The Coweta County team for the Georgia 4-H state poultry judging contest placed first in the online competition held July 6.
Eighty youth participated in the contest in collaboration with the University of Georgia Poultry Science Department. Representing Coweta were Leopold Joh, Alexa Hillebrand, Nicole Hillebrand and Lexi Koenig.
The competition is a culmination of many months, and sometimes years, of studying Georgia’s top agricultural industry. The event encourages youth to learn and understand the standards used in poultry and egg production, according to a press release from the University of Georgia Media Newswire.
In addition, youth learn the importance of marketing to the public and how to apply those learned skills in a realistic decision-making process. The poultry judging program teaches animal husbandry fundamentals as well as life skills including critical thinking, teamwork and oral communication.
“The virtual judging format this year, while a bit more challenging, is still a great way for us as a university to interact with Georgia youth interested in agriculture and, specifically, poultry,” said Casey Ritz, UGA poultry science professor and Extension coordinator in the release. “Unique opportunities such as these will hopefully be remembered by our youth and help to shape their futures.”
“Even in trying times as we have, these events give us the opportunity to share with students the great programs and events available to them here at the UGA Department of Poultry Science,” Ritz added.
In the virtual format, senior participants in grades nine through 12 evaluated classes through a PowerPoint presentation and online test of their evaluation skills. This contest includes nine classes for youth to apply egg and carcass grading, as well as live bird classes based on egg-laying productivity.
In addition, participants must provide oral arguments justifying their decisions. The senior high individual and first place senior team will earn Georgia Master 4-H’er status.
The Coweta team will represent Georgia 4-H at the national 4-H poultry judging contest in Louisville, Kentucky, in November.
The Madison County team placed second in the competition, and the Bulloch County team came in third. The Senior High Individual was Whitley Gatch from Bulloch County.
The event is sponsored by Mike Giles and Carla Abshire. To learn more about the Georgia 4-H Livestock Program, visit georgia4h.org/livestock .