State Fair accepting applications for the BELLE Grant for youth exhibitors

Published 6:34 pm Friday, March 4, 2022

For a second year, the Minnesota State Fair is proud to continue the Beginning Exhibitor Livestock Learning Experience (BELLE) Grant, a program that awards grants and provides mentors to 15 youth livestock exhibitors who are first-time participants in the Minnesota State Fair. The BELLE Grant is funded by the Minnesota State Fair Foundation.

The State Fair showcases the state’s finest agriculture and recognizes the importance of cultivating youth experiences in the livestock industry. The BELLE Grant program helps finance participation while introducing new livestock exhibitors to the Great Minnesota Get-Together.

The BELLE Grant gifts $500 each to large-animal exhibitors entering beef cattle, dairy cattle, horses, sheep, swine, goats and llamas, and $250 each to small-animal competitors exhibiting rabbits and poultry. Fifteen total grants will be awarded. These funds help offset costs of participating in the fair, including travel, lodging and purchasing show supplies. Applicants must be Minnesota residents between the ages of 10 and 18. The State Fair is also seeking peer-to-peer mentors to help guide grant recipients throughout the year.

Applications for the BELLE Grant and peer-to-peer mentorship program are open now through April 1. Information about these programs and how to apply can be found at mnstatefair.org/about-the-fair/awards-and-recognition/belle-grant/.

The Minnesota State Fair Foundation’s nonprofit mission is to preserve and improve State Fair buildings, the fairgrounds and educational programs. Foundation funds benefit the fair in the areas of agricultural education, arts and culture, education, fairgrounds environment, and history and heritage. Visit msffoundation.org for more information.

The Minnesota State Fair is one of the largest and best-attended expositions in the world. Showcasing Minnesota’s finest agriculture, art and industry, the Great Minnesota Get-Together is 12 Days of Fun Ending Labor Day. The fair is self-supporting and has not received state government funding since 1949. The 2022 Minnesota State Fair will run Aug. 25 through Labor Day, Sept. 5. Visit mnstatefair.org for more information.