SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — Supporting the next generation of livestock industry leaders is among the objectives of the Land of Lincoln Purebred Livestock Breeder’s Association and the organization contributed to two youth groups that represent tens of thousands of Illinois students.
The association contributed $1,000 each to the Illinois FFA Foundation and Illinois 4-H Foundation during its annual meeting Dec. 7.
Illinois FFA officers Sophia Hortin, president; Eliza Petry, vice president; and Shaylee Clinton, reporter, accepted the donation on behalf of the state’s 18,000 members.
Petry, the sixth generation to work on her family’s grain farm near Rochelle, recalled the time she helped a friend show sheep at the Ogle County Fair. It was her first experience in the show ring.
“I learned a lot of things that day. No. 1, it is very important to train and work with your livestock before going into a show ring. And, No. 2, it is a lot of hard work to do what all of those livestock kids do every single day. That day I watched a lot of my peers show their sheep, and they looked a lot more put together than I did. I wondered if it was obvious that it was my first time showing,” Petry said.
“I gained a lot of respect to all of those livestock kids. They put blood, sweat and tears into what they do, and the passion that they have for it is so inspiring.”
Petry expressed her appreciation of the LLPLBA for their generosity to the foundations.
“Our youth in agriculture look promising with their skills and talents, and I think that is because of the support that we get from all of you,” Petry said.
Dan Jennings, University of Illinois Extension 4-H animal science educator, accepted the contribution on behalf of the 4-H Foundation that represents more than 26,650 youth.
He gave an overview of the many successes the state’s youth had this past year:
- The Illinois 4-H team took reserve champion honors in the 2018 National 4-H Livestock Skillathon Contest held Nov. 14 in Louisville, Kentucky. The skillathon division of the North American International Livestock Exposition tests the competitors’ knowledge in a wide range of livestock management issues, including breeding, meat evaluation, animal handling, feeding, marketing and health. Tara Hummel of Kankakee County was the individual champion. As a team, Illinois placed second in hay, wool and meats evaluation. They ranked third in identification of meats, breeds and equipment. They placed eighth in quality assurance that includes animal handling, breeding, marketing, feeding, and carcass evaluation. Makenna Green, Douglas County, finished seventh overall and earned All American status.
- Never, since its inception in 1919, has the National 4-H Livestock Judging Contest ended in a tie; that is, until this year. The 4-H teams from Illinois and Virginia were even at the end of competition. Illinois was named the national champion based on its higher reasons score. The team finished third in the reasons division, second in swine, third in beef cattle and seventh in sheep. Mason Engnell, McDonough County, was the overall individual winner of the Nov. 13 contest in Louisville.
- Illinois’ 4-H team claimed fourth place out of 17 teams in the National 4-H Dairy Quiz Bowl contest held Nov. 2 in Louisville. The contest challenges contestants’ knowledge of dairy production, business management, dairy products and dairy science. Illinois won four rounds, but fell at the hands of the 4-H team from Vermont. Emma Carlson, Boone County, was sixth overall.
- Illinois 4-H members claimed 16th place in the National 4-H Dairy Judging Contest held Oct. 1 at the World Dairy Expo in Madison, Wisconsin. The team also garnered 10th place in the Jersey division.
- Illinois was third out of 22 teams at the Eastern National 4-H Horse Roundup Hippology Contest held Nov. 3 at the North American International Livestock Expo in Louisville. There are four phases to the contest. Illinois placed third in the hands-on stations, fourth in the written exam and team problem solving and ninth in live judging to take the third place award.
- Illinois 4-H placed sixth out of 22 teams at the Eastern National 4-H Horse Roundup Horse Judging Contest held Nov. 3 at the North American International Livestock Expo in Louisville. Illinois earned fourth in the conformation division, sixth in oral reasons and seventh in the performance division to claim the sixth place team finish.
“I want to thank the Land of Lincoln for supporting our 4-H program and our Superior Young Producer Contest. I know it means a lot and your supports helps train youth and host our events and contests throughout the year,” Jennings said.
LLPLBA sponsors the Superior Young Producer Award plaques each year.
Quality Care Program
Jennings also announced implementation of the new Youth for the Quality Care for Animals which is an online program that covers all market species.
YQCA is a national multi-species quality assurance program for youth ages 8 to 21. The program is designed to provide an estimated 60 minutes of education each year.
The online program requires the passing of a series of three quizzes to earn certification. An in-person YQCA workshop requires complete attendance.
YQCA is the result of a collaborative effort between states that have previously offered multi-species youth livestock quality assurance programs, the National Pork Board’s Youth PQA Plus program and representatives from other national livestock groups.
YQCA is designed as an annual education and certification program focused on food safety, animal well-being and character awareness for youth ages 8 to 21 producing or showing pigs, beef cattle, dairy cattle, sheep, goats, market rabbits and poultry.
The program has been designed by extension specialists and national livestock program managers to ensure it is accurate, current and relevant to the needs of the animal industry and shows and is appropriate for youth.
Any youth in the United States will have access to the online YQCA program and to certification. YQCA in-person workshops may be available to youth where state 4-H or FFA offices or state or national livestock organizations have partnered to have qualified trainers offer in-person workshops.
Tom C. Doran can be reached at 815-780-7894 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at: @AgNews_Doran.