Did You Know… Jones County Brings Home Big Awards From Tri-Livestock Competition

— Written By and last updated by Pam Brylowe

You’re standing at a pen of four breeding gilts, placing them in order of best to worst in answer to the question: “Which animal will produce the best quality cuts of meat?” Once you’ve placed them and determined your reasons for those placings, you wait in line for the judge. You’ve got to tell him or her why you picked that order. Or maybe you’ve got your hand on the buzzer, ready and waiting to answer a question about lambs when the moderator reads it. Or maybe you’re trying to identify a bright blue substance in the ‘feeds’ section of the Skill-A-Thon competition – copper sulfate. The anticipation and adrenaline you have are no match for your skills – you’ve been studying for months. You’ve got this.
Okay, so what in the world am I talking about? Livestock Judging, Stockmen’s Bowl, and Skill-A-Thon, respectively, to the situations above. The Jones County 4-H Livestock Club has a team of six participants who know all about these scenarios described above – and they rock it every time. This outstanding group of young people are the face of Jones County agriculture – and you should feel comfortable with it in their hands. You see, these kids practiced with me two hours every week for eight weeks for this particular competition and have been practicing overall for almost three years – on a very consistent basis.
The six participants were: Cheyenne Pike, Paul Pike, Ashley Murphy, Logan Murphy, Anthony Almanza, and Eddie Almanza. The team received the following awards: Top Jr. Team in Skill-A-Thon, Top Jr. Team in Stockmen’s Bowl, and Top Jr. Team Overall! Eddie Alamanza received 10th place in Livestock Judging Jr. Individual; Ashley Murphy received 6th place in Livestock Judging Jr. Individual; Paul Pike received 2nd place in Livestock Judging Jr. Individual. Logan Murphy received 6th place in Skill-A-Thon Jr. Individual; Paul Pike received 5th place in Skill-A-Thon Jr. Individual; Ashley Murphy received 1st place Skill-A-Thon Jr. Individual. Wow! Did you get all that? That means they really showed the other counties what Jones County can bring to the table – a lot of agricultural knowledge.
We have a lot on our schedule for the rest of 2013. We will attend the Wilson County Livestock Judging and Skill-A-Thon Competition in Wilson County, the Jr. Beef Roundup Skill-A-Thon Competition in Wake County, the State Livestock Judging, Skill-A-Thon, and Stockmen’s Bowl Competitions in Wake County, the Wayne County Agricultural Fair Skill-A-Thon Competition in Wayne County, and the N.C. State Fair Livestock Judging, Skill-A-Thon, and Stockmen’s Bowl Competitions in Wake County.
Your child can do this too! We are always looking for youth between the ages of 9 – 19 (or younger) who are interested in learning more about livestock and agriculture. If you know any of the youth on the team now, ask them what they think about it! We have a great time practicing and really enjoy the competitions. For more information on getting your child involved in Skill-A-Thon, Stockmen’s Bowl, or Livestock Judging, please contact the Jones County Cooperative Extension office at (252) 448.9621 and speak with Livestock Agent Margaret A. Bell. Also, check out the Jones and Craven County Livestock Blog at cravenjoneslivestockblog.blogspot.com.
North Carolina State University and North Carolina A&T State University commit themselves to positive action to secure equal opportunity regardless of race, color, creed, national origin, religion, sex, age, veteran status, or disability. In addition, the two Universities welcome all persons without regard to sexual orientation. North Carolina State University, North Carolina A&T State University, U.S. Department of Agriculture, and local governments cooperating.

This article is scheduled to be published in the Jones Post newspaper on March 21, 2013 and was compiled by Margaret A. Bell, Livestock Agent – Craven & Jones Counties.