It has been a busy past few months in 4-H hosting competitions centered on poultry. There were three poultry-related 4-H culinary contests sponsored by the Kentucky Poultry Federation, that were held on July 30th at the Hardin County Extension Office in Elizabethtown.
Early that morning, we hosted the 4-H Egg Chef Challenge. In this contest, participants are required to demonstrate the preparation of an egg dish while discussing the virtues of eggs. It is similar to a TV talk show. It is an excellent opportunity for youth to show off their cooking skills and personalities. The top prize of $100 went to Cecilia Rose Huggins of Simpson County. She made Kentucky Derby Pie, a family favorite. Taking second place, with a very close score, and receiving $50 was Josh Cook from Allen County. He scrambled up the fluffiest eggs that the judges have ever eaten.
In the afternoon, we had the chicken and turkey barbecue contests. We had a total of 19 participants in the two contests, the most we have had in several years! In the chicken BBQ contest, participants cook four chicken thighs and hand in three for sensory evaluation. They are judging on their cooking skills, food handling skills, and the quality of the product. In the turkey BBQ contest, participants receive two pounds of ground turkey and are required to hand in two turkey patties. They can add what they want to flavor the patties, but the patties must be at least 1/4-pound pre-cooked weight and contain at least 75% turkey meat.
The 2023 State 4-H poultry judging, and avian bowl contests were held on the first Friday of the Kentucky State Fair. These contests allow 4-Hers from all over the state to compete in educational events that help them learn to make and defend decisions, speak publicly, and gain poultry-related skills. In the poultry judging contest, participants evaluate classes of White Leghorn hens for level of past egg production; grade ready-to-cook chicken carcasses and parts; identify ready-to-cook chicken parts; and grade table eggs for interior and exterior quality. Both juniors and seniors compete in the contest. There were 22 juniors and 21 seniors competing in the contest.
The top five juniors in the poultry judging contest were:
1. Cecilia Huggins, Simpson County
2. Annabelle Adams, Laurel County
3. Ava Schodelbaur, Scott County
4. Avalee Adams, Laurel County
5. Avery Bivens, LaRue County
The top five seniors in the poultry judging contest were:
1. Christopher Sweets, Warren County
2. Isabella Day, Larue County
3. Jace Coles, Warren County
4. Cash Lee, LaRue County
5. Jake Marksbury, LaRue County
The top four seniors have the opportunity to represent Kentucky at the national poultry judging contest in Louisville, KY in November.
The 4-H Avian Bowl contest is a double-elimination tournament with questions from the Avian Bowl manual related to poultry production. Again, there were junior and senior divisions. There were 10 junior teams and 8 senior teams competing, with a total of 49 4-Hers. In the junior division, the top team was from Warren County and was composed of Piper Hosay and Neal Brown. There was an unbreakable tie for first place between Miranda Stooksbury of Laurel County and Piper Hosay of Warren County. Dylan Klett of Warren County took third, Liam Wentz of Simpson County fourth and Liam Stooksbury of Laurel County fifth.
In the senior division, the top team was from Simpson County and was composed for Cameron Huggins, Kate Ford, and Michaela Van Gelderen. The tip five individuals were:
1. Jonas Hosay from Warren County
2. Christopher Sweets from Warren County
3. Cameron Huggins from Simpson County
4. Emily Normington from Scott County
5. Kate Ford from Simpson County
Lastly, the Kentucky Poultry Federation sponsors a t-shirt contest for those wearing team shirts. The winner this year was Simpson County, followed by Pendleton County.
The purpose of the 4-H Poultry Competitions is to help students develop leadership abilities, build character, and assume citizenship responsibilities. These contests also help students develop creative skills in the preparation, use, and serving of food products.
It is our goal to have the best competition possible. Below are some helpful tools that should come in handy as you prepare for the contest. For more information, contact Dr. Jacquie Jacob (Jacquie.firstname.lastname@example.org).
- Kentucky rules: https://afs.ca.uky.edu/event/egg-preparation-demonstration-contests
- UK factsheet on egg preparation demonstration contests: http://www2.ca.uky.edu/agcomm/pubs/4aj/4aj09po/4aj09po.PDF
- A series of YouTube videos put together by the Alabama Cooperative Extension Service on Egg prep demos (which they call Egg Cookery) - https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLkNoAmOtt__9-H2GvE5q1zw46Z2acLKB4