Information for 4-H staff and families

Who can be selected?

4-H members exhibiting market livestock (beef, sheep, swine, goat, poultry) at the Minnesota State Fair 4-H shows may be selected to participate in the Minnesota Livestock Breeders Association (MLBA) 4-H Purple Ribbon Auction. Each year approximately 115 youth take part in this event.

What animals are required to be a part of the auction?

Overall champions and reserve champions in the following categories are required to be in the auction:

  • Market Beef
  • Dairy Steers
  • Market Lambs
  • Market Barrows
  • Market Gilts
  • Market Meat Goat
  • Market Dairy Goat
  • Market Chickens
  • Market Turkeys

The 4-H Auction Committee will work to arrange a lead buyer for all the champions and reserve champions in the auction. Additional funds raised by families, county Purple Ribbon Clubs, or local funding will add to the total bid.

What about the other animals selected to be a part of the auction?

For all other exhibitors selected to be a part of the auction, it is expected that families and county groups will secure local funding to support the premium bids for these exhibits. There may be limited support from the 4-H Auction Committee to help bring premium levels to a pre-set minimum level. The youth that have non-champion animals selected for the auction may choose to withdraw their animal from the auction, in which case an alternate will be selected.

If a 4-H member thinks they have an animal that may do well in the show and could be selected for the auction they should be prepared to do one of the following:
  • Be proactive
    • contact potential financial supporters prior to the state fair show and secure pledges of funding to support the bid on their animal if they are selected to participate.
  • Be responsive
    • wait to see if they are selected to participate in the auction, then work to secure their own funding prior to the start of the auction (by the buyer’s meeting on Saturday).

Share these points when contacting potential auction supporters:

When you support 4-H youth, you:

  • support future leaders in agriculture and food production
  • support youth as they learn transferable life skills through their project work
  • encourage and reward responsible animal management and care

All 4-H members participating in the auction must have the following information ready for the 4-H Auction Committee prior to the auction:

  • bidder’s name
  • bidder’s address
  • bidder’s cell phone number
  • amount of the bid.

Most 4-H families combine many supporters for a total bid on their animal. To find out the floor bids and average bids on previous year’s animals, please contact the MLBA Auction Committee.