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Ben Hill County 4-H Poultry Judging Team
Four Ben Hill County girls are the new National 4-H Poultry Judging Champions. They won the honor last week at the National 4-H Poultry Judging Contest held in Louisville, KY. Pictured are, from left, Caroline Lord, Ericka Lord, Ben Hill County Extension Coordinator Jeri Gilleland, Carlissa Stewart, and Aaliyah Ross. Twenty-three states competed in the contest which took five hours evaluating the three divisions of judging hens and giving oral reasons, quality grading broiler, roaster, and turkey carcasses, and quality grading eggs.
The Ben Hill County 4-H poultry judging team brought home the national championship title for Georgia 4-H last week in Louisville, KY. Team members Caroline Lord, Ericka Lord, Aaliyah Ross, and Carlissa Stewart took first place overall in a five-hour contest that included 80 contestants from 23 states.
Each member of the team received a trophy and a gold pin for winning and the team received a plaque. The top 10 teams and the top 20 individuals overall in the contest were recognized. Georgia brought home the following awards for individual placings: Ericka, third high overall, plaque and $200 cash award; Aaliyah, seventh high overall, silver pin and $100 cash award; Caroline, eleventh high overall, bronze pin and $25 cash award. Ben Hill County Extension Coordinator and 4-H agent Jeri Gilleland received a plaque in recognition for coaching the winning team.
The National 4-H Poultry Judging Contest included three divisions: production hens and oral reasons, ready-to-cook carcasses and parts identification, and interior, exterior and broken-out egg quality grading.
Prior to the announcement of the overall awards, the top five teams and top eight individuals received awards in each of the three divisions. The Georgia team placed first in the production hens and oral reasons category for which each member received a trophy and a gold pin, and Aaliyah received a silver pin for being the fifth high individual. The team placed second in the ready-to-cook carcasses and parts identification division, and Ericka received a gold pin as the second high individual.
The team will be recognized in front of the Georgia General Assembly during 4-H Day at the Capitol in February. The poultry judging contest is considered one of the premier national 4-H team competitions.
The national poultry judging contest was held in conjunction with the National 4-H Poultry and Egg Conference which also included competitions in egg preparation, chicken and turkey barbecue, and avian quiz bowl. While there, conference attendees toured Churchill Downs, the Louisville Bat Factory, and had a social evening of bowling and pizza.
The University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (working cooperatively with Fort Valley State University, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the counties of Georgia) offers its educational programs, assistance, and materials to all people without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, gender identity, sexual orientation or protected veteran status and is an Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action organization.