The South Dakota State Fair is the result of countless hours of dedication by 4-H members, parents, volunteers and staff. This page has been created as your go-to source for all of the information you need for 4-H exhibits at this year's fair. Visit this page often to find the latest entry information and schedules.
Photo by Mason Stahly, Beadle County
Want to stay in the loop on all of the latest 4-H Division State Fair information? Enter your name and email address in the form below and click subscribe.
- 2017 State Fair Book
- Animal Projects: Paperwork Reminders
- Classifying Market Sheep
- Companion Animal Preparation: Showing Your Pet in 4-H
- Dairy Judging Contestant Packet
- Fashion Revue Contestant Packet
- Livestock Ownership Verification Affidavits & Deadlines
- Poultry Preparation & Showmanship Guide
- SDSU Extension Staff Contact Information
- South Dakota State Fair
- Special Foods Contestant Packet
- Robotics Challenge Packet
View more information on the State Fair Scoresheets & Forms page.
Dr. Clint Rusk is Head of the Department of Animal Science at Oklahoma State University. Clint and his wife, Madeleine, have been married for thirty-six years. They are the proud parents of two children, Shane (31) and Ashley (29). Clint attended Colby Community College, where he was a Presidential Scholar and a member of the National Champion Livestock Judging Team. He graduated Summa Cum Laude from Kansas State University in 1980. In 1987, he also accepted the duty of coaching Colorado State University’s livestock judging team. Clint completed his M.S. degree in 1992 and his Ph.D. in male reproductive physiology in 1997. After completing his Ph.D., Dr. Rusk joined Purdue University as its Youth Livestock Specialist. Clint enjoyed conducting educational programming for 4-H members, leaders, and their families for 13 years. In 2009, Dr. Rusk was selected to lead the Animal and Range Science Department at South Dakota State University. Over a three-year period, Dr. Rusk gained valuable administrative experience working with industry leaders, university professors, successful alumni and an outstanding group of dedicated students. Clint coached 10 livestock judging teams at Colorado State University. His teams were Reserve National Champions 4 times and won the National Western Stock Show and the Arizona National Livestock Show four years in a row. Clint has coached teams in 66 collegiate contests. Clint helped coach CSU’s National Champion Meat Animal Evaluation Team in 1996. Clint’s former students have gone on to coach livestock judging teams for several Division I universities, and in 1991 and 1992, Clint was named “Coach of the Year” by the Intercollegiate Coaches’ Association. Clint has been judging cattle, sheep and swine at county, state and national shows for the past thirty-nine years including state fairs in 24 states as well as many regional and national livestock shows. Dr. Rusk started at Oklahoma State University on August 1, 2012. He is excited to be a Cowboy and enjoys leading the Department of Animal Science.
Tony Seykora grew up with Registered Holsteins on a farm near Owatonna, Minnesota. He judged at both the National 4-H and National FFA Dairy Judging Contests and was a State FFA Officer. While at the University of Minnesota, he judged on both the Livestock and Dairy Judging Teams. He was a member of the first place World Dairy Expo Collegiate Dairy Judging Team and first place Meat Animal Evaluation Team. After receiving his Bachelor of Science degree, Tony worked as a 4-H Extension Agent in Houston County, Minnesota for three years where he coached the State Champion 4-H Dairy Judging Team. Tony went on to North Carolina State University where he earned a PhD in Dairy Cattle Genetics. He then returned to Minnesota where he taught dairy production courses and coached the dairy judging team at the University of Minnesota – Waseca for ten years. In 1992, Tony moved to the St. Paul campus of the University of Minnesota where he is the Animal Science Director of Undergraduate Education, teaches several courses, and has conducted research in dairy cattle genetics. He serves as the Block and Bridle Club Adviser, has co-advised the Dairy Club, and served as chair of the ADSA Collegiate Dairy Cattle Judging Coaches Committee while coaching the collegiate team. Tony lives just a mile north of the St. Paul campus in Roseville with his wife Rel.
Don Lindstrom raises dairy goats near Centerville, SD. He has judged the Open Class division of the South Dakota State Fair in the past.
Cooper Bounds grew up in Taneytown, Maryland where he showed many species of livestock and began developing a nationwide show goat market. In 2013, he moved to El Dorado, Kansas where he attended Butler Community College as a member of the livestock judging team and 2014-2015 All American team. He graduated from Oklahoma State University in May with a bachelor’s degree in Animal Science with an Agricultural Economics minor. Cooper received his American Boer Goat Association Approved Judge rating in February, 2017.
