A team of 4-H’ers from Centre County represented Pennsylvania at the National 4-H Poultry and Egg Conference held November 18-19 at the Kentucky Fair and Exposition Center in Louisville, KY. The team placed second overall in the Poultry Judging Contest, just 1.3 points (out of 4500) behind first place winner Georgia. Pennsylvania was first in the Market Egg Division, second in Production Hens and Oral reasons Division and fourth in the Market Poultry Division.
Members of the team were Taylor Mauk, Pleasant Gap; Karen Warner, Howard; Claycon Giedroc, Howard; and Tyler Poorman, Howard. Mauk, Warner and Giedroc were second, third and 14th overall. Mauk was fourth in market poultry division and eighth in the Production Hens and Oral reasons Division. Warner was second in the Production Hens and Oral Reasons Division and tied for sixth in the Market Egg Division. Giedroc was second in the Market Egg Division.
In the poultry judging contest, participants are required to evaluate ready-to cook chicken and turkey carcasses, live production hens and market eggs. The contest teaches participants to make decisions in an orderly manner, use reasoning skills and accurately communicate their decisions. Sixteen teams and 65 individuals competed in this year’s contest.
Addison Neff, Harrisburg, competed in the highly competitive Chicken BBQ and Presentation contest. Participants barbecue three chicken halves or two turkey fillets and give an oral presentation on the corresponding poultry industry.
Phillip Clauer, senior instructor in Penn State’s Department of Animal Science, and Gregory Martin, Penn State extension educator, accompanied the group. Jacob Haagen coached the team and Janell Neff was the BBQ coach.
The National 4-H Poultry and Egg conference strives to develop the next generation of leaders through teaching skills and decision making while encouraging 4-Hers to gain a comprehensive body of knowledge about poultry and the industry. A Poultry Careers workshop is held at the conference, exposing the 4-Hers to hands-on information from poultry food industry personnel and the participants are given pertinent information about career and educational opportunities in poultry industries. This year’s speakers included Steve Bliesner , director of operations at Daybreak Foods; Tracy McKenney, Perdue; and Blake VanDenburgh, pullet manager, Daybreak Foods.
At the 2015 conference, 120 senior 4-Hers, representing 19 states participated as teams or individuals in the competitive events.
Youth are strongly encouraged to participate in one of these poultry contests in the future. These activities provide exceptional learning experiences, a lot of fun, and excellent awards. Since 2002, Pennsylvania has offered state contests in Poultry Judging, Chicken and Turkey Barbecue Presentations, and Avian Bowl, and Pennsylvania delegates consistently have placed very well in this national event annually.
If you are interested in participating in these events at the state level in the future, contact Phillip J. Clauer at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 814-863-8960 for more information. The PA State 4-H Poultry website http://extension.psu.edu/4-h/projects/poultry/contest-events/state-contest also has information about these events.
Recognition and thanks go to the Pennsylvania Poultry Industry Endowment Fund for 4-H Poultry Program Support, PennAg Industries Poultry Council and the U.S. Poultry and Egg Association for helping to sponsor the Pennsylvania 4-H Poultry Program and the delegation’s travel expenses for this trip.