In an effort to answer any questions about the new changes made to the Illinois State Fair junior livestock age requirements, the Illinois Department of Agriculture has put together a list of frequently asked questions to help junior exhibitors make important decisions for the 2016 show season. A complete list of FAQs can be found on the Illinois State Fair website, www.illinoisstatefair.info.
In September, the Department announced that junior livestock shows at the Illinois State Fair will be expanded to include individuals age 8-21. Previously, junior livestock shows were limited to individuals age 10-18. This is a move that the state believes will help introduce agriculture to more youth in the state of Illinois.
“The goal of the Illinois State Fair is to promote Illinois agriculture,” said acting Agriculture Director Warren Goetsch. “Youth participation in Junior Livestock shows is the perfect way to teach Illinois’ youth about agriculture while also instilling valuable life lessons. The Department is happy to partner with Illinois 4-H and Illinois FFA to extend this opportunity to more Illinoisans.”
As a reminder, all exhibitors in the Junior Livestock Division of the Illinois State Fair must be enrolled in Illinois 4-H and/or FFA and follow the organizations established guidelines, and same can be said for those participating in the Junior Show 4-H Exhibit Division.
- 4-H members aged 8-18 as of September 1, 2015 are eligible to participate in the Illinois State Fair Junior Department.
- FFA members up to 18 years of age as of September 1, 2015 are eligible to participate in the Illinois State Fair Junior Livestock Division.
- Individuals previously enrolled as active members in Illinois 4-H or FFA programs and turning 19-20 years of age by September 1, 2015, may participate in the Junior Livestock Division of the Illinois State Fair provided they are active FFA members as verified by Illinois FFA and in accordance with one of the following options:
- Maintain active membership on the roster of their local high school FFA Chapter;
- Maintain active membership in a collegiate FFA Chapter in a post-secondary institution of higher education in the State of Illinois; or
- Maintain active membership in an Illinois FFA Alumni Chapter.
- FFA members 21 years of age prior to September 1, 2015 are ineligible to show in the Junior Livestock Division of the Illinois State Fair.
After closer evaluation, this move will only impact exhibitors at the Illinois State Fair, not the DuQuoin State Fair. In DuQuoin, some livestock events allow even younger children the opportunity to participate in livestock shows.
To learn more about participation in junior livestock shows at the Illinois State Fair visit