Smith County 4-H News – By Katie Martin – Smith County Extension Agent

The Smith County 4-H Livestock Judging Teams competed in the Central Region Livestock Judging Contest in Murfreesboro. From left to right: Courtney Dickens, Bianca Mendenhall, Bailey Chapman, Ava Grisham, Callie Barrett, Abby Malone, Makensie Barrett, Grace Harville, and Gabe Harville.

The Smith County 4-H Livestock Judging Teams competed in the Central Region Livestock Judging Contest on April 3rd, 2018 at the Tennessee Livestock Center in Murfreesboro. Nine 4-H’ers from our active livestock project group successfully participated in this contest.

Livestock Judging teaches 4-H members decision-making skills while they learn more about the livestock industry. Beef cattle, sheep, goats, and hogs are evaluated to know which animals would be best in a farm’s breeding program or would make the most profit in a market situation. 4-H’ers also learn how to read and use genetic information (EPDs) to assist in the selection of livestock. This is very useful knowledge if these young people ever buy livestock of their own. Eight total classes of animals are judged at the contest. The senior division also must give two sets of oral reasons to explain why they placed the class the way they did. This improves their communication skills as they must think under pressure while still using good presentation techniques.

The Senior High (9th-12th graders) individuals were 9th grader Bailey Chapman and 11th grader Grace Harville.

The Junior High (6th – 8th graders) Division Team was 6th graders Courtney Dickens and Ava Grisham, and 7th graders Abby Malone, and Makensie Barrett. The Junior High individual was 8th grader Bianca Mendenhall.

The Junior individuals (4th & 5th graders) were 5th graders Callie Barrett and Gabe Harville.

Bianca Mendenhall placed 9th overall in the Junior High Division and the Junior High team was 5th overall. All Smith County 4-H’ers performed exceptionally well and we are proud of their hard work and commitment!

For more information about the livestock group or any of our 4-H activities please call 615-735-2900.

The 4-H Youth Development Program delivers programs through cooperative efforts of the University of Tennessee, Tennessee State University, and public and private sector volunteers. 4-H is a community of young people across America who are learning leadership, citizenship and life skills. 4-H educational programs are offered to all youth, grades 4-12, on an age-appropriate basis, without regard to race, religion, color, national origin, gender, sexual orientation or disability.