4-H Youth Compete in Livestock Skillathons at 2015 Iowa State Fair

AMES, Iowa – Youth from 44 counties competed in three 4-H livestock skillathons at the Iowa State Fair. The 144 4-H’ers participated in poultry, sheep and swine events, said Amy Powell, an Iowa State University Extension and Outreach specialist in animal science and 4-H STEM – science, technology, engineering and math.

4-H swine skillathon at 2015 Iowa State FairThis was the first year for the poultry and sheep skillathons and the second year for the swine skillathon, Powell said. Youth worked their way through five stations, solving problems and identifying poultry, swine or sheep production components. The youth identified feed samples, breeds, meat cuts and equipment. They also had to answer questions about pedigrees, nutrients, quality assurance and equipment uses.  

Twelve youth participated in the poultry skillathon, as well as an egg cookery contest on Aug. 13. Molly Hayes from Mahaska County won the poultry skillathon, in which youth had to identify breeds, meat cuts, anatomy, feeds and egg defects. Six teams competed in the egg cookery contest, preparing an egg dish while sharing their knowledge about eggs. Tyler Loudon and Reilly Martinez, from Union County, won the cookery contest with their steak and eggs entry.

“We offered the poultry skillathon and egg cookery contest as a way for youth in the 4-H poultry project to be able to participate in the Iowa State Fair without a live bird,” Powell said.

Ninety-three youth participated in the swine skillathon Aug. 16. The winning team from Hancock County included Eric Gall, Andrew Dornbier and Jace Pringnitz. The second place team included Mitchell and Maclain Harken from Marion County and Gavin Branderhorst from Jasper County. Third place honors went to Mackenna, Morgan and Taylor Brinning from Washington County. Story County took home fourth place honors with team members Jake and Jackson Sterle and Ashley Kahler. Marta Grant from Jackson County, Spencer Arnold from Washington County and Megan Mauss from Poweshiek County won fifth place. All participants received a skillathon t-shirt sponsored by the Iowa Pork Producers Association. Awards were provided by Harris Vaccines. In addition, the Iowa Pork Producers Association, Harris Vaccines and the Iowa State Block and Bridle Club provided volunteers to assist with the swine skillathon.

Thirty-nine youth participated in the sheep skillathon, also on Aug. 16. The winning team was from Story County and members included Jake and Jackson Sterle and Ashley Kahler. Second place honors went to Will and Justin Rupnow from Sac County and Zack Zube from Iowa County. Kade Faga and Jack McKinny from Story County and Lily Skartredt from Hamilton County won third place. Allamakee County took home fourth place honors with team members Mariah, Rachel and Logan Kucera. Fifth place awards went to Jaden and Jaxon Kampen and Lisa Rodriguez from Humboldt County. The sheep skillathon was sponsored by Premier Sheep Equipment and all participants received a skillathon t-shirt.

Powell developed the stations and coordinated the skillathon events. Iowa State animal science faculty Jodie Sterle, Dan Morrical and Sherry Olsen served as station facilitators and provided support for the event. Lauren Haglund and Catherine Lents, ISU Extension and Outreach staff from Poweshiek County, assisted with the sheep skillathon.

[PHOTO] Iowa 4-H youth compete in the swine skillathon at the 2015 Iowa State Fair.