4-H Scholarship

Twenty-eight Illinois 4-H and FFA dairy project members participated in the 2016 Superior Young Dairy Producer Award program held Aug. 21 during the Illinois State Fair in Springfield.

The purpose of the contest is to create an educational activity which promotes youth development, career development, and personal growth through increased knowledge of the dairy industry.

Dairy is one of five separate contests held each year during the state fair. Other award areas include horse, beef cattle, sheep and swine.

In total, $25,000 is awarded annually in the five contests. This year, the lifetime total dollars awarded topped the $500,000 mark for the 21-year history of the Superior Young Producer program.

The Illinois 4-H Foundation manages the distribution of funds to support the scholarships which are provided by Archer Daniels Midland. The winners also received plaques sponsored by the Land of Lincoln Purebred Livestock Breeders Association and Illinois State Fair.

The five overall winners from the dairy participants each receive a $1,000 college scholarship.

They are: Emma Carlson, Kirkland – Boone County; Hadley Ehlers, Campbell Hill – Randolph County; Charlie Elliott, Freeport – Stephenson County; Bria Koester, Dakota – Stephenson County; and Patrick Tegeler, Effingham – Effingham County.

This three-phase competition emphasizes the youth’s knowledge of the dairy industry. The first phase was a dairy management test relating to dairy nutrition, health, reproduction, milk marketing and other dairy related information. The top three contestants for this phase included Emma Carlson, Hadley Ehlers and Morgan Olbrich, Harvard – McHenry County.

The second phase was a three station skill-a-thon on various aspects of the dairy industry.  Contestants had to identify dairy feeds, understand DHI information, and identify dairy equipment. The top three contestants in the skill-a-thon included Hadley Ehlers, Patrick Tegeler, Olivia Telgmann, Strasburg – Shelby County.

The third phase of the Superior Young Dairy Producer Contest was a judging contest. The judging phase consisted of animal selection by placing four classes of dairy cows and two classes of heifers. The top three contestants for this phase included Megan Exner, Kirkland – Boone County; Dawn Irwin, Beason – Logan County; and Bria Koester.

This year marked the 21st consecutive year for the Superior Young Dairy Producer Award Program which has provided $105,000 in college scholarships to Illinois dairy youth since its inception. Participants must be current 4-H or FFA dairy project members in Illinois.  The program is developed and conducted by Dave Fischer, University of Illinois Extension 4-H dairy program coordinator.

About 4-H

Illinois 4-H strives to help youth learn skills for living. 4-H programs are offered in every Illinois county by University of Illinois Extension. Illinois 4-H aims to impact the lives of 250,000 youth each year through sustained learning clubs and groups and short-term programming. 4-H is a community of seven million young people around the world learning leadership, citizenship, and life skills.

For more information on any of these events, contact University of Illinois Extension-Stephenson County at (815) 235-4125.

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