County Fair


2024 4-H & FFA Rule Booklet

2024 Southern Iowa Fair Rule Booklet (4-H & FFA)

  • Information in this booklet is subject to change. 

Checklist to Exhibit at the Southern Iowa Fair

Below is a checklist of important steps for preparing yourself to exhibit at the Southern Iowa Fair. Be sure to use this checklist as a baseline to ensure you are eligible to exhibit at this year's fair.  If you have any questions please do not hesitate to reach out to your Club Leaders, FFA Advisors, or Mahaska County Extension Office Staff.

  1. All animals will need to be identified by May 15, 2024. 

    • 4-H Members will need to identify their animals via 4-H Online
      • Access this 4-H Online Help Sheet to assist with creating animal identification 
    • FFA Members will need to identify their animals via FFA ID Google Forms (linked at the bottom of this page under FFA Animal ID)
  2. Both 4-H & FFA members will need to create entries via FairEntry by July 1, 2024.

    • Fair Entry opens May 16, 2024. 
    • Visit FairEntry to create your entries. 
    • Access this Family FairEntry Help Sheet to assist with creating entries.
    • FairEntry Deadlines: 
      • July 1, 2024 -- Livestock and Small Animal, Bucket/Bottle Calf, Goat, & Lamb, & Communications Event Fair Entry Deadline
      • July 10, 2024 -- Static (non-livestock) & Horticulture Fair Entry Deadline
    • Miscellaneous Tutorials:
      • Logging into FairEntry - This video helps 4-H families learn how to log into FairEntry to begin entering animals/exhibits for all 4-H members in their families.
      • Registering in FairEntry - This video helps FFA families learn how to set up an account.  4-H families can begin watching at :55 to learn about registering animals.  This could be used as a supplement to the Help Sheet.
  3. YQCA (Youth for the Quality Care of Animals) Certificate is due July 1, 2024. 

    • YQCA is an online program and can be accessed at
      • See below for a YQCA helpsheets.
    • Please email your completed YQCA certificate to
    • YQCA is required for 4-H & FFA members exhibiting Poultry, Rabbits, Sheep, Beef, Dairy, Swine, Meat Goat, & Myotonic Goat.

Tips for Exhibitors Making Online Entries

  • Recommended Browsers: Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox. Older versions of Internet Explorer may cause unexpected results.
  • Register all entries for each exhibitor in the family before proceeding to the Payment section.
  • Be sure to click the "Submit" button when you have completed your entries. Entries are not final until they have been submitted.
  • Check your email inbox for a confirmation email with a list of your entries and any related fees.
  • You will receive a second email when your entries have been approved by your fair. 

2023 4-H & FFA Schedule of Fair Events

2023 4-H Schedule of Fair Events

  • Events will be added as they are confirmed and approved. 
  • This schedule is tentative and subject to change due to conflicts, weather, and unforeseen issues.

Exhibiting at the Fair Info

Livestock Exhibiting Information

Animal Requirements for County, State, & Interstate Shows 

  • Read this document if you plan to show animals at the county and/or state fair.
Hints/Help Sheets
  • Livestock Summary Help Sheet - If you plan to exhibit any livestock or small animals at the Southern Iowa Fair or Iowa State Fair, please review this help sheet for details and deadlines.  Everything in red is still pending and will be updated as dates and times are approved.
  • Helpful Hints for Exhibiting Livestock - If you are a first-year livestock exhibitor or just need to refresh your mind, then this document is for you!
Iowa State Fair Animal Exhibiting Info

Youth for the Quality Care of Animals (YQCA) - must be completed by July 1 of the current year

  • Help Sheet - Instructions for completing YQCA training online.
Livestock Affidavits

**Required Drug/Health Papers**
If no medication was given, please submit a form and write NONE GIVEN on it.  We must have an affidavit on file for each exhibitor's animals. 

  • Beef Affidavit - No longer due to Fair or 4-H Office, but beneficial to have when selling
  • Swine Affidavit - No longer due to Fair or 4-H Office, but beneficial to have when selling
  • Sheep Affidavit - No longer due to Fair or 4-H Office, but beneficial to have when selling
  • Meat Goat Affidavit - No longer due to Fair or 4-H Office, but beneficial to have when selling
  • Horse Affidavit - Due to 4-H Horse Superintendents at fair check-in
Premise ID

This is required for swine exhibitors and preferred for all other livestock. Premise ID is for the land where animals are raised, so if different from the home address, please apply for the address of the land where the animals are being raised.

  • How do youth obtain a Premise ID Number? - The Premise ID must be for the farm where the animals are being cared for—if that is not where the 4-H’er or FFA member lives, they will need the owner of the property where the animals are being cared for to submit the form and the 4-H’er/FFA member would use that number.  The form may be accessed and submitted online.  
  • It is important that youth obtain a Premise ID Number immediately to be eligible to exhibit and sell animals at the county fair.  It may take several weeks to receive the number, so it is important to complete the application right away.  Do not submit this form to the county Extension office, please submit it directly to IDALS.  If you are unsure if you have a number on file with us, please call 641-673-5841 to ask.  Once you receive your Premises ID number, please call our office to share that number with us. 
  • Questions/Premise ID application status: IDALS, 1-888-778-7675.
Advanced Beef/Lamb Feeder Pen
  • Advanced Cattle Feeder Pen Spreadsheet - Must be filled out and turned in to the MCEO by the 5th of each month following the initial weigh-in.  Final record sheet due at the fair weigh-in.  Monthly records must be submitted to the Extension office by 4:30 p.m. on the 5th of each month or the first working day after the 5th. 
  • Advanced Lamb Feeder Pen Spreadsheet - Must be filled out and turned in to the MCEO by the 5th of each month following the initial weigh-in.  Final record sheet due at the fair weigh-in.  Monthly records must be submitted to the Extension office by 4:30 p.m. on the 5th of each month or the first working day after the 5th. 
Bucket/Bottle Packets

These packets are for the 4-H & FFA Bucket/Bottle Animals.

