4-H MARKET ANIMAL SKILL-A-THON
B. Justesen UF/IFAS Extension Osceola County, Kissimmee, FL and J. Sprain UF/IFAS Extension Osceola County, Kissimmee, FL
Situation: The 4-H Market Animal Skill-a-thon is a great way for 4-H and FFA members to test the skills and knowledge they have gained during the program. In 2017, Osceola County 4-H had a strong market animal program with 68 youth participants in the steer program, 122 in the hog, and 28 in the lamb and goat. In 2017, a Market Animal Nutrition Workshop was held for youth that covered feed labels and proper nutrition for their market animals. The 2017 skill-a-thon centered on nutrition and animal science. Method: The skill-a-thon is a practical test of knowledge gained as a result of project work in 2017. Youth are tested on parts of their market animal, breeds, feed label, and nutrition for their market animal. Results: With a total of 77 attendees, 51 youth and 26 adults participated in the Market Animal Nutrition Workshop and 42 participants completed a pre-posttest. There was a 41% (n= 42) increase in knowledge of market animal nutrition measured by pre/post-test. A total of 218 members competed in the skill-a-thon during the 2017 Osceola County Fair. Senior market steer exhibitors (n= 8) who attended the Market Animal Nutrition Workshop had a knowledge increase of 9.6 percent higher on their skill-a-thon compared to 4-H and FFA members who did not attend. Conclusion: Youth members who attended the Market Animal Nutrition Workshop learned how to properly feed their market animal and scored higher on their skill-a-thon. As a result of youth members increasing their knowledge in nutrition and placing higher in their class, the value of their market animal will increase. This will create immediate and long term impacts for both the youth and community.