Youth Livestock Skillathons Back »

During the State 4-H Livestock Judging contest, an example skillathon contest will be available for youth to complete. The example will be modeled after the National 4-H Livestock Skillathon, but will be designed primarily for beginner age (8-10 year old) youth, due to the scheduling of the Livestock Judging Contest.

National 4-H Livestock Skillathon

At a national level, the North American International Livestock Exposition has adopted the skillathon contest as part of the educational program. A group of Extension specialists and industry professionals from across the nation worked together to develop this national competitive activity to test youth’s comprehensive knowledge of the livestock industry. In recent years, several states have added educational activities in addition to the shows and judging contests. Some states have developed “skillathon” activities while other states conduct “stockperson” contests or other activities to test youth’s comprehensive livestock knowledge. The purpose of the National 4-H Livestock Skillathon is to serve as a reward and goal for youth who have excelled in similar events at their state level. The contest is conducted in Louisville, KY in conjunction with the National 4-H Livestock Judging Contest. The national contest consists of an individual portion and a team portion.

Individual Portion

Classes and information covered in the individual portion include:

  • Livestock Equipment Identification: Identify the proper name and use for pieces of equipment used in livestock production.
  • Livestock Breed Identification: Identify from photographs or pictures livestock (beef cattle, swine, sheep and goat) breeds. Contestants must also match the breed with the most appropriate description supplied for each breed.
  • Retail meat cut identification: Identify beef, lamb, and pork retail cuts from the National 4-H Meat Judging Retail ID cut list. Contestants will identify the retail cut specie, primal cut, and retail cut name.
  • Hay and Wool Judging Class: Rank a class of four hay and wool samples with analysis information and answer questions about the classes.
  • Quality Assurance Exercise: Demonstrate how to read a medicine label, calculate withdrawal times, complete a treatment record, and make responsible management decisions regarding quality assurance.
  • Quiz: Complete a 30 question multiple choice quiz concerning the total livestock industry.

Team Portion

During the team portion, all members of the team work together at each station. Classes completed as a team of four include:

  • Quality Assurance Exercise: Demonstrate how to read an animal health product label, calculate dosage rates and withdrawal times, complete a treatment record, and be familiar with administration routes, animal identification and restraint methods, and make responsible management decisions regarding quality assurance.
  • Meat & Carcass Evaluation: Rank one class of four similar retail cuts. Evaluate photos of a carcass and also price carcasses using a grid.
  • Animal Breeding Scenario and Exercise: Team members will evaluate a breeding/marketing animal scenario and make animal selection/marketing decisions based upon performance/visual data to rank breeding animals or market them for use within the situation.
  • Evaluation of Performance & Marketing Information: Evaluate performance information on a group of livestock and then use the information given to make the best marketing decisions.
  • Livestock Feeding: Identify the proper name for livestock feeds and identify each corresponding nutrient group. Utilizing feed ingredients given, formulate a ration for a group of livestock.

More Information

More information on the contest is available on the North American International Livestock Exposition website.     

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