4-H Livestock Skillathon training set

4-H Livestock Skillathon training set Training sessions in six South Dakota cities in June will help adults and youths prepare for the 4-H Livestock Skillathon Contest.

Matt Gunderson, an assistant in youth development/4-H for South Dakota State University Extension, said the 4-H Livestock Skillathon gives youth the opportunity to blend knowledge and skills acquired in livestock judging, demonstrations, care and exhibition of animals into one activity.

The Skillathon also helps youths learn about the importance of livestock and their products to the environment and economy, and encourages them to expand their knowledge about livestock.

The trainings are open to all 4-H youths, non-4-H youths, and adults or Extension educators interested in Skillathons and the 4-H Livestock Skillathon Contest. The trainings are sponsored in part through funding from Pfizer Animal Health.

Participants will be taken through all aspects of the Livestock Skillathon Contest by participating in activities and discussion. Areas taught at the training include retail meat cut identification, meats judging, livestock equipment identification, livestock breed identification, hay judging, quality assurance, livestock knowledge, evaluation of livestock feeding and performance, feed tag knowledge and feed identification and animal breeding scenarios.

Each training will last three hours. Most trainings will take place in the evenings with one taking place in the afternoon. This will allow both youth and adults to attend the trainings.

The 4-H Livestock Skillathon Contest is the first contest of its kind that incorporates all aspects of the livestock industry into one contest. The 4-H Livestock Skillathon was started on the national level about five years ago. The 4-H Livestock Skillathon was conducted on a pilot basis last year in South Dakota at the South Dakota State Fair.

Here are dates, locations and times for the June trainings:

June 1: Yankton County Extension Office Meeting Room, Yankton, 7 to 10 p.m.

June 2: Davison County Resource Center Conference Room, Mitchell, 7 to 10 p.m.

June 3: Brookings County Resource Center Conference Room (V-Tel Room) and Board Room, Brookings, 7 to 10 p.m.

June 16: Pizza Ranch, Fort Pierre, 7 to 10 p.m.

June 17: West River Ag Center Conference Room, Rapid City, 1 to 4 p.m.

June 30: Ramkota Inn, Aberdeen, 7 to 10 p.m.

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