Monday, November 26, 2012

Marion County 4-H youth win big at National 4-H Poultry Judging Contest: Just in Time for Thanksgiving

Marion County 4-H received high honors as they placed as reserve champions at the National 4-H Poultry Judging Contest in Louisville, Kentucky.  The team finished third in the production hen division, sixth in the market egg division and ninth in the market poultry.

In addition to placing second overall, team member’s Ilene Boetger, placed first in the production hen division, and Sarah Harper placed sixth in the market egg division. 

The four Marion County 4-H youth, Sarah Harper, Kailea Quad, Ilene Boetger and Gabriela Valentin, travelled to Louisville, Kentucky to judge three categories of chicken, eggs and turkeys.  The competitors were required to judge ready-to-cook chicken and turkey carcasses, live production hens and market eggs. 

 “4-H youth travelled from all over the country to compete in educational events that help them learn to make and defend decisions, speak publicly, and gain poultry-related skill,” said Xiomara Diaz, Marion County 4-H extension agent. 

This year, over 86 senior 4-H youth represented 22 teams that participated in the poultry judging contest, Diaz said. 

The judging contest gives students the opportunity to demonstrate their knowledge of U.S. Department of Agriculture regulations governing the grading of eggs, chicken and turkeys.    

Participants are scored in the judging contest based on placing and reasons.   The placing score is determined by how well the participant placed the class based on physical characteristics of the poultry or egg.  How well the participants justify their placing of a class to a judge determines their reason score.

The poultry judging contest was held in conjunction with the 2012 National 4-H Poultry and Egg Conference at the Kentucky Fair and Exposition Center in Louisville, Kentucky. The conference recognizes 4-H members who have excelled in their state 4-H poultry learning activities by offering national level activities and contests designed to test and show the knowledge of the 4-H members. 

“A poultry careers workshop was also held at the conference, exposing the 4-H’ers to hands-on information from poultry industry professionals,” Diaz said.  “Participants are given pertinent information about career and educational opportunities available in the poultry industry.”

The Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS) is an Equal Opportunity Institution authorized to provide research, educational information, and other services only to individuals and institutions that function with non-discrimination with respect to race, creed, color, religion, age, disability, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, political opinions, or affiliations. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Cooperative Extension Service, University of Florida, IFAS, Florida A&M University Cooperative Extension Program, and Boards of County Commissioners Cooperating

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