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Monday, May 2, 2016

25 4-H'ers compete in first Skill-a-thon

Friday, July 20, 2012

Kelly Culver, 8 (middle), and Kenzie Slough, 7, were the 1st and 2nd place mini-4-H Skill-a-thon winners at the Clay County 4-H Fair. Pictured with Kelly and Kenzie is 2012 4-H Queen Holli Moore. [Order this photo]
More than 25 4-H members participated in the first ever Skill-a-thon at the Clay County 4-H Fair Friday morning.

Most participants were between the ages of 7 and 17, with Fair Queen Holli Moore, 20, teaming up with Mini 4-H members as well.

Tammy Steiner, Extension Educator for 4-H Youth Development and Jenna Smith, Extension Educator for Agriculture and Natural Resources created the Skill-a-thon after seeing its success at other fairs in the state.

The Skill-a-thon was divided into two different sections: Individual exercises and team exercises. During the exercises, participants were asked to answer questions regarding different breeds, feed, equipment and retail meat cuts for different animals. The animals covered during the Skill-a-thon were beef cattle, chickens, dairy cattle, goats, horses, rabbits, sheep and swine.

The purpose of the Skill-a-thon is to expose 4-H members to different animals and to help them gain some understanding of what it takes to care for those animals before taking them to market.

"Many of these kids only show one or two types of animal at the fair," Steiner said, "so this gives them an opportunity to get to know different animal types and know more about the end product of raising those animals."

Smith emphasized the Skill-a-thon gives 4-H members a "chance to shine" since most 4-H shows focus on the presentation of the animal, and not necessarily on the child presenting the animal.

"This really provides them an opportunity to prove what they know," said Steiner.

Participant Nathan Buell, 17, said he entered the Skill-a-thon because it sounded like something he could learn from.

"The Skill-a-thon sounded cool." he said. "I've learned a lot about different breeds, feed and equipment that I didn't know before. I would definitely recommend it to kids in the future."

Another participant, Paige Stevenson, 17, said she enjoyed trying something new.

"I like being a part of the Skill-a-thon because I get to see all the kids out here having a good time while they learn and try something new," she said. "This is a really good event that is educational. I will definitely do this again next year."

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