More than 1 Calf/Lamb/Goat may be Identified by May 15, but only 1 Calf, 1 Lamb, and 1 Goat may be exhibited at the fair! 

Bottle Lambs & Goats DO NOT need to attend the May weigh-in.
Bucket/Bottle Calves DO NOT attend a weigh-in.

Bucket/Bottle Interviews will be held BEFORE the fair in 2024 - Stay tuned for this year's interview dates and times.

Horse Project Info

Mahaska County 4-H & FFA Horse Rule Supplement 2022 is a document that is a supplement to the 4-H & FFA Fair Rule Booklet.

Rules & Regulations for Equine Shows in Iowa - Click this link to access the downloadable copy of this guide.  Very helpful for fair exhibiting!

Horse Drug Affidavit - Due to 4-H Horse Superintendents at fair check-in

Poultry Info

Market Broiler Contest - This contest is sponsored by Mahaska County Farm Bureau.  The registration deadline is April 15.

Pullorum-Typhoid Testing will be held at fair check-in.  Check the monthly 4-H newsletter and Mahaska County, Iowa 4-H Facebook page for details.

Dog Project Info

2023 Dog classes will start on April 24, 2023, for 4-H/FFA members. They will be every Monday, except Memorial Day; on that week they will be on Tuesday night. They will run every Monday until the fair. First-year dogs will meet from 6-7 pm. First-year dogs do not bring their dogs to the first class. Second-year dogs will meet from 7-8 pm. First-year exhibitors must attend 8 classes to be eligible to show at the fair, second-year and above exhibitors must attend 6.

Clover Kids will start May 15, 2023, and run 9 Mondays until the fair. From 6-7 pm. Clover kids must attend 6 classes to show.

For more information, please contact a Dog Superintendent:

  • Regina Hoy - 641-660-0772
  • Sharis Claver - 641-799-4085
  • Sarah Lobberecht- 641-295-6667
Swine Info

Swine will NOT be sold at the fair this year, exhibitors are responsible for marketing/processing their own hogs.

Paylean (Ractopamine) FAQ

Ractopamine Pig Show Considerations

Swine Going Home from Fair Form - REQUIRED!

FFA Animal ID

Livestock ID Forms for FFA Members ONLY
DUE BY 11:59 PM on May 15.

FFA members are the only youth who may fill out these electronic forms since they do not have 4-H Online accounts.  Be sure to review the information entered before submitting.


Non-Livestock Forms & Information

Food & Nutrition Exhibit Information
  • 4-H Food Exhibits Guide - This guide explains all of the foods that are acceptable and unacceptable exhibits for fair.  It was updated in January of 2022, so please use this instead of the former Inappropriate Foods Guide.  If you are still unsure after reviewing this document, please call the ISU AnswerLine at 1-800-262-3804.  If in doubt, call the Answer Line!
  • Canned Food Labels - Any canned food exhibit requires this label.
  • Thrifty Meal Challenge Worksheet - Plan a meal for a family of four under $11. 
Design: Exploring the Elements & Principles
Poster & Display Box Information

Posters & Display Boxes Information - If you plan to use a poster or display box with your exhibit, please use this information to ensure your exhibit fits the required dimensions. 

Copyright Information and Forms
Photography Exhibit Information

4-H Photography Exhibit Label (PDF) (Word- All photos being exhibited require this form.  Remember, you may only exhibit 4 printed photos at the county fair.  This label takes the place of a goal card for Photography Exhibits ONLY.  The Digital Photography class has been eliminated.

4-H Photography Evaluation Form - Are you planning to exhibit photos at the county fair?  This evaluation form will help you to complete your photography exhibit label. This form is used by judges to make sure they are learning everything they can about your photography exhibit.

Horticulture Exhibiting Information
Poster Communications Entry Form

2023 Poster Exhibit Entry Form - All Communications: Posters being exhibited require this form.

Clothing Event Information

Fill out the Awardrobe Clothing Event Report Form 4HP 5091 for Senior Members. Junior and Intermediate members must fill out the Jr/Intermediate Awardrobe Clothing Event Report Form.

 You may use the Awardrobe Judges Comment Form 4HP 5090 to become familiar with the judging criteria. This is required to be filled out by ALL 4-H members. Bring with you to judging. 

For help writing clothing event commentary view the document, Writing a Clothing Event Commentary 4H 2801.

Clover Kids Clothing Event Report Form - This is required to be filled out by Clover Kids member.  Bring with you to Judging.

Communications Event

Communications registrations will take place via FairEntry. 

Educational Presentations

Working Exhibits 


Extemporaneous Speaking