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Dakota County Fair tales to get social this year

Christian Strommen of Hastings is pictured in front of a sign on the Dakota County Fairgrounds. He is planning to send out a number of daily tweets about the fair. Photo by Kara Hildreth

Hastings youth will tweet about 4-H, Dakota County Fair

Dakota County Fair 4-H Clubs will celebrate 100 years this year and one 4-H youth plans to take the 4-H message into Twittersphere.

Christian Strommen, 14, Hastings, said he looks forward to communicating about Dakota County 4-H clubs via a special social media project. While he tends to his goats, he will be editing and hash-tagging a storm of Twitter posts inside the barn.

As the 4-H social media spokesperson, this will be one of his special technology projects. He will be busy tweeting all the good news about the fair and 4-H via his smartphone.

My mission will be to go around the fair and Tweet with hashtags about 4-H and the fair and they will be displayed on two TVs around the fair,” said the member of the Top Notchers 4-H Club in Vermillion.

He expects the posts will be shared and retweeted to locals come check out the fair and 4-H. Strommen also hopes his Twitter feed will gain a following and county youths will become curious about 4-H. The Twitter feed aims to show what kind of fun people can experience and how being involved in 4-H can change their lives.

The two TVs will be located at the 4-H building entrance and inside the cattle show ring barn near the bleachers so the social media feed receives plenty of exposure, Strommen said.

Abby Wagner, 4-H program coordinator with Dakota County Extension office in Farmington, approached Strommen about the social media project idea. He was excited and eager to embark on the Twitter world, so he agreed. Now this has become his special technology 4-H social media project during this year’s fair.

“I will be posting photos, videos and texting anything put through on a tweet on Twitter and will be checking out ... hashtags,” Strommen said.

One hashtag will be #dakota 4h100years and there will be several other hashtags in use.

Part of his job will be to approve and edit different hashtags and postings.

“We want the public to follow the 4-H post and learn what is going on with 4-H youth, and see what it is like to be in 4-H and see all the behind-the-scenes action to make sure this is all as great as possible,” Strommen said.

He will work to loop together Twitter and Instagram postings to reach more people who might want to know what is going on in 4-H and the Dakota County Fair.

Many Dakota County 4-H club members will be busy posting videos, photos and comments to fill up the Twitter feed and to highlight cool stuff going on in the animal barns, the exhibits and 4-H competitions during the fair.

“I just want to talk about how 4-H is such a great program with amazing people and how you can do amazing things once you get into it,” said Strommen.

Besides working on his Twitter project, he will be exhibiting goats and poultry and communicating about his aerospace project. “I have designed this tracker – it is a work in progress - that tracks chickens in and out of coops, and the second one is a card to open garage doors,” he said.

Strommen raves about how 4-H programs have made such a positive impact on his young life. By taking part in 4-H projects in his club, it has all been such a learning journey for him both personally and academically.

“What is really great about 4-H is that once you become involved, you are hooked and you can do so much more and experience different things,” Strommen said. “We want to spread the word about 4-H, and we know sometimes it can be hard to communicate to kids but we know once we get them into 4-H, we know they will love it,” he added.

Looking forward to tweeting about the fair this week, Strommen wants the whole social media world to know about how great 4-H Clubs are in Dakota County.

“There are a lot of younger generations who communicate this way, and we want to reach out to them and encourage them to join 4-H.”