- Author: Thomas Aquino
- Author: Cory Carlson
- Author: Emily Cullins
- Editor: Suzanne Morikawa
Of course, we also had our individual team events to compete in. As a member of the Horse Bowl Team, I can tell you that we studied a good portion of every evening to help us prepare for our event. Believe it or not, the studying never bothered me because I was learning about a topic that interests me and our team became pretty close knit over the months since [Horse] Classic.
Although these events were exciting, I believe the highlight was meeting 4-H kids from across the country. At the dance and pin swap we were able to talk with teams from different states, and discuss our clubs and projects. It was nice to meet so many people from all over the U.S. (and even Canada) that shared my interests. Although I am aging out of 4-H this year, I am thankful to have had this experience. My only regret is not competing at classic until my final year in 4-H. So in closing—thank you, 4-H, for the friendships I have made from this National Competition, and for the memories I will always cherish.
The next day (the 5th) the Horse Bowl team and some other California 4-H members went to the Arabian Horse Association, where we got a tour of the building, saw cool awards and trophies and later went out to lunch with some of the personnel there. Later that night we went to the banquet and flag ceremony, where we got to see every state and Canadian province that was there. After the banquet,, we all took a group photo together to represent California and then most of California went to the dance that night where we learned new dances and met new people.
On Saturday the horse bowl team competition we lost the first round but had high spirits to come back in the second round. The second round was very close in the first half with South Dakota having 5 and California having 4 but after the second half of the game things didn't go our way and we lost. We ended up receiving 7th overall as a team and even though we didn't win we were all glad to have come that far.
After we competed we went to the Denver Western National Stock Show and saw all the livestock, vendors selling things, a llama show, and at the end of the night some of us got to watch the cowboy rodeo. Then we went back to the hotel and proceeded to do the pin swap with every state and Canadian province there. We got to meet a ton of cool people from different states and share stories. The pin swap was followed by a dance with a photo both and games. On Sunday, the last day we were there, we went to the award ceremony in the morning to see how everyone did. California ended up placing 3rd overall out of over 30 states who were there. Later that day after the ceremony we split up and some of us went to watch freestyle reining at the stock show and some of us went out to explore. We went to Texas Roadhouse [and] toured the rodeo hall of fame where we got to read about famous people and animals in the rodeo and see cool bucking and roping saddles. We also went to see the Valley of the Gods rock formations and climb them and admire them. On our way back home to the hotel we got to stop at Cabela's, which was my first time ever being there and it was an exciting experience. The next day we all went to the Denver Airport, where we said our goodbyes to each other. Overall it was an amazing trip and I was glad to have got to go and compete at the National Western Roundup.
A wide audience stood before me, three judges and some of the most anxious looking parents. I had prepared months for this moment, I looked the part and I knew the words by heart. I opened my mouth and the words fell out with the utmost excitement. “The rankest of broncs….” It was the competition day for the 4-H National Western Round-up in Denver Colorado and I was there proudly representing California 4-H.
But before this amazing moment could occur, I had spent countless hours with several different people rewriting and repeating my speech. I said my speech everywhere, from my 4-H county office, the car, Skandia and the airport. All in preparation of this day.
My team, consisting of 16 youth and I, arrived at the Denver airport bright and early. When we stepped outside to get into our Uber, we were shocked by the cold. (It was only 40 degrees, but that's still cold) Once we got to the hotel we were greeted by warm smiles not only from the staff but also from all the other 4-H kids. The first night we had the orientation, we learned rules through funny skits and heard a wonderful speaker. Which only made us more excited for the events to come, we literally jumped from the conference room, sang and danced all the way back to our rooms. Whenever we saw different kids across the hall, we would shout “ Hey where are you from? Add us on Snapchat! What are you competing in?” We may have been a little loud but now I have a New Best Friend from South Dakota. (It was -12 when they left for Colorado) The first morning, the Horse Judging team and Hippology team had their competitions. I wasn't there, but from what I've heard the competition was very difficult but they were confident [and] they did well.
While they were away the Horse Bowl team and I were blessed enough to visit the Arabian Horse Headquarters. There we learned what it takes to put on a national competition: budgeting; how they register thousands of horses; how horse passports are made; and their marketing strategies. The people who run the Arabian Horse Association were so kind and just as excited to have us there as we were.
Back at the ranch (hotel) the rest of the public speaking girls were saying their speeches. Just as I had, they prepared months for their 15 minutes in the limelight. Jayla and Mishayla gave a wildly entertaining demonstration on different horseshoes, while Mira gave a super fun and educational demonstration about horse cloning. They answered their questions with the utmost ease, making everyone from California proud. But, just like everyone else, they wouldn't know their placings until Sunday morning.
