Record number of youth compete for superior young livestock producer honor

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – A record number of 4-H members from across Illinois competed for scholarships in the 2022 4-H Illinois Superior Young Livestock Producers Contest held on Aug.10 in conjunction with the Illinois State Fair. Fifty-two competitors vied for this year's top honors.

This three-phase competition challenges the young 4-H members’ knowledge of livestock production covering beef, swine, and sheep. $1,000 scholarships are presented each year to the nine highest scoring individuals overall through sponsorship by Chicago-based CME Group Inc. and the Illinois 4-H Foundation.   

The top nine 4-H youth receiving $1,000 scholarships this year include

  • Chase Hummel, Kankakee County;
  • Olivia Shike, Champaign County;
  • Emma Pistorius, Christian County;
  • Hayden Brint, McDonough County;
  • Ellie Drach, Livingston County;
  • Tanner Beckmier, Moultrie-Douglas County;
  • Amelia Miller, Livingston County;
  • Ross Stabenow, Stephenson County; and
  • Adam Stuckemeyer, Effingham County.

In the Livestock Management test phase, Chase Hummel of Kankakee County, Drew Mickey of Christian County, and Emma Pistorius of Christian County ranked at the top and received plaques for their achievements.

In the Livestock Marketing competition, Olivia Shike of Champaign County, Chase Hummel of Kankakee County, and Ellie Drach of Livingston County ranked at the top and received plaques for their achievements.  

In the Skillathon phase, Chase Hummel of Kankakee County, Emma Pistorius of Christian County, and Drew Mickey of Christian County ranked at the top and received plaques for their achievements.

smiling youth pose holding a banner
Winners L to R: Olivia Shike, Champaign County; Hayden Brint, McDonough County; Amelia Miller, Livingston County; Adam Stuckemeyer, Effingham County; Ross Stabenow, Stephenson County; Tanner Beckmier, Moultrie-Douglas County; Ellie Drach, Livingston County; Chase Hummel, Kankakee County; Emma Pistorius, Christian County

“This contest provides youth an opportunity to showcase their knowledge of the industry while competing for valuable scholarships,” says Dan Jennings, University of Illinois Extension 4-H livestock educator. “These scholarships help them pursue their career goals.”

This year marked the 26th consecutive year for the Superior Young Livestock Producers Contest, which has provided participating youth the opportunity to compete for over $500,000 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 livestock industry. The Illinois State 4-H program along with the University of Illinois, College of ACES would like to extend a special thank you to the CME Group for all their support in providing scholarships to this year’s winners.

About Illinois 4-H: Illinois 4-H is the flagship youth development program of University of Illinois Extension and administered through the College of Agriculture, Consumer, and Environmental Sciences. 4-H grows true leaders, youth who are empowered for life today and prepared for a career tomorrow. The hands-on approach in 4-H gives young people guidance, tools, and encouragement, and then puts them in the driver’s seat to make great things happen. Independent research confirms the unparalleled impact of the 4-H experience, demonstrating that young people are four times more likely to contribute to their communities; two times more likely to make healthier choice; two times more likely to be civically active; and two times more likely to participate in STEM programs. 

About Extension: Illinois Extension leads public outreach for University of Illinois by translating research into action plans that allow Illinois families, businesses, and community leaders to solve problems, make informed decisions, and adapt to changes and opportunities. 

Source: Dan Jennings, University of Illinois Extension Educator, 4-H Livestock, djjennin@illinois.edu