4-H members from the Southwind Extension District competed in the annual Kansas 4-H Livestock Sweepstakes event on August 22-23. These events were like nothing the teams had competed in before because normally, the teams would have been in Kansas State University’s Weber Hall, but due to COVID-19 all contests were held virtually. Participants from the Southwind Extension District were Sadie Marchiano, Clay Brillhart, Brody Nemecek, Carly Dreher, Aidan Yoho, Emery Yoho, Kristy Beene, Gwen Fry, Byron Fry, Taylor Elsworth, Leah Mueller, Trey Sommer and Haleigh O’Brien. Southwind District 4-H members represented 4-H Clubs from Allen, Bourbon Neosho and Woodson Counties.
4-H members learned gained new knowledge and worked on livestock skills in order to be competitive in the Sweepstakes event which consisted blending scores in four contests. Southwind Extension District completed the weekend by being named the 2020 Champion Kansas State 4-H Sweepstakes Team. Top ten individual Sweepstakes winners for Southwind were Aidan Yoho, 4th and Sadie Marchiano, 3rd overall.
The Livestock Quiz Bowl started with a qualifying exam. The eight teams with the highest average scores advanced to the quiz bowl competition. Southwind #1 (Dreher, G. Fry, Sommers, O’Brien) was seeded 3rd after the test, and was named Reserve Champion Quiz Bowl Team. Southwind #2 (Nemecek, Brillhart, A. Yoho, Marchiano) was seated first after the test and was later named the 3rd best team.
The Livestock Judging contest consisted of seven judging classes, three questions classes and then two sets of reasons that were presented live to officials via zoom. Out of 163 contestants and 37 teams from across Kansas who judged livestock by online video, Southwind #2 (A. Yoho, Dreher, Marchiano, Beene) was 3rd in Swine; 4th in Sheep/Goats; Reserve Team Reasons; Reserve Team Cattle and 3rd Team Overall. Southwind #3 (B. Fry, O’Brien, E. Yoho, Elsworth) was 10th Team Overall, and Southwind #1 (Sommers, G. Fry, Mueller) was 11th Team Overall. Individual livestock judging results are as follows:
- Emery Yoho – 10th Swine
- Aidan Yoho – 7th Swine
- Carly Dreher – 9th Reasons
- Sadie Marchiano – 2nd Reasons; 2nd Cattle; 2nd Sheep/Goats; 6th High Individual Overall
The Meats Judging contest was based on identification of thirty retail cuts, six placings classes and two sets of questions. Southwind #2 (Brillhart, Nemecek, A. Yoho, Marchiano) was 1st in Retail ID; 4th in Placings; 5th in Questions; and Reserve Champion Team Overall. Individual meats judging results are as follows:
- Clay Brillhart – 1st Retail ID; 3rd High Individual
- Sadie Marchiano – 5th Placings; 9th Questions
- Brody Nemecek – 9th High Individual
In the Livestock Skillathon, 4-H members rotated individually through stations that addressed six areas of animal science. Those included feedstuffs, breed identification, equipment identification, meat identification, wool evaluation and a written test. Just like the rest of the weekend activities, this contest was offered virtually using Qualtrics with a timed and extensive exam. Southwind #2 (Marchiano, A. Yoho, Dreher, O’Brien) was 3rd in Exam; 2nd in Practicum and Reserve Champion Team Overall.
- Aidan Yoho – 4th Practicum, 5th High Individual
- Sadie Marchiano – 3rd Exam, 5th Practicum, 4th High Individual
This group was limited in the amount of time they could meet and work together because of the pandemic. Their story is a remarkable testament to how to overcome a challenge and make the most of it. There is no question they would have preferred to have traveled to Manhattan, KS and compete with their peers in face-to-face competition, but like so many others from across the state, they made the most of the situation and turned a challenge into an opportunity to learn and try new technologies. A different set of life skills were acquired because we competed in a platform like nothing we have ever experienced before. Reserve Champion Team in Meats, Reserve and 3rd Quiz Bowl Teams, Reserve Skillathon Team, and Reserve Livestock Judging Team did add up to the Overall Champion Sweepstakes Team and for an Extension District is our biggest goal because the Southwind is able to serve as the vehicle that brings motivated and competitive youth from four counties together, and allow them to accomplish big goals as a team. They are an example we should all learn from during this difficult time because they have shown us how to “Make the Best Better.” The Southwind District is proud of their accomplishments and look forward to future growth and learning.
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Southwind Extension District
Director & Agent
1 North Washington, Iola, KS 66749