Fair to feature Skillathons

Staff report

Junior Fair beef, sheep and swine exhibitors at the Fulton County Fair will again have a chance to compete in the youth Skillathons that contribute to the Overall Market Exhibitor (OME) Award on Wednesday, Aug. 30, 4-8 p.m., at Spangler Arena at the fairgrounds.

Youth wishing to be eligible for the OME Award in their species must compete in their particular Skillathon. Registration is first-come, first-served on Aug. 30; no youth will be turned away if arriving by 8 pm. There is no cost to participate, and all youth, clubs, and chapters are encouraged to demonstrate their knowledge of the livestock industry.

Youth need to bring project record books to the event, which will be worth four points of the total score. They can best prepare for the skillathons by completing their project books – which will be graded – and reviewing the livestock learning kits – which can be signed out at the Extension office – using university web resources and by working with an advisor.

The key resource for each of the skillathons is the species Resource Handbook, available for purchase at the Extension Office. Cash awards will be granted to first ($50), second ($30), and third place ($20) Skillathon winners in each division.

Ages in all divisions are as of Jan. 1 of the current year.

Beef and Sheep divisions: Junior Division, ages 8-13; Senior Division, ages 14-18.

Swine divisions: Junior Division, ages 8-11; Intermediate Division, ages 12-14 Senior Division, ages 15-18.

Beef Station topics, Junior and Senior divisions, include: management practices; nutrition and feeding, record keeping across the project; quality assurance – health maintenance; and tie breaker

Sheep Station topics, Junior and Senior divisions, include: carcass evaluation and meats; quality assurance; record keeping across the project; reproduction and genetics, and tiebreaker.

Swine Station topics, Junior-Intermediate-Senior divisions: nutrition and feeding; swine selection; record keeping across the project; pork products including carcass and meats; and tiebreaker.

The Skillathon score is exactly one-third of the total Outstanding Market Exhibitor Award, along with placing in showmanship and market classes. For multiple market classes – sheep, junior market or Born-n-Raised; swine, barrow or gilt – a highest ranking will be used. For multiple showmanship opportunities – beef and dairy beef, steers and feeder calves – a highest ranking will also be used.

The Outstanding Market Exhibitor for beef, sheep and swine will sell third in the sale order, behind Grand and Reserve Champion, and will receive an industry sponsored gift and monetary award.

Staff report