A team of Santa Cruz County 4-H members finished 17th in the nation at the North American International Livestock Expo at the National 4-H Livestock Skillathon Contest in Kentucky.
The one-day event, held this year on Nov. 18, tests the competitors’ knowledge about the production and management of beef cattle, sheep, swine and goats.
The competitors had 18 minutes to work as a group to solve and present various challenges and scenarios to a judge. Topics included meat and carcass evaluation for swine; beef performance and marketing; livestock feeding and ration balancing; goat animal breeding; sheep quality assurance; and beef reproduction.
Team members included Lauren Fletcher, Carolina Quiroz, Sarah Lyman, Marin Tomlinson and Brianna Young. They were coached by Amanda Zamudio.
Competing individually, each member had 15 minutes to complete the following rounds: livestock equipment identification; retail meat identification; breeds of livestock identification; hay judging and questions; wool judging and questions; an industry quiz and a quality assurance exercise.
Individually, Sarah Lyman was 33rd, Marin Tomlinson was 35th, Lauren Fletcher was 57th and Brianna Young was 70th. Lyman was also recognized for her outstanding skills in evaluation – which included hay and wool judging – and was recognized as eighth in the nation.
“We are extremely proud of a job well done for all these girls and thankful for the support the community has given them,” Heidi Aguirre, program assistant in Santa Cruz County, said in a news release.