Guess what guys? Fair season is coming up! It is the time to start getting all of your things ready!
For many of you, it is your first time entering the Florida State Fair. Last year was my first year so I understand if you are confused. Well, no worries! I am going to help you by giving the information you need, links, tips, and help!
First, where do you find any information about entering an animal in the Florida State Fair? There is a website called Agribusiness at the State Fair. How do you find information about rules and find entry forms? Simple! Just go to the page called ‘Rules and Entry Forms’. What do you do now? Click on your project on the side. The dog project is close to the bottom. For a quicker way, here is a link straight to the dog project entry forms and rules: Youth Dog Show Rules.
In order to attend the Florida Stat Fair, you MUST attend an Ethics Seminar. Once you do your ethics, it is good for 3 years. You don’t have to attend it again until another 3 years. Cool, right? The last day to attend an Ethics Seminar is January 18. Here is the link to the list of dates/places where you can find the closest Ethics Seminar to you: Youth Livestock Show Ethics and Animal Care Workshop Information and Registration Form.
Now, one of the first things I recommend you do is sit down and read the rule book. Here is the link: Youth Dog Show Information.
Another important thing you do if you are co-owning a dog is a Lease Agreement. A Lease Agreement is required to show a co-owned dog. Your Lease Agreement needs to be signed and turned in to the County Agent by November 1st. Here is the link: Dog Lease Agreement.
Once you decide you think you want to enter the Florida State Fair, it is time to fill out your entry form! Don’t take to long to decide though, the entry form is due to be turned in by December 4th. It costs $15.00 per exhibitor for 2 dogs. Make sure your entry form is completely filled out and correct. I recommend looking at the rule book while filling out your entry form and reviewing the entry form with your project leader and club leader before turning it in to make sure you have the correct information. There are late entry date periods but they cost extra money to enter. Here is the link: Youth Dog Show Entry Form.
There is a program called Champions of Youth. I totally recommend doing this! It doesn’t cost any extra money. The only things required to enter into Champions of Youth is your Record Book, taking the Skilathon, and taking the Record Book Test. You take the Skilathon and the Record Book test the night before the first day of the dog show. How do you study for the Skilathon? Well, there is a Skilathon manual. Each year there is a different theme. Only study the parts that are labeled your 4-H level(Junior, Intermediate, and Senior). Here is the link: Youth Dog Skilathon Manual. What about the Record Book test? Do you have to study for that? No, you don’t study for that. This test is just to see if you really did your Record Book and you understand how to do it. Other things you can do for Champions of Youth points are: Educational Seminar, Ask-Me-Booth, Showmanship, and the Educational Poster.
You don’t have to enter a Record Book to enter the Florida State Fair unless you are entering the Champions of Youth. It is suggested to enter the Champions of Youth so I highly recommend doing the Record Book. We use the same Record Book as the llama entries do. Just cross out the page that says “llama”. The Record Book is due to be turned in by January 11th. Here is the link: Youth Dog Record Book.
In your Record Book, you write an essay. The essay is related to the Skilathon topic. The essay topic is different for each 4-H level(Junior, Intermediate, and Senior). The dog project is on the 2nd page. Here is the link to the essay topics: Project Essay Information for Record Book.
The Educational Poster is the most fun part of the Champions of Youth. Your poster is supposed to be related to your Skilathon topic or essay topic. The Educational Poster is fun and engaging, like a game. The posters are hung up in an area at the Florida State Fair for people to see and play the game. Here is the link: Educational Poster Judging Criteria.
Well, that is all I have for you! If you have any questions, please ask below and I will answer them the best I can as soon as possible. I hope you enter the Florida State Fair and in the Champions of Youth program. Thank you!
~Hope Potteiger (4-H President of Top Dog)