The cancellation of the 2020 Minnesota State Fair and most county fairs in Minnesota has greatly affected 4-H livestock project members this year.

However, one popular tradition that will continue is the awarding of the 4-H auction scholarships in 2020.

The scholarships are sponsored by the Minnesota Livestock Breeders’ Association (MLBA), in conjunction with Minnesota 4-H and the state 4-H auction committee.

Since its inception in 1995, the 4-H auction scholarship program has awarded approximately $525,000 in scholarships to 390 outstanding 4-H members.

In 2019, a total of $65,000 was awarded to 43 outstanding 4-H junior leaders who are enrolled in various 4-H animal science projects.

The MLBA 4-H auction committee hopes to meet or exceed that level of 4-H auction scholarships during 2020.

Any current Minnesota 4-H member who is enrolled in one or more 4-H animal science projects and who graduated from high school in either 2019 or 2020 is eligible to apply.

In addition, applicants must be enrolled at an accredited college or university for the 2020-21 school year and must be furthering their education working toward a post-secondary degree.

The deadline for eligible 4-H members to apply for the 4-H auction scholarships is Aug. 1, 2020. 

The application form contains all of the necessary details to apply for the scholarships. The application can be downloaded from the MLBA 4-H Auction Web site at: www.mnpurpleribbonauction.org.

To make the 4-H auction scholarships happen, the 4-H auction committee relies on scholarship donors. There are three levels of scholarships – $4,000, $2,000 and $1,000.

Scholarship donors are asked to pledge half of one of those amounts to have their business or individual name recognized as a scholarship donor for the full amount of the scholarship.

The balance of the matching dollars for the 4-H auction scholarships normally are derived from funds generated by the Minnesota State Fair 4-H auction.

However, with the 2020 auction being cancelled, the matching funds for 2020 have generously been donated by Ames Construction of Burnsville which is a long-time major supporter of the 4-H auction.

More information on the 4-H auction scholarship donations is available on the MLBA 4-H auction Web site.

Questions on 4-H auction scholarship sponsorships or applications can be directed to Steve Pooch, secretary of the Minnesota Livestock Breeders’ Association at (651) 323-4210 or Kent Thiesse, finance chair of the MLBA purple ribbon auction at (507) 381-7960.

- Image courtesy of the University of Minnesota Extension Service Web site