The next morning was my big day, the day that I had been preparing for. Saturday morning the Horse Bowl kids and I woke super early. For them it was to get in a few more minutes of studying, while I, on the other hand, had to somehow manage to make myself presentable for my speech. When I was finally fully clothed and heading down the elevator, my coach drilled me with possible questions the judges may ask. I was nervous and stumbled through them. But come hell or high water, I still knew I was ready. Standing before the audience, I took a deep breath, smiled, and told the world what I knew by heart.
Seven minutes later, my nearly perfect speech was over. The judges asked questions such as, ‘'How would you promote animal welfare?” and “If you came across an animal rights activities how would you handle the situation?”
I answered back proudly, without a single mistake. (Literally leaving my Mother and Lynn in tears.)
Many hours after my whirlwind seven minutes, the funnest evening began. It started with my favorite part, the Pin Swap! Where all the states' delegates get together and (as the name suggests) swap pins. This event is so much fun because we get the chance to meet and share stories with all of the wonderful
4-H kids. We did run into the little problem, of our California state pins not coming until Monday. (The day we would be leaving) But this didn't stop us from having fun, so a few kids and I came up with the solution of making our own! It took us five hours, but we enjoyed it. When the swap was over, we danced the night away (Sadly, my two-stepping had not gotten any better).
The next morning, was the morning we were all anxiously waiting for. After eating the strange breakfast burritos, the awards began. First up was hippology, we were awarded with 8th, next was horse bowl with an exciting 8th as well. When it was the awards for public speaking, demonstration received a fantastic 4th, duo demo also received 4th. Then it was my turn, they announced 10th not me, my heart pounded, 7th still not me, finally they announced “In 4th place - California, Emily Cullins.” My team and I were so excited, we all started screaming - we screamed literally anytime California was mentioned—and the morning was not over yet. We were all overjoyed when California was mentioned 3rd high state overall. Which, of course, resulted in more screaming and hollering from us. We were a little rowdy, but it was so much fun. And just like that, the Nationals were over as fast as they had begun.
- Author: Lorin Hofmann-Lurz
Thanks to the guidance and support of committed adult 4-H volunteers, the California 4-H teams have placed first in the National Avian Bowl 19 times, and second 7 times since 1989. See the full list of results.
This year, besides California, there were 12 other state teams vying for the title of National Avian Bowl Champions. Other states that were represented were Alaska, Alabama, Georgia, Florida, Kentucky, Ohio, Indiana, Wisconsin, New York, Minnesota, Pennsylvania and Illinois.
2017 National Avian Bowl Champions
Our 4-H Avian Bowl team took first place in the National Avian Bowl competition, held November 15-16, 2017 at the 2017 National 4-H Egg and Poultry Conference in Louisville, Kentucky.
About our team
What's unique about our Avian Bowl team is that they have to coordinate with each other remotely, since they are from different clubs and counties. Congratulations to Abby Milanesa of Buena Vista 4-H club, Kayla Hurt from Paso Robles and Siana Barrett from Dos Palos for their great accomplishment!
What was it like to compete?
”The Avian Bowl was three hours of extreme stress” said Abby. “We competed head to head against the Georgia, Minnesota, New York and Ohio teams. We lost to Ohio, but beat New York so then we faced Ohio again and then we had to beat them twice in a row for the win,” the 15 year old continued, “There were approximately 150 people watching the contest in a room. I studied the guide a lot and practiced in person and via Skype with my teammates for nearly a year. Our coach was my dad (Dan Milanesa) and he designed the custom shirts that we wore. They have the words California Avian Bowl and a quail embroidered on them.”
Big thank you to Dr. Francine Bradley
About the Avian Bowl
An Avian Bowl is a double-elimination knowledge bowl based on poultry-related subject matter. 4-H members from any state who want to compete must use the Clemson University study guide to prepare and have at least 2 team members. This year's topics included embryology, biosecurity, understanding food poisoners and several other avian subjects. Each state hosts a qualifier event in which senior teams (14-18 year olds) compete against each other. Questions vary and team contestants must use a buzzer to answer the questions to earn points.
More than a competition
In addition to competing in a national competition, the participants also have the opportunity to meet people from many other parts of the country, hear from experts in the poultry industry, and tour many well-known sites such as Churchill Downs and the Louisville Slugger factory. These activities are sponsored by the poultry and egg industry as part of the conference.
The conference also features Poultry Judging contests, an Egg Preparation contest and Chicken and Turkey BBQ contests for hundreds of qualified teenagers from across the United States.
