2020 Fair Special Edition: Iowa 4-H and FFA LIvestock Show Information

Presented by Alliant Energy

In the spirit of tradition, the Iowa State Fairgrounds are excited to host the 2020 Fair Special Edition: Iowa 4-H and FFA Livestock Show, presented by Alliant Energy. Held with the same prestige and competition found at the Iowa State Fair, this 2020 Special Edition will showcase the superior showmanship, hard work, and determination of Iowa’s 4-H and FFA youth. This Special Edition show will follow all Iowa Department of Public Health and CDC recommendations for social distancing, hand washing and sanitization, so although it will be held in August and on the Iowa State Fairgrounds, you may notice some “special” considerations for this stand-alone event.

Purpose: To support the mission statement of the Iowa State Fair by providing an opportunity for Iowa 4-H and FFA youth to showcase their hard work and livestock projects.

Eligibility:  Open to Iowa 4-H and FFA exhibitors that have nominated livestock projects for the 2020 Iowa State Fair. Shows will be available for the following:          

  • FFA Beef
  • FFA Horse
  • FFA Meat Goat
  • FFA Poultry*
  • FFA Rabbit*
  • FFA Sheep
  • FFA Swine
  • FFA & 4-H Dairy Cattle
  • FFA & 4-H Dairy Goats
  • 4-H Beef
  • 4-H Horse
  • 4-H Meat Goat
  • 4-H Poultry*
  • 4-H Rabbit
  • 4-H Sheep
  • 4-H Swine
    *nomination not required


All employees, exhibitors, vendors, and patrons must closely follow all rules, guidelines, and advice set forth by the United States Federal Government, CDC, State of Iowa Governor’s Office, Iowa Department of Public Health, ESA (Event Safety Alliance), and the IISC (Iowa Illinois Safety Council).  

It is strongly encouraged that volunteers, participants, and families use face coverings and practice physical distancing.

Some rows or sections of seating may be blocked off in order to space people at least 6 feet apart.

Lines or queues will be eliminated where possible or people will be encouraged to stay at least 6 feet apart by providing signs or other visual cues such as tape or chalk marks.

Frequent hand washing with soap and water is greatly encouraged.  If soap and water is not available hand sanitation stations will be placed throughout the barns and show arenas. 

Cleaning and sanitization of all frequently touched surfaces will occur during the set-up and throughout the duration of the events. 

Schedule: The schedule allows more room for exhibitors to obey social distancing recommendations.  The separation of the shows allows for the Fairgrounds to be cleaned thoroughly between sessions.   

**Some shows and competitions will not be offered for 2020. This includes the 4-H Dog Show, all carcass and/or performance contests including FFA Performance Beef, 4-H Beef of Merit, Sheep and Swine Carcass Contests, Livestock Skillathons, and non-show competitions (no poster presentations, etc.) and no Showmanship classes will be conducted this year. Just simply the livestock shows themselves.


Livestream Links and Show Programs

Attendees: For crowd control purposes each exhibitor will receive 3 wristbands total. Those wristbands will be good for the session (days) the exhibitor is showing. They cannot be used for other sessions or weekends.

Wristbands will be required to access the Fairgrounds. 

No additional fees will be charged for admission or parking.

Children 5 and under do not need a wristband.

Unfortunately, there is not an option to purchase wristbands individually or daily passes.

Purchase Show Supporter Wristbands

Exhibitor Communication:  Follow show information on Facebook under 2020 Fair Special Edition: Iowa 4-H and FFA Livestock Show or text SHOW to 75782

Generators:  No auxiliary generators will be provided.

Parking: Parking will be allowed on the fairgrounds in designated areas at no cost.  All persons in the vehicle must have a wristband to enter the Fairgrounds.  Wristbands will not be available on site. 

Trailer Parking: Trailers parking will be available on grounds in designated areas at no cost. 

Premiums and Ribbons: The Danish Ribbon systems will still be used – exhibitors will receive the typical Purple, Blue, Red, White in each class. However, monetary premiums will be paid only to the top 3 placings in each class across all divisions. 

