Crowd Gathers to Celebrate Groundbreaking for New State Fairgrounds Exhibit Hall

A groundbreaking ceremony for the Nordby Exhibit Hall for 4-H, Youth, and Community took place on Wednesday, May 27, at the State Fairgrounds in Huron, S.D.  Lt. Gov. Matt Michels was among those who addressed the group, which included campaign volunteers, donors, 4-H families and agricultural leaders from throughout the state.

Over the past several months, the South Dakota State Fair Foundation has been carrying out a capital campaign for the exhibit hall, which will be a statewide home for South Dakota 4-H; something not currently available for 4-H members.  The building will be constructed on the site that once featured Clover Hall.

Lt. Gov. Michels addressed the 4-H youth in the audience. “You will be the leadership of the future,” said Michels in his speech. “The Nordby Exhibit Hall will provide a home for 4-H youth in our state to develop important leadership skills for decades to come.”

Huron area philanthropist Earl Nordby provided a financial match after 4-H groups throughout the state reached his challenge of raising $500,000.  To date, 4-H’ers have raised $577,000 for the new exhibit hall, including $150,000 raised through Beadle County 4-H.  As 4-H members continue to raise funds, additional matching opportunities have become available.  This $500,000 donation brings Nordby’s total gift for the exhibit hall campaign to $1.5 million.  Mr. Nordby thanked fellow donors and volunteers for helping make the building a reality for all those who will benefit from the facility.

The exhibit hall’s construction will begin soon.  When built, the 48,000 square-foot Nordby Exhibit Hall for 4-H, Youth, and Community will feature more than 30,000 square feet of exhibit space, multiple classrooms and a large kitchen for 4-H Special Foods competitions. A performance stage will be constructed for the many 4-H activities, community and regional events that will take place in this building year-round.

Thus far, the South Dakota State Fair Foundation has raised $3.9 million of its $4.7 million goal.

“I just want to thank the 700 families, individuals and organizations who have supported this capital campaign and I encourage anyone interested in supporting our youth to consider giving,” said South Dakota Secretary of Agriculture Lucas Lentsch. Those interested in supporting the Capital Campaign are invited to contact the State Fair Foundation at 605-274-3370 or visit

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