Four Madison County youth participated in the online 2020 Georgia 4-H state poultry-judging contest recently in collaboration with the University of Georgia Poultry Science Department.

This evaluation 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. In addition, they 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. “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.”

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 place live bird classes based on egg-laying productivity. In addition, participants must provide oral arguments justifying their decisions. The winners of the 2020 Georgia 4-H state poultry judging contest are: The second-place team for the contest was Madison County 4-H’ers, Clayton Adams, Sophia Merka, Alyssa Goldman and Kaylie Goldman. This team was led by head coach Carole Knight, coach Deborah Wofford and coach Susan Goldman.

This event is sponsored by Mike Giles and Carla Abshire. To learn more about the Georgia 4-H Livestock Program, visit georgia4h.org/livestock.

“Georgia 4-H empowers youth to become true leaders by developing necessary life skills, positive relationships and community awareness,” organizers said.

As the largest youth leadership organization in the state, 4-H reaches more than 242,000 people annually through the University of Georgia Cooperative Extension offices and 4-H facilities. For more information about Madison County 4-H, call 706-795-2281 or email sgoldman@uga.edu.

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