Caldwell County's 4-H Livestock Judging Team participated in the State 4-H Livestock Judging Contest in Richmond, KY at the Madison County Fairgrounds on June 18, with 157 Kentucky 4-Hers from across the state participating. An awards breakfast was held following the contest on June 20 at the Madison County High School.

The Caldwell County Team was made up of 17 members ranging in age from 9-16 and is led by certified 4-H Livestock volunteers, Kevin Laurent, Candy Adams, and several dedicated parents. Over the past several years the team's success has grown and members have learned that hard work and dedication pay off.

The state contest is broken up into three different age groups and awards are given on individual scores, as well as team rankings. The Clover Division consists of 9-12 year olds, Intermediate Division consist of 13-14 year olds and the Senior Division 15-19 years of age. Each division is responsible for judging Swine, Sheep, Goats, and Beef. The Clovers also compete in a Non-Traditional category while the Intermediate and Senior Divisions compete in Reasons.

The Clover Team placed 3rd in Beef, 4th in Goats, 4th in Sheep, 1st in Swine, 1st in Non-Traditional and placed 2nd High Clover Team Overall.

Individuals placing in the top ten Clover Division included: Adam Beavers placed 7th in Goats, 4th in Sheep, 3rd in Swine and 2nd Clover Overall; Eli Cotton placed 8th in Sheep, 6th in Beef and 6th Overall; Mackenzie Sanders placed 6th in Swine; Whitleigh Carter placed 10th in Beef;

The Intermediate Team placed 1st in Goats, 1st in Sheep; 1st in Swine, 1st in Reasons and ultimately won High Intermediate Team Overall. They also received the Nelson Gay Award which is given to the top scoring intermediate team in the contest.

Individuals placing in the top ten in the Intermediate Division were: Presley McKinney placed 3rd in Goats, 5th in Swine, 3rd in Reasons, and 3rd Intermediate Overall; Laken White placed 1st in Swine, 1st in Beef, 1st in Reasons, 8th in Goats, and 2nd Intermediate Overall; Addeline Conger placed 9th in Goats, 10th in Swine, 10th in Beef, 4th in Reasons, and 7th Intermediate Overall; Daniel Laurent placed 10th in Goats, 9th in Beef, 5th in Reasons, and 4th Intermediate Overall; Isaac Lane placed 8th in Beef and 7th in Reasons; Paycen Rogers placed 2nd in Beef, and 9th Intermediate Overall.

The Senior Team is a young group that shows a lot of promise with most of the team members starting out as Clovers. The Senior Team placed 6th in Goats, 4th in Sheep, 3rd in Swine, 4th in Beef, 4th in Reasons, and placed 4th Senior Team Overall. Lilly P'Pool placed 1st in Goats and Katy Trimble placed 9th in Beef.

Karoline White also competed as a Cloverbud and had high ranking scores. She will be eligible to compete in the Clover division next year.

The county also received the Stoeppel Award for placing High Team Overall at the State 4-H Livestock Judging Contest in Richmond. This award is given in honor of the dedication and service of the Bill Stoeppel Family to the KY 4-H Livestock Program.

The Team's quest for the state competition began with practice sessions at the Caldwell County Extension Office in March. The Team practiced each Wednesday after school. Practice sessions consisted of practical livestock evaluations, actual judging experience at the UKREC and other local farms.

The 4-H Livestock Judging Project allows youth the opportunity to learn about animal selection, breed character, production factors, evaluation, marketing and careers that are available to them in the livestock industry. Youth also learn principles of animal science and gain beneficial life skills, such as decision making, increased self- confidence, self-discipline, teamwork, organization and communication skills.

4-H is a program of the University of Kentucky and Kentucky State University and offers non-formal, educational youth development programs to individuals age 5-18. All 4-H programs focus on active involvement and quality experiences which stimulate lifelong learning of values and skills.

For more information about the 4-H programs, visit www.caldwell.ca.uky.edu/ or follow Caldwell County 4-H on Facebook.

4-Hers participating in the 2019 4-H Livestock Judging Contest included: Clovers- Adam Beavers, Whitleigh Carter, Bradley Trimble, Eli Cotton, and Mackenzie Sanders. Intermediates--Laney McConnell, Isaac Lane, Evan Cotton, Laken White, Presley McKinney, Addeline Conger, Daniel Laurent, and Paycen Rogers. Senior team members include, Katy Trimble, Noah Peake, Lilly P'Pool, and Shelby Lane.