URBANA – The 2011 Illinois Superior Young Swine Producers Award Contest was held on Aug. 10 in conjunction with the Illinois State Fair. Twenty-two 4-H and FFA members from across Illinois competed in the event.
“This three-phase competition challenges young people to display their working knowledge of swine production,” said Dan Jennings, University of Illinois Extension 4-H livestock specialist.
Each year, five $1,000 scholarships are presented to the highest scoring individuals overall. The contest is sponsored by Archer Daniels Midland of Decatur and the Illinois State Fair. The Land of Lincoln Purebred Livestock Breeders Association supplies the individual plaques presented to the scholarship and phase winners.
The top five youth receiving $1,000 scholarships include Caitlyn Bowyer of Sumner, Jaylene Jennings of DeKalb, Trey Fecke of Bonfield, Tara Bernard of Newark, and David Ammann of Highland.
In the swine management test, Jennings, Bowyer and Ammann sorted themselves to the top and received plaques for their achievements. In the skill-a-thon phase, Bowyer, Jennings, and Fecke took home the highest honors. In the judging competition, Ben Kemme of Shumway, Ammann, and Bernard made up the top three.
Jennings said, “This contest provides youth an opportunity to showcase their knowledge of the industry while competing for valuable scholarships to help them pursue their career goals.”
This year marked the 15th consecutive year for the Superior Young Swine Producers Contest that has provided participating youth the opportunity to compete for $80,000 in college scholarships since its inception. The purpose of the contest is to create an educational activity that promotes youth development, career development, and personal growth through increased knowledge of the swine industry.