DeKalb County 4-H Fair Returns

The county 4-H fair returns to normal after a year of virtual shows.

Last year the DeKalb County 4-H Fair was held virtually with members submitting photos or videos of their projects. Naturally, the lack of in-person shows prompted a reduction in participation by members.

“We hope that getting back to normal and doing things like we’ve done in the past will increase Fair participation, by being in-person again,” said Nicole Groezinger, 4-H Youth Development Program Coordinator in DeKalb County.

The 4-H office is now accepting online fair entries for both the General Projects Show and Livestock Show at:

“So much of the fair is about the comradery, seeing other 4-H members and their families,” said Johnna Jennings, Extension Educator, 4-H Youth Development, for DeKalb-Boone-Ogle counties. “We are hoping to make this year’s fair as normal as we can following university (and CDC) guidelines. Our goal is for everyone to stay healthy and safe.”

Adjustments have been made to the General Projects Show schedule with members having to sign up for exact judging times in 15 minute increments, explained Groezinger. Members may leave once their project has been judged. Project conference judging will occur in the morning and afternoon on July 7 and 8 in the DeKalb County Farm Bureau Building.

The public is invited to view general projects on display, July 8 from 4 until 7 p.m.

There will be no awards program this year. However, awards will be distributed to 4-H members and State Fair delegates will be chosen.

Livestock shows and contests return to the Sandwich Fairgrounds, Aug. 6-8. Shows include: swine, sheep, goats, dairy, rabbits, poultry and beef.

Two new classes have been added to the 2021 county fair, announced Jennings. One is for 4-H members with swine projects and the other is for 4-H alumni.

A “Born & Raised in DeKalb County” Class is a new addition to the swine show opening up entries for another market class for purebred and crossbred pigs born in the county. This class is sponsored by the DeKalb Area Pork Producers and provides monetary awards for placings.

The other new class is an Adult Showmanship Contest for former 4-H members who showed livestock. It will be held on Saturday night of the fair. Anyone can nominate a person to be in this contest and pay the $10 entry fee to show sheep, swine or goats in three separate showmanship contests. Those 4-H alumni who choose not to participate will be required to pay a $20 opt-out fee. Nominations will be accepted at the fair. This contest is a fundraiser for the 4-H Foundation.

The 4-H Blue Ribbon Auction returns at the close of the fair with members’ animals being sold by the head to buyers. Over 100 animals are anticipated to be in the auction.

The DeKalb County 4-H program is open to youth 8 to 18 years. About 300 members are currently enrolled.
See the 4-H Fair schedule on this page or contact the DeKalb County 4-H Office at 815-758-8194 for more information.