Livestock Skillathon highlights UP's agricultural sector

ESCANABA, Mich. (WLUC) - Coordinator, Sandy Gill says the Livestock Skillathon was designed to help kids and adults understand more about their food.

"One of my feelings is that people are too far removed from their food source. And so this kind of gets them to be more in touch with where their food comes from, meat vegetables, fruit and more,” Gill stated.

All week long there are six different stations that test your knowledge of various aspects of the agricultural world. Challengers will complete several tasks including identifying various apples to naming various cuts of pork.

It’s all free. And just for practice Gill says. However, there are over 100 already registered for the competitive Skillathon which will be held Friday.
"You can walk in. It starts at 9 a.m. We have registration and then we start going to the stations at 9:30," Gill announced.

There’ll be volunteers at each station to walk you through the entire process. It's all to showcase all the hard work these kids have put in all year.

Dave Radloff, Delta County 4-H Youth Educator says the kids are gaining valuable experience in the process.

“It's another skill they're getting. Communicating with the public. Doing some public speaking. They're learning about the livestock project and then teaching that to the public,” Radloff asserted.

You never know what kind of challenges you'll find.

"I did one about ten years ago that was identification of manure. So I went around to all of the barns and got some rabbit, got some steer, got some horse and kids had fun with that one," Radloff disclosed.

Supporting these kids is supporting your local economy, Radloff says. When they see they can turn these skills into a viable career, which will keep a healthy agricultural sector.

“I think supporting the 4-H program in general is a big thing because these kids work very hard on their projects and not only just livestock but everything else in this building as far as sewing goes, visual arts photography all of those things kids get in 4-H. This is their chance to highlight that stuff at the fair,” Radloff concluded.

The U.P. State Fair continues through Sunday in Escanaba.