While the 2020 Iowa State Fair has been canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the state fairgrounds will still host 4-H and FFA livestock shows in August.
The 2020 Fair Special Edition: Iowa 4-H and FFA Livestock Show will be held over three weekends from Aug. 6-22, and fair organizers say the new competition will carry the same prestige traditionally found at the Iowa State Fair.
“When the board made the decision to postpone the fair, it was with the caveat that we investigate having a youth livestock show,” says Mindy Williamson, marketing director for the Iowa State Fair.
“We were able to put that together a little over a week later after a lot of guidance from the Iowa Dept. of Public Health and Polk County Public Health. We’re looking forward to it.”
The show will run the weekends of Aug. 6-8, 13-15 and 20-22.
The competition will be open to Iowa 4-H and FFA exhibitors whose livestock projects have been nominated for the state fair.
FFA categories include beef, horse, meat goat, poultry, rabbit, sheep, swine, dairy cattle and dairy goats. Categories for 4-Hers include beef, horse, meat goat, poultry, rabbit, sheep and swine. Nominations are not required in the poultry category.
Several competitions and shows will not be offered this year, including the 4-H dog show, all carcass and/or performance contests including FFA performance beef, 4-H beef of merit, sheep and swine carcass contests, as well as showmanship contests.
The schedule should allow more room for exhibitors to obey social distancing guidelines, according to fair officials. The separation of the shows also provides time for the fairgrounds to be thoroughly cleaned between sessions.
To help control the crowd, each exhibitor will receive three wristbands that are valid for the session when the exhibitor is showing. A limited number of wristbands will be issued to show supporters. Wristbands will not be available on site.
The deadline for entries is July 10, and competitors will be able to enter through 4-H Online.