California has won the most national Avian Bowl titles of any state

Jan 29, 2018

California has won the most national Avian Bowl titles of any state

Jan 29, 2018

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

The Avian Bowl for California has been driven by Dr. Francine Bradley, who retired from UC Davis a number of years ago. With her students at UC Davis, she used to put on amazing Poultry Info Days for 4-H members. She still puts on the qualifier in Fresno and still travels to the Bowl in Kentucky. She is the drive behind California winning so often!


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