UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Pennsylvania 4-H’ers from around the state recently competed in the 4-H Animal Bowl and Skillathon Day that took place on Penn State’s University Park campus. The event hosted 109 youth aged 10-18 who participated in various events, including dairy bowl, horse bowl, hippology contest, livestock skillathon, and rabbit and cavy bowl and skillathon.
“This is an opportunity for youth to deepen their knowledge of their 4-H project interest area,” said Kirsten Dubbs, Penn State Extension 4-H animal science specialist. “They’re learning about all different aspects of animal science related to a particular species and using that information in the contest.”
In these events, youth apply knowledge related to animal care and ownership; animal health and biosecurity, quality assurance and food safety; animal housing and facilities; ethics and communication; and other topics.
During skillathons, youth put animal science knowledge into practice to make identifications and solve problems related to specific species and types of animals.
Bowls likewise provide an opportunity to showcase and expand animal science knowledge. Youth study educational resources and compete in rounds of questions.
Junior participants are 10-13 years old, while senior competitors range from 14-18 years old.
In the dairy bowl, first place went to the senior team of Evan Fleisher, Sadie Innerst, Julie Loy and Gavin Neff, of Perry County. The winning junior team was comprised of Aiden Balmer, Ethan Hoffman and Lathyn Stern, of Lancaster County.
The hippology contest awarded first place to the senior team of Cloey Barrick, Delaney Barrick, Clayton Hetrick and Aubrey McBride, of Cumberland County. McBride also won first place in the senior individual competition. In the junior division, the team of Sydney Arena, Ashlynn Barrick, Stefani Dreese and Jessica Hair, of Cumberland County, won first place. Arena was ranked top individual in the junior competition.
In the horse bowl, the team of Serina Bennett, Rhianna Penfield, Trenton Mosier and Emma Wilson, of Elk and Jefferson counties, won the senior division. The Elk County team of Gracelynne Kimmerle, Taylor Logsdon, Claren McQuown and Madilyn Zerbe earned first place in the junior category.
For the livestock skillathon, the Montgomery County team of Samantha Freed, Eva Garges, David Hoover and Kathryn Rush earned first place. Freed won the senior individual category. In the junior division, the team of Russell Bard, Sheridan McGargle and Sawyer Werner, of Huntingdon County, earned first place. McGargle earned first place in the individual rankings.
The rabbit and cavy bowl awarded first place to the Crawford County team of Emma Kennerknecht, Megan Yursic and Rachel Yursic.
In the rabbit and cavy skillathon, Austin Stutler, of Bucks County, earned first place in the junior individual category. Sarah Bupp, of Butler County, won first place in the senior individual division.
Dubbs noted that many of these contests offer senior participants the chance to qualify for various national competitions.
Administered in Pennsylvania by Penn State Extension, 4-H is a nonformal educational youth-development program of the United States Department of Agriculture that helps young people develop knowledge and skills to become capable, caring and contributing citizens. To find your local program, visit the Pennsylvania 4-H website at extension.psu.edu/programs/4-h/counties.