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2019 State 4-H Congress

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May 16, 2019

Announcer: Farm and Family is a production of the Mississippi State University extension service. 

Amy Myers: Today we're talking about the 2019 State 4-H Congress. 

Hello, I'm Amy Myers and welcome to Farm and Family. Today we're speaking with Dr. Dean Jousan. Mississippi State University extension 4-H Livestock Specialist. 

Dean, summer is almost here and many young people will get getting out of school soon. This means that State 4-H Congress is fast approaching. What is State 4-H Congress? 

Dean Jousan: State 4-H Congress is an opportunity for youth to come to the campus on Mississippi State University to compete in a variety of contests that supplement their project area that they've been working on back in their County 4-H program. So this event provides opportunities for youth to get a bunch of educational opportunities. They get to have some leadership opportunities. It's a great event that kicks off on Wednesday morning, May the 29th and goes through Friday May the 31st. We'll have a ton of 4-H youth from across the state along with a lot of extension agents and volunteer leaders. 

Amy Myers: Why do young people attend State 4-H Congress? 

Dean Jousan: There's lots of reasons. One, it's cool to go to Mississippi State and hang out on campus for a few days. A lot of people dream of coming to state so it's a good opportunity to introduce them to our campus. 

Besides that, it's a great opportunity for them to test their skills in statewide educational contests. They have opportunities to participate in workshops or tours or other things to increase their knowledge and skills in a lot of practical areas that can help benefit them later on in their career. 

They have opportunities for some youth who want to have leadership in 4-H to actually campaign for offices. And it's just a great time for youth to get together, to network and mix with other youth from around the state, to build their skills, to be better people. 

Amy Myers: Now who attends State 4-H Congress? 

Dean Jousan: State 4-H Congress is designed for 4-H members that are 14 to 19 years of age, based on their birthdate as of January 1, and they're here primarily competing in a variety of contests from visual presentations to judging contests, to a variety of miscellaneous contests. Some of the youth that are here are leaders and ambassadors and they'll be here to help during Congress to make it run smoothly. 

We have candidates that'll be running for 4-H Council Offices and there'll be opportunities for youth to attend workshops and tours. 

Amy Myers: Tell me about the livestock contest at 4-H Congress. 

Dean Jousan: So as youth arrive to campus, they can turn in posters for our 4-H dairy poster contest. June is the National Dairy Month so youth are challenged to create a poster that promotes the June Dairy Month. Starting on that Wednesday afternoon, May the 29th, we got four visual presentation contests revolving around livestock. We have a beef visual presentation contest, one on dairy animals, another on dairy foods, and a fourth one on sheep, swan, and meat goats. So that's just where our youth puts together a presentation on a topic related to those species and then they present that in a visual presentation format. 

On Thursday, May the 30th, we have a couple of judging contests. We have a dairy products judging contest where youth sample milk, cheddar cheese, cottage cheese, and vanilla ice cream. They judge and score those products based on what their senses and their taste tell them. We also have a meats judging contest where youth evaluate cuts of meat, carcasses, hams, from cattle, hogs, and sheep. 

And then the last two, we have a dairy quiz bowl and a livestock quiz bowl, where those youth are asked all kinds of questions related to dairy cattle and the dairy industry, and then to the livestock, in general, that don't involve dairy cattle. 

Amy Myers: The winners of a couple of these contests advance to further competition. Tell me about these contests and where Mississippi 4-H'ers advance to compete at the national level. 

Dean Jousan: We have 30 contests that will be held during 4-H Congress where the winning senior team will represent Mississippi. The first one is the dairy quiz bowl competition. And that senior winning team will get to travel to Louisville, Kentucky in November of this year to represent Mississippi in that national 4-H contest. 

We also have our senior meats judging team and livestock quiz bowl team. They'll have the opportunity to go to Denver, Colorado in January 2020 to represent Mississippi in those national contests. 

Amy Myers: To learn more about Mississippi 4-H and livestock contests, where can we go?

Dean Jousan: Go to Click on the link for 4-H, and then go to 4-H livestock and youth livestock. 

Amy Myers: Today we've been speaking with Dr. Dean Jousan, 4-H livestock specialist. I'm Amy Myers and this has been Farm and Family. Have a great day. 

Announcer: Farm and Family is a production of the Mississippi State University extension service. 

Department: Ctr 4-H Youth Development

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