Minnesota 4-H and Master Gardener programs affected by State Fair cancellation
The cancellation of the 2020 Minnesota State Fair due to COVID-19 affects two popular attractions at the Fair: Minnesota 4-H and the Extension Master Gardener program.
Both are part of University of Minnesota Extension, which issued the following statement from Dean Beverly Durgan:
“Like countless Minnesotans, we love the State Fair. It’s a great way to see first-hand the work of Minnesota 4-H, our committed corps of Extension Master Gardener volunteers, and other colleagues who help deliver science-based research, education and outreach.
“We recognize the difficult decision faced by the Minnesota State Fair and the need to prioritize public health. We’re mindful that the 4-H pledge calls upon youth to pledge their head, heart, hands and health ‘to better living, for my family, my club, my community, my country, and my world.’ We’re entrusted to support and model that pledge.
“At Extension, we’re working hard to create alternate experiences for 4-H'ers and others. We know this is particularly hard for 4-H youth and their families, and we will continue to extend support to them. In the coming weeks, we will be sharing our plans for ways we can create new experiences. It won’t replace the Fair but we are committed to meaningful programming.”
About Extension, Minnesota 4-H and Master Gardeners
Extension plays a key role in the University of Minnesota's mission: It brings Minnesotans together to build a better future through University science-based knowledge, expertise and education.
Minnesota 4-H operates under the direction of University of Minnesota Extension as part of the University’s land-grant mission. It functions as the University’s youth development program, providing out-of-school, hands-on learning for youth ages 5 to 19. Last year, nearly 66,000 young people throughout the state participated in 4-H programs, with about 5,600 coming to the State Fair. Each year, more than 320,000 fairgoers visit the 4-H building.
Across Minnesota, more than 2,300 Extension Master Gardener volunteers serve their communities. They use research-based horticultural knowledge and practices to deliver educational outreach and project-based efforts. Volunteers staff the popular Extension Master Gardener booth in the Horticulture Building throughout the State Fair.