On April 6, more than 650 youth in 132 teams from across Minnesota participated in the 4-H State Project Bowl, the second largest 4-H event of the year. The 4-H State Project Bowl challenges teams of three to six youth to test their knowledge on a variety of animal science and agriculture topics including dairy, dogs, general livestock, horses, llamas, poultry, rabbits and wildlife conservation.
Hundreds of youth teams participated in regional competitions held throughout the state in March with top teams qualifying to compete in the state bowl. Each competition includes junior and senior divisions. Teams are quizzed in one-on-one and open rounds. The first participant with the correct answer earns points for their team. 4-H State Project Bowl winners in dairy, general livestock, horse and poultry go on to national project bowl competitions.
"Through 4-H State Project Bowl, youth build communications skills, and gain deeper knowledge and interest in agriculture-related areas," said Amber Greeley, Extension 4-H program manager. "These experiences contribute to their success in school, future areas of study in college, and eventual careers."
The dairy bowl project members look forward to learning more about their project area. Karen Gorentz (4-H Leader), states that, "It is really great to see the 4-H'ers expand in their project area. At dairy bowl practice, we focus not only on the knowledge that the 4-H'ers need to know to compete, but often relate it to real life experiences on the farm."
There is a whole host of topics from marketing, economics, reproduction, nutrition, and practical techniques applied on the farm. Some of the information crosses over from other species, but most of the question materials are specific to dairy.
The three teams have put in numerous amounts of time studying the materials made available to 4-H from the University of Minnesota.
"It is exciting to see the excitement and dedication from the teams," says Karen.
The teams practice every Sunday starting in January through March for at least two hours at a time. In addition, extra practices will be added throughout the year if time and schedules allow. "We try to make learning fun and enjoyable. Dairy project bowl members gain life experiences from being involved in the state project bowl. These memories and skills will last them a lifetime," says Karen. Karen is one of six coaches of the three dairy bowl teams East Otter Tail County 4-H had at the state dairy bowl meet.
East Otter Tail County Dairy Junior Dairy
Nathan Blashack - Bertha
Eva Blashack - Bertha
Caroline Schwantes - Perham
Jaden Gorentz - Vergas
Fabulous Farmhands Senior Dairy
Chris Blashack - Bertha
Isaac Blashack - Bertha
Lucey Minten - Perham
Macey Minten - Perham
Caylee Seedorf - Perham
Marvelous Milkers Senior Dairy (Officially placed 5th of 12 teams at State)
James Minten - Perham
Veronica Schwartz - Parkers Prairie
Jonathon Schwartz - Parkers Prairie
Maggie Cronk - Henning