Michigan State Fair and 4-H join forces to host Junior Fair Board for 2016

The Junior Fair Board will offer advice, consultation to top leaders while building invaluable leadership skills.

The Fifth Third Bank Michigan State Fair in Novi, Michigan, has built a reputation of being committed to community while growing the fair for the third year in row. This event highlights Michigan agriculture at its finest and has a deep commitment to supporting the next generation of growers and producers. The unique Urban and Rural Scholarship program has provided over $90,000 to youth committed to moving the industry forward. The Fifth Third Bank Michigan State Fair is taking it one step further and, along with the help of Michigan State University Extension’s 4-H Youth Development, will be hosting a Junior Fair Board Program, giving teens a unique opportunity to participate at the managerial level.

In its first year, the program will be offered to past recipients of the scholarship program. The director of the State Fair, Steve Masters, sees this as a chance to take the fair to the next level, saying, “The Junior Fair Board will allow the executive team to understand our operations from a different perspective. We expect the teens to participate in all levels of decision making from reviewing contracts to evaluating the design of the fairway.” With a true commitment to community, the Michigan State Fair team continues to add new and innovative ways to give back while adding value to the event.

This experience will involve more than simply attending meetings. The teens will get the unique opportunity to work with MSU Extension experts at a unique leadership retreat. The Leadership Skill Set Workshop features hands-on activities that challenge traditional roles of authority and focuses on the importance of group decision making. “This workshop will provide a foundation for the teens as this group forms to create the Junior Fair Board,” said Debbie Morgan, 4-H program coordinator for Oakland County 4-H.

The Leadership Skill Set Workshop will be Feb. 6, 2016, from 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. at the Oakland County Executive Office Building, 2100 Pontiac Lake Rd, Waterford Twp, MI 48328. The program is open to youth of all ages.

Visit the Fifth Third Bank Michigan State Fair website for more information about the Michigan State Fair. To join 4-H or find out more information on the Leadership Skill Set Workshop, visit the Michigan 4-H website.

MSU Extension offers a wealth of resources on youth development. For more information about this article, contact me, education director of MSU Extension Tollgate Education Center, 28115 Meadowbrook Road, Novi, MI 48377, at 248-347-0269 or jaros@msu.edu.

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