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Skillathon, producer contest to showcase 4-H dairy members

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Written Thursday, August 06, 2009  

Purdue University Extension will host two dairy contests Aug. 15 during the Indiana State Fair.

To compete in the Skillathon and Outstanding 4-H Dairy Producer Contest, participants must be enrolled in the Indiana 4-H dairy program. Interested individuals can register at the Sate Fair cattle barn the day of the event.

"The purpose of each event is to challenge participants to demonstrate their knowledge about dairy cattle and the dairy cattle industry," said Mike Schutz, Purdue Extension dairy specialist.

Participants entering the Skillathon must be a junior 4-H member in grades three through seven.

"Participants will gain confidence in what they already know about dairy and should gain a better understanding about what they don't know as well," Schutz said.

The Skillathon will consist of five stations, each 10 minutes long.

"The topics could range from identifying parts of the animal, breeds of cow and calf, and care practices that happen on farms every day," Schutz said.

Cash prizes will be awarded to the top 10 finishers.

The Outstanding 4-H Dairy Producer Contest is for senior 4-H members in grades eight and above.

The contest will be divided into four phases. Each phase will test the participants about their knowledge of the dairy industry. The phases include:

* A 40-question dairy management quiz. Among the topics covered will be animal health, showmanship techniques and how milk is priced.

* A senior-level Skillathon.

* A showmanship class, in which each participant is asked to show a dairy animal and be judged. A dairy animal will be provided for participants without an animal at the fair.

* A judging contest. Each participant will judge four classes of dairy and answer questions from two of the four classes.

"The phases are broken up into 50 points each, and the person with the most overall points wins a $1,000 scholarship," Schutz said.

All awards and prizes are sponsored by Milk Promotion Services of Indiana.

For more information, contact Schutz at 765-494-9478, mschutz@purdue.edu .

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