animals are interchangeable between siblings.
You may change the animals you attach to exhibit classes up until ID Check at the fair (see the schedule), but you must register now for all the classes in which you may want to show an animal.
You can scratch classes at ID Check at the fair, but you cannot add them (without penalty). So be sure to register for all the classes in which you expect each child in your family to participate at the fair. For example, if you have one animal and are unsure which child will show it, register both children for the class and attach the same animal to each. When you make your final class selections at ID Check at the fair, you will scratch all but one entry.
Only one member may show an animal at the fair, except Cloverbuds. Cloverbuds may show an animal ID’ed and registered (and shown) by an older sibling or 4-H member, They may also show their own animal. In Fair Entry, Cloverbuds simply register for the class and do not attach an animal to the entry.
At your designated ID Check at the fair, exhibitors must declare which animals they will exhibit and their final class selections (meaning which classes they will scratch).
Cloverbuds, Pets, and Poultry did not have to be identified in 4HOnline. In Fair Entry, you will register your child for the class, but you will not be required to attach an animal or enter animal ID information. However, you do need to follow the Board of Animal Health Guidelines for animals coming to their fair (see z.umn.edu/AnimalID or check the premium book), such as proof of vaccination, ID tags, Health Statement, etc.
Volunteering: Part of the Fair Experience
The fair is truly a community event and it takes many hands to make a fair work. Sign up to make your contribution to a successful fair:
You will be asked to sign up for the food stand before registering for fair exhibits: z.umn.edu/BEFoodstand
Sign up to assistant judges or help with a show: z.umn.edu/BEVolunteer
Clubs have assignments for the fair so be sure to ask your club leader how you can help!
Each year we ask clubs to provide adults/youth each to assist with set-up and clean-up at the fair. Set-up and clean-up are both large tasks and we need all hands on deck! Work with your club leader and other members to pick your shift. **This is for the 4-H Exhibit Hall and 4-H Foodstand only. All animal science exhibitors are expected to help with barn set-up and clean-up at the same times below.
Set-up: Saturday, July 15. 9 a.m.-12 p.m.
Clean-up: Sunday, July 23, 3-6 p.m.
Questions? We’re here to help!
Call Lizz Kendall, 4-H Extension educator at 507-304-4142 or the Extension office at 507-304-4325.
We can’t wait to see everyone at the fair!
Lizz Kendall, 4-H Extension Educator
Kelly Hulke, Administrative Assistant
Emily Kranz, 4-H Summer Intern
4-H Youth Development is a hands-on learning program for Minnesota youth. We offer online, small group and independent learning experiences for youth of all ages. In 4-H, youth choose the topic they find interesting and caring adults support their learning and leadership. From agronomy to space exploration and creative arts to outdoor adventures, 4-H has just the right learning experience for young people.
There are many ways to participate in 4-H!
There are also many ways adults (anyone age 18+) can support youth learning and leading in 4-H.
Want to learn about volunteering with the 4-H Youth Development Program?
Visit the Volunteering with 4-H page to learn more about how volunteers positively impact youth and the community.
Contact your 4-H Extension Educator to learn about specific roles available in your community.
Ready to become a screened Minnesota 4-H volunteer?
Visit the Apply to become a 4-H volunteer page to begin the application and screening process.
Give to Blue Earth County 4-H
Gifts support 4-H youth development in Blue Earth County, and local programming coordinated by the Blue Earth County 4-H Council.
Blue Earth County Extension Office
Lizz Kendall, Extension Educator, 4-H Youth Development
firstname.lastname@example.org or Office: 507-304-4142 Cell: 507-246-2107
Agriculture events in Blue Earth County
Attend an agriculture-related event near you.
Statewide agriculture events
Agriculture conferences, in-person events and online courses are offered all year around the state.
Agriculture news in Blue Earth County
Find the latest on Extension agricultural research and news you can use on your farm from local experts.
Statewide news and blogs
- Agricultural Business Management News - Business and financial resources for farmers.
- Beef News - Beef industry featured events, farm safety and animal health.
- Dairy News - Dairy industry featured events, farm safety and animal health.
- Fruit and Vegetable News - Local production and marketing of fruit and vegetable crops in Minnesota.
- Minnesota Crop News - Emerging issues affecting Minnesota row crops and forages.
