Youth livestock teams are tops at national competition
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Youth livestock teams are tops at national competition

Pictured from left are members of the winning Skillathon Team: Susan Roudabush, coach, and Ben Roudabush, Stanly County; Sarah Smith, Megan Eddins, Stanly County; Wesley Bowen, Stokes County; Bain Wilson, Stanly County; and Lori McBryde, coach, Johnston County. (Photo courtesy Lori McBryde)

Ornate letter "T"
wo youth livestock teams from North Carolina won high honors at the North American International Livestock Exposition national competition in November.

The North Carolina Skillathon Team, which was also an Eastern Regional winner, placed first in the national Skillathon competition. In addition, the state’s Livestock Judging Team finished in the top ten in that competition.

Skillathon is an academic contest that tests youths’ knowledge of beef, goats, sheep and swine. Competitors must be familiar with identification, quality assurance and judging in these food meat species.

Lori McBryde, Johnston County 4-H agent who coached this year’s team, says Skillathon is a rapidly growing competition in North Carolina. More than 100 youths participated in this year’s state competitions during 4-H Congress and the State Fair. It provides livestock competition for youngsters who do not raise livestock, she said.

Skillathon team members are Sarah Smith, Megan Eddins and Bain Wilson of Stanly County, and Ben Roudabush and Wesley Bowen of Stokes County. Susan Roudabush also served as a coach. The team took top places in identification and quality assurance and second place in evaluation.

Individual honors went to Wesley Bowen, 29th overall; Megan Eddins, third in identification and sixth overall; Ben Roudabush, first in identification and second overall; and Bain Wilson, second in identification, fourth in quality assurance and first overall.

The Livestock Judging Team, coached by Wilson County 4-H agent Tanya Heath, placed second in the sheep competition, ninth in swine, eighth in oral reasons and seventh overall. Team members are Adam Gardner and Susan Vick of Wilson County, John Tart of Wayne County and Kevin Curry of Stanly County.

Individual honors in livestock judging went to Adam Gardner who placed seventh overall and 10th in sheep.

—Natalie Hampton

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