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Local 4-H’ers tackle a national competition

By Morgan Watts

Rowan Cooperative Extension

Last week, Rowan County’s 4-H program had five youth compete at a national contest.

These 4-H’ers were able to travel to the National 4-H Poultry and Egg Conference in Louisville, Kentucky, to compete at the National 4-H Poultry Judging Contest.

This was a huge opportunity for these 4-H’ers. They started practicing for our state competition back in May. Because they won the North Carolina State 4-H Poultry Judging Contest, they advanced to represent North Carolina 4-H on a national level.

This contest was not only a great opportunity for them to represent North Carolina but they had the opportunity to network with poultry science professionals and industry leaders across the U.S. in the meet-and-greet pizza party.

They were also able to interact and make friends with other 4-H participants who where competing in either poultry judging, avian bowl, egg preparation, chicken BBQ or turkey BBQ.

There were over 150 4-H participants at this national competition. The participants from Rowan County only competed in poultry judging. The team was ninth overall, fourth in market eggs and fourth in market poultry.

Team members included Lauren Hayes, Sierra Simmerson, Grace Walters, Josie Correll and Sydney Swing. Individually, Simmerson was eighth in market poultry and 20th overall. Swing was third in market eggs and sixth in market poultry. Lauren Hayes was sixth in market eggs.

This was a very intense contest that incorporated several components that we don’t have at our state competition. The participants were required to judge three classes of past production hens, four classes of ready to cook carcasses ( including turkeys). Each class had 10 carcasses, two classes of exterior eggs, two classes of interior eggs, one class of broken out eggs, one parts class, and then two sets of reasons on their past production hen classes.

They had a great trip with lots of fun and are already planning ways they can go back next year to compete in a different division. If you see them around make sure to congratulate them.

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