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4-H shows back in-person at state fair

For the Johnsons in Blue Earth County 4-H, it’s not just about the fair, it’s about family
Published: Aug. 26, 2021 at 10:56 PM CDT|Updated: Aug. 26, 2021 at 11:07 PM CDT
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ST. PAUL, Minn. (KEYC) - The Great Minnesota Get-Together is back together this year.

On top of the fried foods and the roller coasters, 4-H is also back showing animals in person again.

But for the Johnsons in Blue Earth County 4-H, it’s not just about the fair, it’s about family.

“Our family has been involved in 4-H for the last three years. We have two children who have been doing everything from livestock projects to activities such as fine arts, culinary arts,” said Erica Johnson, a parent volunteer and mom to Zoe and Sam.

For Zoe, it’s her first year showing animals in-person at the fair after showing them virtually last year.

“This year I’m really happy because I get to experience staying in dorms, meeting new people, just getting to see everywhere. Like I’ve been to the state fair before but only as a visitor, but actually being a part of the state fair is something that’s really fun and I really enjoy.”

Zoe is showing her my LaMancha dairy goat, Beatrice this year.

“For working in 4-H this year, it’s probably been just working with the dairy goats in general. They’re really fun to work with. The dairy goats that I show are very social,” Zoe said.

Sam said his favorite part about being a part of 4-H is taking care of the animals.

“You learn a lot more about them, learn a lot more about the animals themselves the more you care for them,” he said.

Erica said that she’s enjoyed watching her kids grow through 4-H.

“As a parent, my favorite aspect for my own kids has been watching their own personal development and maturity. Self confidence has been huge,” she said.

And for the Johnson siblings, working together also means there’s a little room for friendly competition.

“We have a chance to show a little better than the other sibling,” said Sam.

Organizers are calling this year’s state fair the Great Minnesota Get Back Together after last year’s fair was canceled due to the pandemic.

While the fair has not instituted a mask or vaccine mandate, officials are strongly encouraging fair-goers to wear masks indoors or when in large crowds regardless of vaccination status.

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