Wool-Type Breeding Sheep
Mike Caskey and his wife, Carrie, own and operate Pine Lawn Farms. The Caskeys breed purebred Hampshire sheep with their sons near Holland, MN. Mike has been an active judge on the state and regional level, and his farm has produced several state and national champions.Caskey has served as Chairman of the National Sheep Industry Development Board (SID), President of the American Hampshire Sheep Association, National Sheep Association, Minnesota Lamb & Wool Producers Association, and Minnesota Livestock Breeders Association. Mike and his family were all active in 4-H and FFA.
Bret and his wife, Lorie, own and operate Riverview Livestock, raising purebred Suffolk and wether-type sheep at two locations in Minnesota. The Oelke’s have had success for generations breeding and exhibiting purebred and market livestock at all levels. This includes multiple champions at state fairs and national competitions including the National Junior Suffolk Show and the North American International Livestock Exposition in Louisville, Kentucky. Bret has judged livestock at the local and state level in eight states for over 30 years and has coached 4-H and FFA livestock judging teams that have had success at both the state and national level. Bret graduated from South Dakota State University with degrees in agriculture and from Kansas State University with a Masters of Agribusiness. Bret serves on the board of directors of several livestock and agricultural organizations, is a member of the executive committee of the Ak-sar-ben Stock Show and Rodeo and is on the superintendent team for sheep at the NAILE in Louisville, Kentucky.
Jimmy Davis will serve as the market sheep judge at the 2017 South Dakota State Fair in Huron, South Dakota. He attended Cameron University and Oklahoma State University and received a Bachelor of Science degree in Agricultural Education. Jimmy has been an agriculture teacher and Future Farmers of America (FFA) advisor for 24 years. He raises show lambs as well as breeding stock with his family in Walters, OK.
Shane Ringdahl has been involved in the rabbit hobby for 15 years. He attended North Dakota State University and received his Master's Degree in Counselor Education/School Counseling and Guidance Services. A native of North Dakota, Ringdahl grew-up actively participating in both 4-H and FFA. He has raised and exhibited Mini Rex rabbits for 15 years. Shane began showing at American Rabbit Breeders Association-sanctioned shows across the upper Midwest and became an ARBA-licensed judge in May 2015. In addition to judging at ARBA-sanctioned shows and fairs across the country, Shane works as a school counselor at several elementary schools in Jamestown, North Dakota.
Mike Avesing began raising rabbits as a 4-H project in 1966 and attended his first ARBA show in 1969. He became a Registrar in the early 80s and got his Judge’s license in 1987. Mike has judged at nearly every ARBA Convention since he earned his license. He has been asked to choose the Best in Show (BIS) rabbit at the ARBA Conventions in Wichita, KS and Minneapolis, MN in past years and has participated in the Convention BIS process each of his eligible years. He has been chair or member of the Standards Committee for several Specialty clubs, notably the Holland Lops, Mini Satins, Satins, and English Spots. He has the ARBA Constitution and By-Laws Committee and assisted with the Youth contests at several ARBA conventions. He is a past Chairman of the ARBA Standards Committee and served two terms (four years) as the ARBA President and served on the ARBA Board as the District 3 Director for three years. In 2013, Mike was honored to be inducted into the Iowa 4-H Hall of Fame. Mike works as a Plant Manager by Muscatine Power and Water at their power generating station. He earned his Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration from Iowa Wesleyan College and have taken graduate business courses from both Saint Ambrose University and the University of Notre Dame. He has been married to his wife, Phyllis, for over 39 years, and they a son and a daughter, both of whom showed rabbits in 4-H and in ARBA Youth shows.
Mark has been involved with poultry most of his life, getting his first purebred chicks when he was 12 years old. He has raised many different breeds of large fowl, bantams, and water fowl in his many years in purebred poultry. He currently raises Large Light Brahmas, Black Cochin bantams, Birchen Modern Game bantams, and Dark Cornish bantams. Mark is currently District 10 American Bantam Association Director, Minnesota State Poultry Association Director, Co-Chair of the Minnesota State Fair 4-H Poultry Committee. Mark judges county and state fairs in the Midwest throughout the summer; this year Mark has judged county fairs in MN, WI, and IA.
Ryan Sites is the swine technical support for Show Rite Show Feeds in Oklahoma and surrounding states. For Show Rite, he presents many feed and showing clinics for both 4-H and FFA exhibitors. Ryan is a graduate of Oklahoma State University where he was a member of the 1995 livestock judging team. After graduation, he was an agriculture education instructor in Elgin, Oklahoma for nine years. Ryan, Wendy and Rhett Sites own and operate Sites Livestock – raising Crossbred, Duroc, and Chester show pigs. Ryan has judged many state shows across the country, including: San Antonio, Ohio, Indiana, Dallas State Fair, New York, Kansas, Iowa, Missouri, Arkansas and California. He has also judged the World Pork Expo, and NJSA Junior Summer Spectacular and the Arizona National and the gilt show at the American Royal.