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4-H Judging Teams

4-H livestock judging team members in 4-H polo shirts

4-H Judging and Team events provide students an opportunity to learn teamwork, decision making, and communication all while focusing on a topic they enjoy! We offer many different judging team opportunities throughout the year. This is a great way to participate in hands-on learning even if you do not own or raise an animal project. If you are interested in a topic listed below, please contact the 4-H leader listed for practice information and contest description. 

Dairy Judging 4th-12th grade, June– July – Dairy Judging consists of judging classes of dairy cows and heifers. Dairy Animals are judged on general appearance, dairy character, body capacity, and their mammary system. Youth will also become acquainted with different breeds of dairy cattle. Oral reasons are required for Sr. High team members.

Dairy Quiz Bowl 4th-12th grade, April-May – Dairy Quiz Bowl is fun way for students to learn about all aspects of the dairy cattle industry. Students learn information about breeds, nutrition, management and care and industry standards. Students then compete in teams of four individuals using buzzers to buzz in and be the first to answer a question asked by the quiz host/moderator.

Horse Judging – 4th-12th grade, October-May – Participants learn to evaluate horses from two perspectives; confirmation and performance. Teams will place four to six classes of horses of any breed. Four of the classes are evaluated for confirmation (how the horse is built) and two are placed based on performance. Students learn terminology and anatomy associated with horses.

Hippology – 4th-12th grade, October-May – Participants study everything related to horses and equine science. This is a great way for students who are interested in horses to learn about health management, nutrition, hoof care, physiology, equipment, tack and more. This is a fun and engaging way to participate, learn and engage in competitive events whether you own a horse or not.

Questions: Christy Beattie at cbeatti2@utk.edu

Livestock Judging 4th -12th Grade, November – April – Students learn the skill of evaluating livestock based upon their intended purpose in animal agriculture. Students learn basic characteristics that are valuable in determining an animals value in a given scenario. Youth learn to evaluate both market (meat) and breeding animals in beef cattle, sheep, goat and swine. Participants compete as individuals and as part of a team.

Questions: Doug Berny at dberny@utk.edu

Meat Identification Judging 6th-12th grade, November-April – Participants learn to identify cuts of meat, both retail and wholesale cuts of lamb, beef and pork. Team members also learn how to evaluate the quality of the different cuts and are able to rank them most favorable to least favorable. Students are encouraged to participate in both meat judging and livestock judging together as the combined skill sets help them in both disciplines.

Outdoor Meat Cookery 6th-12th grade, June – September – Fire up that grill and get your pit-master hat on…it’s time to learn how to grill the perfect cut of meat! Participants compete in teams, each member preparing one of four cuts; lamb, pork, poultry or beef. All meat cuts are prepared over charcoal for that perfect backyard grilling aroma and flavor. Students learn in practice settings and then practice at home regularly to prepare for competition.

Questions: Doug Berny at dberny@utk.edu

Poultry Judging 4th-12th grade, August– September – Students learn how to grade eggs and poultry meat according to USDA standards. Participants learn terminology related to poultry product quality and develop the skills necessary to evaluate quality. Poultry Judging is a lot of fun and a great way for students have hands-on experiences even if they do not have or raise poultry. While the contest typically occurs in September, it is for students in the qualifying grades of January 1 of that calendar year.

Questions: Doug Berny at dberny@utk.edu

Outdoor Cooking 4th-12th grade, June– August  – This is a fun way for participants to learn how to sharpen their culinary skills learning to cook outdoors with different methods and practices.

Questions: Christy Beattie at cbeatti2@utk.edu

Outdoor Meat Cookery 6th-12th grade, June – September – Fire up that grill and get your pit-master hat on…it’s time to learn how to grill the perfect cut of meat! Participants compete in teams, each member preparing one of four cuts; lamb, pork, poultry or beef. All meat cuts are prepared over charcoal for that perfect backyard grilling aroma and flavor. Students learn in practice settings and then practice at home regularly to prepare for competition.

Questions: Doug Berny at dberny@utk.edu

Wildlife Judging 4th-12th grade, June– August   – Participants who enjoy the outdoors and learning about nature will enjoy developing skills in Wildlife judging. Wildlife Judging is divided into three parts: wildlife management practices, wildlife habitat and common wildlife foods.

Questions: Mary Beth Antunes at mlee60@utk.edu

Forestry Judging 4th-12th grade, June– August – Students who enjoy learning about the outdoors by understanding what is growing around them would enjoy this event. Participants learn how to identify trees, insects, diseases and wood. Youth learn how to measure trees and use a compass and pace.

Questions: Mary Beth Antunes at mlee60@utk.edu

Doug Berny

Doug Berny

Extension Agent, 4-H Youth Development

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