Alpena County 4-H youth score high at state skillathon

Brooke McKenzie

Five 4-H youth members from Alpena County recently competed at the state level in the 2021 Michigan 4-H Skillathon Championship.

Brooke McKenzie’s scores placed her top in the state for overall knowledge in livestock, senior division. Also among the top five scorers for this division was Alpena 4-H member Hunter Ballor. Other competitors from Alpena included Senior Lilly Mckenzie, Junior Alison Borowski, and Novice Jazzmyne Kowalski. Keira Werth also qualified for states but was unable to attend the event.

The 2021 Michigan 4-H Skillathon Championship is a contest of knowledge in which youth demonstrate their ability to identify, judge and evaluate several areas related to the production and management of beef cattle, dairy cattle, goats, sheep, swine, poultry, rabbits, horses, dogs, and general knowledge. The youth who entered the skillathon answered questions on their species’ feeding, care, handling, medication, genetics and breeding, parts of the animal, and/or breed identification.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, Michigan 4-H has sought new methods to provide programming that engages youth across the state. While skillathons are not new to Michigan, they previously have only been held at county-wide levels.

In total, 185 contestants from 53 counties entered to compete. Regional contests were held on the first three Saturdays of March. Sixty-four contestants qualified in four age divisions to compete in the state championship on Saturday, April 10.

Hunter Ballor

Novice Division

(ages 8-11)

The Novice Division contestants were tested on 15 questions per category, 150 questions total. The scores are below.

Lillian Wasson, Grand Traverse County, 126/150 (Highest percentage correct in all divisions)

Bethani Schuiteman, Manistee, 108/150

Sophie Stanger, Monroe, 97/150

Alivia Block, Ingham, 94/150

Adrianne Balchik, Gogebic, 93/150

Junior Division

(ages 12-14)

The Junior Division contestants were tested on 20 questions per category, 200 questions total.

Jaylee Somero, Gogebic, 148/200

Caitlynn Pratt, Otsego, 134/200

Elizabeth Hartmann, Genessee, 130/200

Ashley Pollaski, Lake, 129/200

Zoe Stanger, Monroe, 128/200

Senior Division

(ages 15-19)

The Senior Division contestants were tested on 25 questions per category, 250 questions total.

Brooke McKenzie, Alpena, 185/250

Brenna Marshall, Ingham, 167/250

Magdalene Callender, Ingham, 157/250

Margaret Hartmann, Genesee, 157/250

Hunter Ballor, Alpena, 157/250


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