Two National 4-H Contests for Escambia County 4-H members in October 2023

Escambia County 4-H is proud to announce that their food challenge team placed eighth at the National 4-H Food Challenge Contest and the meat judging team placed ninth at the National 4-H Meat Judging Contest.  Both contests were held in October with the Food Challenge Contest being held in Dallas, TX and the meat judging contest being held at Kansas State University in Manhattan, KS.  Both teams won their respective state contests earlier in 2023 to earn the right to represent Florida.

National 4-H Food Challenge Contest

The food challenge team was comprised of youth ages 14-18 and included Laney C., Ryan C., Aubrie D., and Gracie M. and was named “Oh Crepe and the Spice Girls!”  This contest provided an opportunity for 4-H members to work in teams of 3-4 youth to create a dish using a predetermined set of ingredients and cooking utensil/equipment. Each team had 40 minutes to plan and prepare a randomly assigned dish (appetizer, side dish, main dish, or dessert) using a “mystery” ingredient while being judged on their food safety skills, teamwork, and ability to manage time and resources. Then youth presented their finished dish, delivered a five-minute presentation, and answered questions about their dish to a panel of judges.  The National 4-H Food Challenge Contest was held in conjunction with the State Fair of Texas.

Gnocchi Dish

Gnocchi was the secret ingredient at National Contest

Four 4-H team members posing with food dish

Escambia Coutny 4-H Team at the National 4-H Food Challenge Contest

Four 4-H team members posing with sign

Escambia County 4-H Team before the National 4-H Contest

National 4-H Meat Judging Contest

The meat judging team was comprised of youth ages 14-18, including Laney C., Gracie M., and Lilly W.

Participants had to identify 30 retail cuts, place six retail, wholesale, and carcass classes, and give three sets of oral reasons.  Through the competition process, the team has developed life skills through activities to understand the processing of beef, pork, and lamb, including retail identification, factors relating to meat quality, and cookery.  Meat judging participants acquire knowledge and skills in meat identification and grading techniques and then apply those basic skills to the selection process.  Participants then develop an understanding and appreciation of the basic scientific principles involved in eating and cooking quality, nutritional value, and consumer appeal of meat.  4-H members on the team also learn life skills such as decision making, problem solving, and goal setting.

During the trip to the National 4-H Meat Judging Contest, the meat judging team toured the University of Missouri’s Animal Science complex and Meat Lab and also toured the Kansas State University Agricultural Education Department, Kansas 4-H, and the Kansas State University Animal Science Department.  The National 4-H Meat Judging Contest was held in conjunction with the American Royal Stock Show in Kansas City, MO and the American Meat Science Association.

3 youth pose with sign at Kansas State University

Escambia County 4-H Team at Kansas State University

3 youth stand with a class of pork hams
Escambia County 4-H Team at the National 4-H Meat Contest. Can you place this class of pork hams?

These 4-H judging teams would like to thank the many sponsors that helped make this trip a reality, including the Escambia County 4-H Foundation. This kind of community support helps the Escambia County 4-H program remain successful.  Thank you for supporting our youth in Escambia County to participate and excel at these national 4-H contests!

UF/IFAS Extension in Escambia County is an Equal Opportunity Institution.


Posted: November 2, 2023

Category: 4-H & Youth
Tags: 4-H, Food Challenge, Meat Judging

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