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Pasco County 4-H members bring home $5,000 in scholarship money for their BBQ grilling skills

As the 2017 4-H Tailgate contest started contests 30 state finalists were busy preparing and cooking their protein group at UF/IFAS 4-H State Headquarters in Gainesville as a panel of judges watch and judge them on their food safety and question them on their knowledge of preparing their specific protein, these youth know that a nether set of judges is just waiting to taste and judge their final product.
The objective of this contest is to promote the use of animal protein in the diet by teaching the art and science of safely preparing beef, pork, poultry, and seafood in an outdoor setting. The day of the contest, participants prepared their work stations, setting out cooking tools labeled “raw” and “cooked” to prevent cross-contamination. With meat and other ingredients safely stored in coolers, youth lit their grills at 9 a.m., tending the coals until they hit the right temperature At the end of the state contest, 1st and 2nd place winners from each protein category were chosen (Beef, pork, poultry and sea food) and each received $1,500 and $1,000 college scholarships. Pasco youth took 4 of the 8 top places. First place in the beef division is Montana Rose Smith from Zephyrhills, Sea food– Dalton Brock from Land O’ Lakes took First place and Jordan Cassel from Land O’ Lakes, took Second place and Justice Szetela, from Land O’ Lakes took Second place in the Poultry division.
To get to the state contest, youth had to first compete at one of 4 regional contests held around the state, and over 90 youth entered this contest. Each contestant received a cooking thermometer and $40 in gift cards from the sponsors. The first and second place winners in each protein category received $500 and $300, respectively, and an opportunity to compete in the state 4-H Tailgate Contest held in Gainesville. 7 of the 8 winners for the central regional contest were youth from Pasco County
The judges were impressed with this year’s entries. With several of the judges stated that they would be glad to hire these youth. Stating that they knew food safety and handling, they were very professional, good at communicating, all the skills necessary for a job in the restraint or grocery business,
The event was sponsored by Winn-Dixie, National Beef, Sanderson Farms and Sonny’s BBQ. In addition to scholarships, sponsors, who also acted as guest judges, provided gift cards and meat thermometers.
The Florida 4-H Youth Development program, which is part of the UF Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences Extension, gives young people opportunities to learn by doing and to become successful adults,
For more information on this contest please go to: http://florida4h.org/programsandevents_/animalscience/4-h-tailgating-contest/

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