Rules:  Premium books with full rules are available below.

Exhibitors will notice some key changes for 2020 in certain species. For instance, due to no market outlet, market swine will not be loaded out for harvest.  All shows will be non-terminal with the exception of the following animals that will be processed at Iowa State University Meat Lab: Grand and Reserve Grand Champion 4-H Market Steer; Grand and Reserve Grand 4-H Champion Market Heifer; Grand and Reserve Grand Champion 4-H Market Hog; Grand and Reserve Grand Champion 4-H Market Lamb; Grand and Reserve Grand Champion 4-H Broiler (Special); Grand Champion 4-H Market Meat Goat; Grand Champion and Reserve Grand Champion FFA Market Lamb; Grand Champion and Reserve Grand Champion FFA Market Hog; Grand Champion FFA Market Meat Goat.

Due to physical distancing requirements, reduction of interactions and lack of resources, carcass classes will not be available.   

Other Amenities:  A small variety of food and show supply vendors will be available.

Bedding will be provided like normal.

Bathrooms will be provided.  We are still working through shower disinfecting protocols.  We cannot guarantee they will be available at this time.

Due to increased health protocols exhibitors will not be allowed to sleep in the barns.  No overnight accommodations will be allowed in the barns or the Youth Inn. 

Camping is available in the Fair campgrounds.  More information may be found here: https://www.iowastatefairgrounds.org/camping/off-season-camping/.

Register for Camping

For further information, please contact the Competitive Events Department at competitiveevents@iowastatefair.org or 515.262.3111 x207


We couldn't be more excited to offer the opportunity for youth shows in August. We have a lot of volunteers who help us pull off one of the best Fairs in the country and we know you might be one of them. If you are interested in helping with our livestock shows, please sign up to volunteer for the 2020 Special Edition: Iowa 4-H and FFA Livestock Show. We can't thank you enough!

Volunteer Registration Form


Holiday Inn Downtown Mercy Campus is the Official Hotel of the 2020 Fair Special Edition: 4-H and FFA Livestock Shows.  Find special rates at the button below.



Vendor Map (updated 7.22.2020)


2020 Fair Special Edition: Iowa 4-H and FFA Livestock Show Sponsors

Media Credentials

We are excited to offer livestock shows on a limited basis given our current COVID-19 regulations and recommendations. To limit barn crowding, show ring space and allow for social distancing, we are not able to offer media credentials or media booth locations. 

You can email marketing@iowastatefair.org with specific questions or to be added to our media release list.

2020 4-H Show Iowa

Find more information about the 2020 4-H Show Iowa on the Iowa State University Extension and Outreach website.


Find more 2020 Competition information on the Fair Updates page.

select your entry category below

FFA Premium Book

Iowa FFA members who are interested in entering FFA shows at the Iowa State Fair need to contact their Chapter Advisor.

Advisors: Click below to submit nominations and entries -

Nominate/Enter Online

Nomination deadline is May 15 June 1.

Entry deadline is July 10.


As an agricultural institution, we are proud to share our rich heritage through livestock education, entertainment and competition. The Iowa State Fair does not condone animal mistreatment of any kind. We have strict animal care policies in place, codes of ethics for 4-H and FFA members to abide by and an Animal Care Committee. We strive to make the Iowa State Fair a safe and enjoyable place for people and animals alike.

Purpose of the Animal Care Committee: The Animal Care Committee was established by the Iowa State Fair Board to ensure that all animals at the Fair receive the best care that is possible and practical. The Iowa State Fair is a showplace for animal agriculture in the state. Many animal species, in addition to livestock, are on exhibition at the Fair. Many attendees are not familiar with common standards of care for livestock, pets and other animals. The animal displays and exhibits are intended to provide enjoyment and education for exhibitors and the general public. The Committee endeavors to enhance the image of animal ownership, the Fair and to provide a positive experience for all involved.  

Code of Ethics/Premium Book Rules:

Iowa 4-H Code of Ethics

FFA Good Conduct Policy and Code of Show Ring Ethics

General Livestock Rule & Regulations - Code of Show Ring Ethics

Additional Resources: