Youth sought for Premier Exhibitor program at 2012 SD State Fair |

Youth sought for Premier Exhibitor program at 2012 SD State Fair

New to the 2012 South Dakota State Fair is the Beef, Sheep and Swine Premier Exhibitor program for junior and senior 4-H youth.

“The purpose of this award is to provide an opportunity for 4-H exhibitors to demonstrate their production and management skills and to reward them for the knowledge they have in their livestock projects,” said Megan Nielson, SDSU Extension Youth Livestock Field Specialist.

The top 10 youth will be recognized in each species with special awards for first and second place individuals.


Through the Premier Exhibitor program, youth will practice their decision making and communication skills by competing in four events: Industry Interview; Skill-a-thon; Production and Management Quiz; and Showmanship. A panel of judges, representing the South Dakota beef, sheep or swine industry, will ask a few short questions during the industry interview and score youth on accuracy of their answers and overall presentation skills.

Youth who enter will be contacted by the Premier Exhibitor committee to schedule a time to complete the industry interview. Next, youth will complete the Skill-a-thon and Quiz. The Skill-a-thon will encompass hands-on stations that focus on animal selection, meats, animal health, and nutrition. During the Skill-a-thon youth will complete a 25-question quiz focused on their specie’s management and industry issues.

Aug. 31, the Swine Skill-a-thon will be from Noon to 4 p.m. and Sheep Skill-a-thon 4-8 p.m. Sept. 1 will be the Beef Skill-a-thon from 1-5 p.m.. Finally, youth will receive points for their placing in showmanship. Points from all the sections will be added to determine the total score for Premier Exhibitor.


Youth must be 11-18 (age on or before Jan. 1) and members of South Dakota 4-H to enter Beef, Sheep or Swine Premier Exhibitor divisions.

Youth may only compete in one species and are required to have animal entries in that division. Example: If a youth competes for Beef Premier Exhibitor they are ineligible to compete for Swine Premier Exhibitor.

To register, contact your local 4-H Youth Program Advisor, the registration is integrated into the State Fair Entry process on There will be a $10 entry fee due by the county deadline for State Fair entries. Money generated from entry fees will be distributed on a sliding scale to the Top 10 participants within each Premier Exhibitor.

For a full list of rules and suggested study resources to help youth prepare reference the South Dakota State Fair 4-H Division Handbook on

Questions? Contact Youth Livestock Field Specialist Megan Nielson,

– SDSU Extension


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