Recognizing that exhibiting animals at the state level can stretch the family budget, the Minnesota State Fair is offering a new grant program for first-time participants at the fair.
Fair officials hope the Beginning Exhibitor Livestock Learning Experience (BELLE) grant also hopes to generate interest in continuing to cultivate youth experiences in the livestock industry at the state level.
The BELLE grant, funded by the Minnesota State Fair Foundation, will provide funds and mentors to 15 youth livestock exhibitors who are first-time participants to the Great Minnesota Get-Together.
The BELLE grant will provide $500 each to 11 large-animal exhibitors entering beef cattle, dairy cattle, horses, sheep, swine, goats and llamas; and $250 each to four small-animal competitors exhibiting rabbits and poultry. Funds will help offset costs of participating in the fair, including travel, lodging and purchasing show supplies.
Grants will be paid to the exhibitor when participation at the Minnesota State Fair is complete, and all requirements detailed in the application process have been submitted. Applicants must be Minnesota residents between the ages of 10 and 18.
The state fair is also seeking peer-to-peer mentors to help guide grant recipients throughout the year. Each mentor will be paired with a grant recipient who exhibits the same species as the mentor. Mentors will be asked to meet with their mentee once in person or via video conference, and be available throughout the summer to answer any questions that may arise. Mentors will receive two state fair admission tickets and a certificate of participation.
Applications for the BELLE grant and peer-to-peer mentorship program are open now through April 30. Find information about the programs and how to apply.
The 2021 Minnesota State Fair runs Aug. 26 to Labor Day, Sept. 6.
Source: Minnesota State Fair, which is solely responsible for the information provided and is wholly owned by the source. Informa Business Media and all of its subsidiaries are not responsible for any of the content contained in this information asset.