Michigan youth compete at North American 4-H Invitational Dairy Quiz Bowl Contest

Four Clinton County youth travel to Louisville, Kentucky, to represent Michigan at the annual national dairy quiz bowl contest.

November 3, 2016 - Author: ,

Carmen Hicks (left), Miriah Dershem (center) and Jessica Nash (right) celebrate after winning the 2016 Dairy Quiz Bowl Senior Division (not pictured: teammate Madeline Meyer). Photo: Sara Long.
Carmen Hicks (left), Miriah Dershem (center) and Jessica Nash (right) celebrate after winning the 2016 Dairy Quiz Bowl Senior Division (not pictured: teammate Madeline Meyer). Photo: Sara Long.

Every July, youth across Michigan participate in 4-H Youth Dairy Days, which is part of Michigan Dairy Expo, the largest annual dairy event in Michigan. During this week-long celebration of the Michigan dairy industry, youth have the opportunity to compete in multiple educational events. These events allow youth to demonstrate not only dairy knowledge, but other important life skills learned through 4-H, the youth development program of Michigan State University Extension.

The final educational contest of the week is the Dairy Quiz Bowl Contest. This event tests a youth’s knowledge in a fast-paced buzzer game. Participants answer questions about a wide range of topics in the dairy industry, including Michigan-specific information, breed specifics, finance questions, genetics, nutrition and much more. Youth compete in teams of three or four and work through a double-elimination bracket to be the winning team of the contest. Each round starts with an individual true or false question asked of each team member, followed by a series of toss-up questions where youth must buzz in to answer. This contest not only allows youth to demonstrate their knowledge of the dairy industry, but it also builds life skills such as communications, teamwork, self-esteem, critical thinking, problem-solving and decision-making.

There are three age groups divisions at 4-H Youth Dairy Days: novice (9-11 years old), junior (9-14 years old) and senior (15-18 years old). In 2016, there were eight novice teams, 11 junior teams and 16 senior teams. The winning senior team earns the opportunity to compete at the North American 4-H Invitational Dairy Quiz Bowl Contest each November held during the North American International Livestock Exposition in Louisville, Kentucky. This year, Clinton County Team A won with team members Miriah Dershem of St. Johns, Madeline Meyer  of Ionia, Camren Hicks  of St. Johns and Jessica Nash  of Elsie. The team will compete against other 4-H youth from across the country on Nov. 5, 2016.

4-H Youth Dairy Days and the educational contests held that week are just one example of science programming available through MSU Extension. MSU Extension and the Michigan 4-H Youth Development program help to create a community excited about STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics). 4-H STEM programming seeks to increase science literacy, introducing youth to the experiential learning process that helps them to build problem-solving, critical-thinking and decision-making skills. Youth who participate in 4-H STEM content are better equipped with critical life skills necessary for future success. To learn more about the positive impact of Michigan 4-H youth in STEM literacy programs, read our 2015 Impact Report: “Building Science Literacy and Future STEM Professionals.”

For more information about 4-H Youth Dairy Days or other youth dairy science programming, please contact me at elischer@anr.msu.edu or 517-432-4306.

Tags: 4-h, 4-h dairy cattle, animal science, dairy, life skills, msu extension


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