Minnesota State Fair Beginning Exhibitor Livestock Learning Experience (BELLE) Grant
Note: The 2021 BELLE Grant application is now closed.
The Minnesota State Fair is committed to showcasing our state’s finest agriculture, and we recognize the importance of cultivating youth experiences in the livestock industry. We also understand that exhibiting at the Minnesota State Fair can stretch the family budget. Thanks to support from the Minnesota State Fair Foundation, we are proud to introduce the Minnesota State Fair Beginning Exhibitor Livestock Learning Experience (BELLE) Grant! This grant program will gift $500 each to 11 large-animal exhibitors (beef cattle, dairy cattle, goats, horse, llama, sheep or swine) and $250 each to four small-animal exhibitors (poultry and rabbits) who commit to participating in the Minnesota State Fair for the first time in 2021.
Please note that grants will be paid to the exhibitor when participation at the Minnesota State Fair is complete and all required recaps, photos and video messages have been submitted.
To be eligible for the BELLE Grant, applicants must:
- Be a Minnesota resident between the ages of 10 and 18 as of Aug. 26, 2021, who has not previously exhibited at the Minnesota State Fair.
- Complete the online application to be considered for the BELLE grant. Applications must be received on April 30, 2021, by 11:59 p.m.; the recipients will be announced on May 5, 2021.
- Submit one letter of recommendation from a trusted source who can speak to your livestock show and animal care experience. This letter should be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org and may be sent by the applicant.
- Submit only one grant application (large or small animal). If multiple children from the same family apply, the Minnesota State Fair reserves the right to award one grant to the entire family.
- Participate in the 4-H, FFA or open class show of their preferred species during the 2021 Minnesota State Fair. If you do not show at the State Fair, you will forfeit your grant. If 4-H exhibitors do not win a trip through their county fair, they would then be required to show in the open show or FFA show (if exhibitor is an FFA participant and of the required age) for their species. In the event that this happens, we will work with the exhibitor to make sure they are registered for the appropriate show.
- Sign the BELLE Grant Code of Conduct upon being selected for the program.
- Submit the following for media and promotional purposes.
- Four monthly project reports leading up to the Minnesota State Fair. Reports will include a photo of you and your livestock and a brief statement.
- One overall recap of your experience exhibiting at the Minnesota State Fair, including 2-3 photos of you and your livestock at the State Fair and a brief statement about what you learned from the experience.
- One short video message (via a phone is just fine!) stating your name, where you are from, what species you showed at the State Fair and what you learned from this experience.
- Attend the BELLE Grant reception to meet with members of the State Fair competition department, State Fair board of managers, Minnesota State Fair Foundation board of managers and peer-to-peer mentors.
The Minnesota State Fair is also seeking peer-to-peer mentors to help guide BELLE participants. Each mentor will be paired with a grant recipient who exhibits the same species as the mentor. Mentors will be asked to meet with their mentee once in person or via video conference and be available throughout the summer to answer any questions that may arise. Mentors will receive two State Fair admission tickets and a certificate of participation. Note: The BELLE Grant peer-to-peer mentor application is now closed.
To be eligible to serve as a BELLE Grant peer-to-peer mentor, applicants must:
- Be 15-21 years old at the time of the 2021 Minnesota State Fair (Aug. 26-Sept. 6).
- Complete the online application to be considered as a peer-to-peer mentor. Applications must be received on April 30, 2021, by 11:59 p.m.; the mentors will be announced on May 5, 2021.
- Meet with their mentee once in person or via video conference (FaceTime, Zoom, etc.) and be available throughout the summer to answer any questions that may arise.
- Submit one recap of their time as a mentor, including a brief statement about what they learned as a mentor and a photo if available.
- Attend the BELLE Grant reception to meet with members of the State Fair competition department, State Fair board of managers, Minnesota State Fair Foundation board of directors and grant recipients.