For more information
See our past blog post, "California 4-H team goes to Nationals" to read more about competing at the National Avian Bowl.
If you would like more information about 4-H avian projects, please contact DeAnn Tenhunfeld at email@example.com.
- Author: Emma Simpson
- Editor: Martin Smith
Youth from 4-H programs in Yuba and Sutter counties participated in the recently-completed Mitigating Zoonotic and Animal Disease (MZAD) Project by the University of California Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources (UC ANR). As part of this project, they tested bio-security risk assessment and mitigation procedures, and helped formulate changes to decrease the potential of pathogen transmission at their county fair.
Tour of UC Davis Veterinary Medicine Teaching Hospital
On November 1, 2017, 12 4-H youth, their parents, and 4-H Program Representative, Tracy Bishop, came to UC Davis to tour its Veterinary Medicine Teaching Hospital. The tour was presented as a thank you to the youth for not only participating in the project, but to acknowledge their efforts in making on-farm and at-fair practices.
The tour began by viewing the surgery recovery barn for large animals and continued by viewing the MRI and CT scanning rooms. In the Small Animal Clinic, youth viewed dog bone x-rays and the pantry where dietitians make special meals based on an animal's recovery, dietary, and food allergy needs.
The tour also included an emphasis on veterinary research that occurs in the hospital. “UC Davis prides itself in the research done throughout the campus. Would any of you be interested in doing research in the future?” the guide asked. The tour guide didn't know that these youth had already been involved in research through their involvement in the MZAD Project! Through their involvement, these youth tested bio-security practices that focused on keeping animals and people healthy.
The guide concluded the tour by admiring the youth's achievements, adding that she hoped some of them will continue their studies at UC Davis in the future.
- Wyatt Coffman
- Holden Hicks
- Elsie Serger
- Kaitlyn Johnson
- Jessica Deagostini
- Emily Harryman
- Linzee Degraff
- Haley Hicks
- Weston Coffman
- Mason Serger
Supplementary Video Extension Project: Bio-security at Fairs
In collaboration with the California Department of Food and Agriculture, UC Davis developed three informational videos that summarize bio-security risks and recommendations to improve practices. All three videos feature 4-H'ers and their animals.
If you would like to feature these videos on your organizations' website, please contact Martin Smith (firstname.lastname@example.org) for more information.
Youth Livestock Exhibitors
Focusing on bio-security risk assessment and mitigation strategies, and recommendations for implementing these procedures on farm and at fair.
A highly visible Public Service Announcement highlighting hygiene and other risk mitigating practices that will help educate visitors at fairs throughout California.
Focusing on recommendations for bio-security procedures and policies that will support risk mitigation at California fairs and exhibitions./h3>/h3>/h3>/h2>/h2>
- Author: Tara Schnetz
When you hear the term “Avian Bowl,” it may conjure up images of rolling a frozen chicken or turkey down a lane to knock down pins. If you are a 4-H member you probably know what Avian Bowl really means, and it is an admirable and challenging event!
The California team was composed of four teens from El Dorado County, members of the Dusty Dividers 4-H club. The four-person team was made up by Zachary and Kyle Schnetz from Georgetown and Hannah and Jesiah Neff of Greenwood. Months of hard practice and study paid off as they competed in the national event at University of Kentucky on November 17th. What is significant is that the California team came in second in the nationals. In the final championship round, California lost to Wisconsin.
What is Avian Bowl?
Avian Bowl is a 4-H quiz game to encourage youth to expand their knowledge of avian facts. The competitors study from a large manual, often creating sample questions and conducting practice rounds. They learn about ratites, embryology, poultry and egg markets, the commercial poultry industry, breeds, and more. Competitors buzz in and answer questions, thus they either receive or lose points depending on their answers. The team with the highest points is the winner. The teams can range from 2-4 members. The current team members have been competing in Avian Bowl for around three years, with their older siblings previously attending the national competition.
Getting to the National Competition
The process of getting to the nationals is quite daunting as well. After winning the State title in the qualifying competition in Fresno, they advanced to the national competition held at the National Poultry and Egg Conference in Louisville, Kentucky. California seeded second in the written test. In the first round where they participated, California played New York with a win of 35 to 5. They moved on to play Kentucky winning 10 to 0. In the third round they played Wisconsin, the team that had seeded first. They lost 10 to 45. They tied (making everyone nervous) but Wisconsin broke ahead and won the tiebreaker round and championship. This put the California team in second to the very competitive and deserving champions.
Congratulations Avian Bowl Team!
Note: The State 4-H office was able to help with funding the team to attend the national competition because of the generosity of donors to the California 4-H Foundation. Thank you for your support!