MANHATTAN 4-H members from the Southwind Extension District excelled at the annual Kansas 4-H Livestock Sweepstakes event Saturday and Sunday at Kansas State University, winning three state titles in the process.
The competition focused on livestock skills in four contests: a Quiz Bowl, livestock judging, meats judging and a Skillathon.
The Southwind District, which covers Allen, Woodson and Bourbon counties, placed four individuals in the sweepstakes competition, including overall champion Haydon Schaaf, Gavin Fry in fourth place, Brody Nemecek in fifth and Clay Brillhart in eighth.
Southwind brought home the top overall and third-place teams in the team sweepstakes as well.
The champion squad, consisting of Kolby Seested, Fry, Schaaf and Nemecek, won the championship round 265 to 40. The squad of Danielle Nading, Jillian Keller, Brillhart and Sadie Marchiano was runner-up.
The livestock judging contest included 227 contestants and 42 teams from across the state. The Southwind team of Brillhart, Nemecek, Keller and Schaff took the overall championship. Fry, Marchiano, Seested and Nading secured the reserve championship.
Individually, each of the members scored within the top 10 in judging sheep, goats, hogs and cattle.
The Southwind District will represent Kansas 4-H at the National Western Stock Show in Denver in January.
In meats judging, competitors had to identify 30 retail cuts, partake in six placing classes and three sets of reasons.
The team of Schaaf, Fry, Brillhart and Nemecek was named reserve champion. The Southwind team of Keller, Marchiano, Nading and Seested finished seventh overall.
In the Livestock Skillathon, 4-Hers rotated through stations addressing six areas of animal science: feedstuffs, breed identification, equipment identification, meat identification and a written test. Individually, Fry placed second, Brody Nemecek placed third, Schaaf was seventh and Brillhart was 10th. The team of Seested, Nemecek, Brillhart and Schaaf was the reserve state champion skillathon team.
Southwind Extension Agent Carla Nemecek lauded the squads performance.
This group worked hard and studied a great deal of material to prepare, she said in an email. It shows how hard these 4-H members pushed each other to make the best better. The Southwind District is proud of their accomplishments and looks forward to future growth and learning.