A team of 4-H members from Morgan County claimed the top county awards at the 2015 State 4-H Meats Judging Contest held March 7 at the Meats Lab on the University of Illinois campus. During the contest, youth had to provide quality grading scores for beef, lamb and pork carcasses, as well as various cuts of meat.

"Participants also had to identify many different retail cuts, identifying the specie, wholesale cut and retail name," said Dan Jennings, U of I Extension state animal science educator.

It's one thing to show livestock; it's another to understand the science behind raising livestock which will produce well and provide wholesome product for consumers. That's the vision which led DeWitt County 4-H volunteers Larry Martin and Doug North to host a livestock clinic which attracted youth from nine counties.

The Marion County 4-H livestock judging team had phenomenal success during the 2013 judging season, and that success is hard to contain. Last weekend, more than 200 youth participated in the county's annual livestock judging contest in Salem, with youth traveling from Indiana, Oklahoma and Oregon just to compete and learn from the successful team members.