The Illinois 4-H team took reserve champion honors in the 2018 National 4-H Livestock Skillathon Contest held Nov. 14 in Louisville, Ky. The skillathon division of the North American International Livestock Exposition tests the competitors’ knowledge in a wide range of livestock management issues, including breeding, meat evaluation, animal handling, feeding, marketing, and health.
Tara Hummel of Kankakee County was the individual champion of the contest. She placed first in evaluation with a perfect score, placed fifth in identification, and placed 16th in quality assurance to capture the championship trophy.
As a team, Illinois placed second in hay, wool and meats evaluation. They ranked third in identification of meats, breeds, and equipment. They placed eighth in quality assurance that includes animal handling, breeding, marketing, feeding, and carcass evaluation.
Other members of the team include Makenna Green of Douglas County, Breanna Knittel of Greene County, and Paige VanDyke of Clay County.
Green finished seventh overall and earned All American status. She finished ninth in evaluation and 11th in identification. Knittel was 25th overall, earning an eighth place in evaluation and 24th place in identification. VanDyke was 48th overall, finishing 24th in evaluation.
Eric Fugate of Mahomet and Dale Hummel of Cabery coached the team to their second place finish. Dan Jennings, University of Illinois Extension 4-H animal science educator, provides leadership of the livestock program.
The Illinois 4-H Foundation supports the national competition team.