- Private Pesticide Applicator information
- Contact the Farm Information Line. 1-800-232-9077 or email@example.com
The mission of the University of Minnesota Extension Master Gardener Program is to support Extension by providing volunteers trained in horticulture to educate the public with research based information on the best practices in consumer horticulture.
Visit the Blue Earth county Master Gardener volunteers on Facebook.
Gardening events in Blue Earth County
Find gardening learning opportunities online and near you.
Statewide gardening events
Find out about the Master Gardener Volunteer core course or attend other events offered throughout the year.
Gardening news in Blue Earth County
Find the latest gardening tips and news you can use in your own back yard from local experts.
- Yard and Garden News - Gardening tips and emerging issues affecting Minnesota.
- My Minnesota Woods - Find out how to take care of your trees and enjoy Minnesota's beautiful woodlands.
- Natural Resources News - From preserving our wetlands to combating invasive species, read about protecting and enjoying nature.
Health and nutrition
Extension offers a variety of educational programs about nutrition and health in Blue Earth County. These programs are open to families and individuals of all ages who are eligible for benefits through the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or who meet Extension’s program income guidelines.
Programs are offered in community settings such as food shelves, schools, community centers and public housing sites. The programs are free to all individuals and families who meet income guidelines, and may be offered in multiple languages, depending on the audience needs and availability of educators.
Health and nutrition events in Blue Earth County
Learn more about staying healthy and eating well.
Statewide health and nutrition events
Join Extension educators and community partners in events that encourage health, wellbeing and good nutrition.
Health and nutrition news in Blue Earth County
Stay up to date with our health and nutrition news.
Find information that helps families make informed decisions leading to better health and wellbeing.
Use the Real Life, Good Food website to find recipes, cooking tips and physical activity ideas for a healthier life.
The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Education (SNAP-Ed) is the educational component of the United States Department of Agriculture’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), a program that offers nutrition assistance to eligible, low-income individuals and families.
Please contact Rachel Jones, SNAP-Ed Educator with questions.
Extension engages Minnesotans to strengthen the social, civic, economic and technological capacity of their communities. We help create vibrant communities and enhance skills and knowledge in economics, leadership and civic engagement, and tourism.
Check our community research page for reports on county and community-focused topics relating to local economics, retaining businesses, growing retail markets, developing tourism, and more.
Local programs can be offered in collaboration with local community organizations and government agencies. Current programs include Minnesota Agricultural and Rural Leadership (MARL).
Contact an educator in your area for consultation, guidance and conversation about your community.
Minnesota is a great place to explore, understand and conserve the natural landscape. Extension education, volunteer and community science programs encourage people to become stewards of Minnesota’s public and private lands.
Volunteer. Natural resources volunteers track invasive species, detect forest pests and count native bees, among many other activities. You also can study to become a Minnesota Master Naturalist.
Extension's Regional Sustainable Development Partnerships (RSDP) connect Greater Minnesota communities and University of Minnesota knowledge and resources to support local sustainability projects.
Working in partnership, RSDP supports community-driven projects in four focus areas: agriculture and food systems, clean energy, natural resources, and resilient communities. Projects are supported by boards made up of local community members and University faculty and staff.
Learn more about RSDP’s recent work in your county and neighboring communities, and how to submit a project idea.
Statewide community development events
Join us at an event in your community.
Statewide natural resources events
Find opportunities to learn about the natural environment, how to care for your forest lands, and how you and your family can get out and explore nature around the state and in your own backyard.
Community development news
Find information on community-focused news.
My Minnesota Woods
Find out how to take care of your trees and enjoy Minnesota's beautiful woodlands.
Natural Resources News
From preserving our wetlands to combating invasive species, read about protecting and enjoying nature.
Learn more about community-driven sustainability projects happening across Minnesota.
Blue Earth County Extension
U of M Extension, Blue Earth County
Blue Earth County Historic Courthouse
204 South 5th Street, Suite #330
Mankato, MN 56002
PO Box 168
Mankato, MN 56002
Blue Earth County events
View all events hosted in and near Blue Earth County.
Extension courses and events
Extension provides in-person and online educational events all over Minnesota. Find one to attend.
Blue Earth County news
Read all news from Blue Earth County.
Extension wide news
Read the latest news from all of Extension's programs.
Extension brings Minnesotans together to build a better future through University science-based knowledge, expertise and training. Learn more about Extension by visiting our about page and by browsing this website.