Last month, 52 youths participated in the Georgia 4-H State Livestock Judging Contest at the Newton County Agriculture Center in Covington.
This evaluation competition, sponsored by Wilma Minix and the Georgia Cattlemen’s Association, is a major event for the Georgia 4-H Livestock Program. Participants acquire a better knowledge of livestock by learning to identify types, grades, breeds and classes of livestock while developing skills in animal science and profitable farming. The contest also encourages youth to enhance their decision-making, critical thinking and problem-solving skills.
“I am so thankful for the group that worked to put together the state 4-H and FFA livestock judging contest in person,” said Sarah Loughridge, University of Georgia Animal and Dairy Science Extension youth livestock coordinator. “It was great to see youth circled around livestock classes and giving reasons in a socially distanced manner.”
The main components of the contest include judging classes of livestock, such as market or breeding beef cattle, swine, sheep and/or meat goats, and justifying their decisions through oral reasoning and question sets.
Senior participants in grades nine through 12 reviewed classes to place the different livestock into specific classes, answered a set of questions on a designated class, and provided four sets of reasons providing explanations for their placings. Junior participants in fourth through eighth grades viewed classes for placement and provided two sets of reasons explaining their placements. Both Junior and Senior 4-H participants completed one question set.
Youth compete individually for high individual and as a team through the combination of the top county individuals. The top three individuals and top three team members will receive medallions, and a team plaque will be presented to the top participating teams. The first place Senior Team will have the opportunity to represent Georgia at the 2021 National 4-H Livestock Judging Contest held in Louisville, Ky., in November.
Morgan County was well represented. Three junior 4-H’ers consisting of Leyton Morris, Kaden Morris, and J.A. Martin competed in the contest.
Georgia 4-H provides experiences for young people to learn by doing. 4-H’ers complete hands-on projects in our focus areas of Agriculture and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math), Healthy Living, and Civic Engagement in a positive environment where they receive guidance from adult mentors and are encouraged to take on proactive leadership roles. Youth experience 4-H in every county of the state through in-school and after-school programs, school and community clubs, project work, and 4-H camps. For more information on how to get involved with Georgia 4-H contact the Morgan County 4-H Office by calling 706-342-2214 or emailing email@example.com.