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Compeer awards blue ribbons for Minnesota Youth Fair projects

MANKATO  — Youth across rural America faced disappointment this year when their fairs were cancelled or went virtual due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Knowing the importance of county and state fairs to young people in their territory, Compeer Financial stepped in to recognize the hard work youth put into their fair projects.

In June, Compeer unveiled the Blue Ribbon Project, a contest for youth to submit their fair projects for a chance to win prizes.

Sixteen Minnesota youth were among the winners, including two grand champions: Ella Heers of Austin and Lydia Warmkagathje of St. Charles.

“Compeer remains a strong supporter of youth agriculture programs across our territory,” said John Monson, chief mission and marketing officer at Compeer Financial. “With many summer events being canceled, including county and state fairs, our team wanted to still be able to recognize and support the hard work of 4-H and FFA members with the Blue Ribbon Project Contest.”

Young people across Compeer’s 144-county territory in Illinois, Minnesota and Wisconsin were encouraged to submit photos and descriptions of their projects and to explain what their project meant to them.

With 542 total submissions, 54 entrants were awarded as winners or grand champions, receiving $100 for themselves and $100 for a non-profit organization of their choice. Grand champions received $500 for themselves and $500 for their non-profit organization. Winners were determined based on age and geographic location.