4-H members compete in project bowl

Published 9:10 am Saturday, April 9, 2011

Column: Megan Thorson, 4-H Update

Megan Thorson

Many times when people think about 4-H and livestock, the only thing that comes to their mind is showing their animal at the county or state fair. There is more to the 4-H livestock projects then just showing the animals. All across the state 4-H’ers can participate in many other events such as livestock camps, project trainings, tours of livestock farms and facilities, livestock quality assurance and ethics training, livestock interviews and livestock project bowls to name a few.

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The second most attended event during the 4-H year is the project bowl competition. Patterned after the golden-oldie television show “College Bowl,” it challenges teams of three to six youth about their knowledge of 4-H project areas: dairy, dog, general livestock, horse, poultry, rabbit and wildlife.

There are four regional bowls, followed by the state bowl. Each has two divisions: junior (grades third through eighth) and senior (grades ninth through 4-H graduation). Regional winners advance to the state bowl, and state winners in dairy, general livestock, horse and poultry go on to national contests.

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This past winter there were 15 4-Hers who participated in project bowls in Freeborn County. Our county was also lucky enough to have adult leaders volunteer their time to coach these 4-H’ers on a weekly basis. Many hours were spent reading materials and going over previous questions to get the 4-H’ers geared up to compete against other teams. At the regional project bowl held in Hastings this past month, we had five teams represent Freeborn County. We had a dairy junior and senior team, a dog senior team and the rabbit junior and senior team that was combined with Mower County.

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Although only one of our teams (rabbit senior) made it to the state project bowl, other teams said they are excited for next year, and they are going to continue to practice throughout the summer and fall months. Many of the other teams in other counties have been practicing and competing with each other since the third grade. Our bowl teams are excited to start working together now and continuing to work together in the future.

Participants in the Project Bowls included: Jade and Destiny Hill of the Bath-Geneva Club, Aubrey, Hailey and Presley Johnson of the Hartland 4-H Club, Lydia, Bridget and Chase Saxton of the Nunda 4-H Club, Tyler Larson of the Nunda 4-H Club, Elizabeth, Joshua and Rachel Wangen of the Albert Lea and Nunda 4-H Clubs, Lindsey Miller of the Moscow 4-H Club, Jenni Golbuff of the Hayward 4-H Club, Kristin Sandager of the Twin Lakes Club and Katie and Megan Maxa from Oakland 4-H Club.

Megan Thorson is the 4-H program coordinator for the Freeborn County Extension Service.