Springfield, Ill. – Nine 4-H youth from across the state of Illinois used their knowledge and expertise in the livestock field to earn $1,000 scholarships at the August 11 Illinois Superior Young 4-H Livestock Producers Contest on the Illinois State Fairgrounds.

4-H members competed in this three-phase competition challenging members’ knowledge of livestock production including beef, swine, and sheep while promoting youth development, career development, and personal growth through increased knowledge of the livestock industry.

“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,” says Dan Jennings, University of Illinois Extension 4-H animal sciences educator.

Recipients of this year’s $1,000 scholarships include: Alyson Utegg, LaSalle County; Anna Curley, McDonough County; Davis Howell, Macon County; Jack Link, Knox County; Lauren Wolter, Clinton County; Hannah Miller, Livingston County; Cole Paulek, Christian County; Liam Steward, Sangamon County; and Waylen Paulek, Christian County.  

Achievement plaques were also awarded to the top three finishers in each of the three categories.

In the Overall Achievement category, Lauren Wolter of Clinton County, Cole Paulek of Christian County, and Lizzie Schafer of Christian County placed at the top.

In the Skillathon phase of the competition, Drew Mickey of Christian County, Lizzie Schafer of Christian County, and Jack Link of Knox County took home the highest honors.

In the Livestock Marketing competition, Lauren Wolter of Clinton County, Cole Paulek of Christian County, and Lizzie Schafer of Christian County made up the top three.

The Superior Young Livestock Producers Contest has provided participating youth the opportunity to compete for over $500,000 in college scholarships since its inception. 

The contest is sponsored by the CME Group Inc. of Chicago and the Illinois 4-H Foundation. The Land of Lincoln Purebred Livestock Breeders Association and the Illinois State Fair provide award plaques.

Source:  Dan Jennings, 4-H Youth Development Extension Educator, Animal Systems, djjennin@illinois.edu

Group of youth holding a white banner that says "Superior Young Producer Award"
Winners L to R: Alyson Utegg, Grand Ridge IL; Anna Curley, Good Hope IL; Davis Howell, Maroa IL; Jack Link, Gilson IL; Lauren Wolter, Aviston IL; Hannah Miller, Chatsworth IL; Cole Paulek, Stonington IL; Liam Steward, Mechanicsburg IL; Waylen Paulek, Stonington IL.

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 choices; 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.