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The Georgia 4-H State Poultry Judging Contest provides the opportunity for students to learn and understand the standards used in poultry and egg production.

LEXINGTON — Spring is the season when Georgia 4-Hers participate in annual competitions that test the skills they have developed throughout the school year. In April and May, 4-H statewide competitions included poultry judging, horse judging and hippology contests.

In April, 55 students participated in the 2021 Georgia 4-H State Poultry Judging Contest, sponsored by Mike Giles and Carla Abshire and hosted by Georgia 4-H and the University of Georgia Department of Poultry Science.

This evaluation competition is a major event for the Georgia 4-H Poultry Program, a culmination of many months — and sometimes years — of hard work. The event provides the opportunity for participants to learn and understand the standards used in poultry and egg production and the importance of marketing to the public and how to apply those learned skills in a realistic decision-making process. This program is dedicated to teaching Georgia youths animal husbandry as well as life skills such as critical thinking skills, teamwork and oral communication skills.

“The poultry judging events this year, while not yet fully back to normal, provided a great opportunity for us to interact with Georgia youths interested in poultry,” Casey Ritz, UGA Extension coordinator and poultry science professor, said.

Senior participants, from ninth-12th grades gathered at the Oglethorpe County Livestock Facility in Lexington to evaluate poultry classes, including nine classes on egg and carcass grading, as well as classes based on egg-laying productivity. Participants had to provide oral justification for their evaluation decisions, and the senior high individual and first place team earned Georgia Master 4-Her status.

The winning team will represent Georgia 4-H at the National 4-H Poultry Judging Contest in Louisville, Ky., in November.

2021 Georgia 4-H State Poultry Judging Contest winners

First Place Team — Ethan James, Nathan Phillips, Jarrett Hancock, Sara Hancock, Irwin County

Second Place Team — Clayton Adams, Sophia Merka, Alyssa Goldman, Elise Sparks, Madison County

Third Place Team — Lauren Wixson, Amelia Lee, Ruby Witt, Timothy Lord, Ben Hill County

Senior High Individual — Ethan James, Irwin County

The 2021 Georgia 4-H hippology and horse judging contests were held virtually in May, with 53 youths participating in the hippology contest and 48 participating in horse judging.

The equine program is dedicated to teaching 4-H students equine husbandry, and the hippology contest provides 4-Hers with an opportunity for horse project members to use their horse project knowledge.

“This is my favorite 4-H horse program contest because of all the phases that comprise it,” Kari Turner, UGA Cooperative Extension equine specialist, said. “It builds a lot of different life skills and allows the individual strengths of each team member to contribute to the team as a whole. Everyone is able to play a big role in the team’s success.”

“I could not be more proud of the agents, coaches and youth that forged ahead to pursue excellence in this virtual horse judging contest this year,” Julia McCann, UGA Extension equine specialist, said. “Along with an outstanding set of Georgia horses and riders, the contest featured an array of nationally competitive horses and riders that hailed from Florida to Indiana. Several Georgia contestants impressed the reasoning judges listening from Texas, Oklahoma and Georgia with their knowledge and confident oral delivery skills that will support further development of their communication skills for life.”

The primary objective of the hippology contest is to provide a friendly but competitive opportunity for 4-H participants to demonstrate the breadth of their knowledge and understanding of equine science and management, specifically the practical application of this knowledge and skills developed from other project activities such as quiz bowl, horse judging, speaking and demonstrations, and the general horse program. The hippology competition comprises four phases including examination, station, judging and team problem.

Winners of the hippology and horse judging contests earned Georgia Master 4-Her status and will be honored at Georgia State 4-H Congress in July in Atlanta. The overall first- and second-place teams in the horse judging and hippology contests earned the honor of representing Georgia in the Southern Regional 4-H Horse Championship contest held in Perry the first week in August. In addition, the Morgan County Senior Team will have the opportunity to represent Georgia at the Western National Round Up in Denver in January 2022.

2021 Georgia 4-H State Hippology Competition winners

Senior Individuals

Examination Phase — Raven Cooper, Oglethorpe County

Station Phase — Emma Bayer, Cobb County

Judging Phase — Anthea Shelton, Coweta County

Senior High Individual — Noel Pickel, Morgan County

Senior Teams

Examination Phase — Sara Folsom, Parker Arrington, Gabriela Luna, Anthea Shelton, Coweta County

Station Phase: Noel Pickel, Natalie Ross, Emma Rhoades, Morgan County

Judging Phase — Sara Folsom, Parker Arrington, Gabriela Luna, Anthea Shelton, Coweta County

Team Problem Phase — Emma Bayer, Savannah Bryant, Sandhya Rajesh, Cobb County

Overall Senior Team — Noel Pickel, Natalie Ross, Emma Rhoades, Morgan County

Junior Individuals

Examination Phase — Chloe Folsom, Grady County , Team A

Station Phase — Ansley Scheiblauer, Cobb County, Team A

Judging Phase — Avery Pruett, Coweta County

Junior High Individual — Chloe Folsom, Grady County, Team A

Junior Teams

Examination Phase — Avery Pruett, Addison Hill, Elena Williams, Claire Lummus, Coweta County

Station Phase — Ansley Scheiblauer, Josy Johnson, Torie Daniels, Finn Johnson, Cobb County, Team A

Judging Phase — Avery Pruett, Addison Hill, Elena Williams, Claire Lummus, Coweta County

Team Problem Phase — Ansley Scheiblauer, Josy Johnson, Torie Daniels, Finn Johnson, Cobb County, Team A

Overall Senior Team — Avery Pruett, Addison Hill, Elena Williams, Claire Lummus, Coweta County

2021 Georgia 4-H State Horse Judging Contest winners

Senior Teams

First Place Team — Noel Pickel, Natalie Ross, Emma Rhoades, Morgan County

Second Place Team — Gabriela Luna, Parker Arrington, Sara Folsom, Coweta County

Third Place Team — Epiphany Short, Kerry Barrett, Katharine Barrett, Forsyth County

Fourth Place Team — Savannah Fields, Austin Collins, Cole Corley, Jones County.

Senior High Individual — Noel Pickel, Morgan County

Junior Teams

First Place Team — Avery Pruett, Addison Hill, Elena Williams, Claire Lummus, Coweta County.

Second Place Team — Ansley Scheiblauer, Josy Johnson, Karma Kilfoyle, Torie Daniels, Cobb County, Team A

Third Place Team — Adeline Wright, Emily McBrayer, Chloe Folsom, Keleigh Pearce, Grady County

Fourth Place Team — Addilyn Henerson, Finn Johnson, Phebe Burroughs-Thebault, Summer Burroughs-Thebault, Cobb County, Team B

Fifth Place Team — Ella Hardin, Madelynne Hardin, Harrison Aldridge, Bartow County

Junior High Individual — Avery Pruett, Coweta County

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Heather Shultz is a University of Georgia Cooperative Extension 4-H Livestock Specialist.

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