State Fair

About the State Fair

4-H at State Fair is synonymous with fun, excitement, interactive learning, and more! For 13 days, youth from around New York attend Fair as representatives of their county Cooperative Extension and 4-H offices. The 4-H Youth Building offers a dorm upstairs to accommodate youth and families attending Fair.

New York State 4-H Youth Developoment is fortunate to have continued support from the NYS Department of Agriculture & Markets and Cornell University for our strong presence at State Fair. Through our parntership, we are committed to an engaging experience for families. We highlight the best of 4-H, positive youth development, and New York itself through a focus on agriculture and animal care; public presentations; renewable energy; health and fitness; robotics; teen leadership; arts and crafts; and more.

Each couny participating in fair is assigned a 4-day rotation for exhibiting in the 4-H Youth Building. The 4-H Youth Building and our many animal barns act as showcases of youth learning and effort to make their best better. Inside the 4-H Youth Building, near Gate 4, county booths are spaces for interactive activities and exhibits for Fairgoers of all ages.

4-H youth, ages 8 - 19 years of age, participate in State Fair and are provided opportunities to:

  • Display exhibits or offer presentations that demonstrate learning
  • Enhance individual learning & skill development
  • Receive recognition or participate in invitationals based on county or District achievement
  • Learn & recognize standards of quality
  • Learn & apply research-based subject matter
  • Promote public awareness of the 4-H Youth Development program
  • Develop career readiness and teamwork skills
  • Have fun

4-H at the 2017 New York State Fair

    2017 NYS Fair - August 23th - September 4th
    GPS Location: 581 State Fair Blvd. Syracuse, NY 13209
    4-H Youth Building Location: Near Gate 4 and Indian Village

    2017 State Fair 101: Orientation

    Powerpoint Presentation
    Zoom PowerPoint Presentation and Recording

    State Fair 101: Booths & Theme

    Powerpoint Presentation
    Zoom Meeting Recording

    State Fair 101: Activity Zones

    Chat Screen
    Zoom Presentation

    State Fair 101: Teen Leader Opportunities
    Zoom Presentation


    After a great deal of discussion and consideration we will not be implementing any changes to the structure this year, although we will continue to explore changes in the rotation schedule for 2018 and beyond that have the potential to advance our overall goals and vision for the Youth Building.

    • 3 rotations of 4-days each, starting on Thursday and ending on Labor Day
    • accommodations will remain and be encouraged for sharing booth space—be it across all three rotations (12 days) or within a rotation (4 days or 2 days each across two counties)
    • the Youth Building will again be open Tuesday morning after Labor Day for those needing to break down and pick-up exhibits
    • specific rotation schedules will be announced and shared by the first week of April.

    For more information, please contact Tom Davis and Adam Davis.

    Theme: 4-H Grows Sustainable Communities

    • The theme for the 2017 NYS Fair is 4-H Grows Sustainable Communities. 
    • We would like to see this theme tied in with the general look and feel of the '4-H Grows' campaign generally. 
    • Sustainability has many facets...any part can be tied in to your booth or highlighted...think creatively!
    • Working on criteria for incentive program to participate in theme decoration for booth space
    • Minimum components to qualify for consideration
    • Top booths will receive premium. Determined by evaluation and voting.
    • More details coming soon!
    For questions about the theme, contact Jenn Bassman.

    (see also “4-H Trail below”)

    4-H Activity Zones

    Our conversations about Fair have led us to the realization that primary purpose of 4-H participation at the New York State Fair (NYSF) is to advance the 4-H mission in an environment that creates unique positive youth development opportunities for participating youth.  This include opportunities for youth to engage with positive and supportive adults in ways that enhance their overall 4-H experience and adds value to their local experiences, and supporting the development of career readiness skills for participating youth, particularly in the areas of responsibility, accountability, communication and teamwork.  The 4-H Activity Spaces are designed to provide another opportunity to support this core value.  We will move ahead with the following this year:

    • New spaces will be dedicated as 4-H Activity Spaces for booth-based activities in larger, nearby locations that highlight the diversity of 4-H programs and activities and youth. Counties will register their teen leaders for available slots to lead activities throughout the day. 
    • The goal is to provide more space and options for hands-on activities (we will provide the materials and equipment), new integrated Teen Leader experiences that allow for interaction and teamwork among  youth from different parts of the state, and easier, safer space for physical activities or other learning activities needing extra room.

     For more information, please contact Alexa Maille and Autumn Lavine.

    4-H Trail

    We will be creating an information and activity map, linking all 4-H (and CCE) sites on Fairgrounds—emphasizing the breadth and depth of the 4-H program and learning experience.

    • this includes new and improved signage, informational materials, and maps
    • the trail will emphasize the thematic linkages across sites

    For more information, please contact Jenn Bassman.


    Please contact Nigel Gannon, Andy Turner, and Tom Davis.

    Contact Information:

    Jenn Bassman: jlb596

    Adam Davis: afd7

    Tom Davis: htd2

    Nigel Gannon: tng22

    Autumn Lavine: aml84

    Alexa Maille: ask37

    Bonnie Peck: bsp8

    Jamila Walida Simon: jws62

    Andy Turner: ast4

    NYS 4-H Code of Conduct

    2017 Materials:

    Animal Science Premium Book

    Youth Building Premium Book 2017

    Animal Science and Youth Building Daily Schedule of Activities