4-H Events and Youth Opportunities
4-H State Events
Senior Leadership Retreat
Home Ec School
4-H Judging and Contests
What is Judging? Most of us that have been around 4-H or FFA for any length of time, know what the word and action means, but for those of you that don’t lets try to define it for you. Judging is an activity that requires young people to evaluate one of several different kinds of objects or animals. Determine there likes and dislikes of that object or animal and then rank them from best to worst. This is a valuable exercise in developing decision making skills and developing logical thought processes. An additional part of judging is giving reasons. Reasons can either be oral or written and are an explanation of why you ranked the objects or animals in the manner that you did. Reasons allow for individuals to develop speaking abilities and gain confidence in speaking in front of people.
Judging activities make a lasting mark on those that participate and help them gain greater understanding of the world around them. Additional pluses for participating in judging are the rewards available to those that find success in these activities. Scholarships to college, greater speaking skills, and involvement in a character building activity that can influence jobs later in life are all things possible to achieve through judging.
Judging opportunities are valuable experiences that will make immediate impacts on youth as well as long term additions to their personal skills and abilities. Judging is often intimidating to younger members but become a much anticipated event for members as they mature and get more comfortable with the program.
Livestock Livestock judging evaluates cattle, sheep, and swine and allows for individuals to improve their understanding of the livestock industry. Livestock judging is a great competition for anyone in livestock projects to learn more about animal selection and development. The top three Sr. teams at State are eligible to attend National competitions in Louisville, KY, Kansas City, MO, and Denver, CO, respectively. Livestock judging can lead to great opportunities after 4-H with junior and senior college competition.
Horse Horse judging teaches participants how to evaluate halter as well as performance classes of horses. Horse judging is a great event for those that love being around and showing horses. The winning state Sr. team is eligible to attend the Western Roundup in Denver, CO.
Entomology A great contest for those of you who love bugs! Learn to identify insects and different facts about these critters. If you are interested, it also goes hand in hand with the projects where you learn about insects and how to collect them. You may judge as an individual or as a team. Be sure to check out some additional study material
Horticulture Horticulture is a fun contest to judge! We will go to the grocery stores, flower shops and gardening stores to learn how to identify fruits, vegetables and plants. This is a great contest for novice and juniors to start with. Seniors have the opportunity to also learn about trees and a wider variety of plants. The state winning senior team has the opportunity to travel to the National Junior Horticulture contest held in different locations throughout the country in November. State High Point Individual will receive a $500 scholarship to NMSU. Some of you novice and juniors might want to make this a goal for your later years in 4-H. This can be an individual or a team competition.
Wildlife This is a contest for Novice and Junior members. It is a fun contest to learn about different wildlife and their habits. The contest consists of identifying photographs, hides, skulls, antlers, etc and taking a multiple-choice test. Wildlife is always a favorite contest in this county and we have been successful with it in the past.
Shooting Sports Novice and Junior members may compete at in Rifle, Air Rifle and Archery. Rifle uses .22 caliber rifles and your targets will be shot at County Contest to take to District. Air Rifle and Archery are shot during the District Contest. All of these also have a written test and the rifle contests have a safety practical at District Contest. You must have passed a Hunter Education Course and be enrolled in a 4-H shooting sports project. Senior members are now competing at a separate Statewide Contest in early May. Please note, to participate in 4-H shooting sports, you must have a valid hunter's safety card. Study materials can be picked up from the Extension Office. We are happy to help you enroll in a hunter's safety course as well.
Favorite Foods Favorite Foods is a fun contest because you get to be creative and also make your favorite food. It is open to Novice, Junior, and Senior members. This is an opportunity to learn about nutrients and what they do for your body. You will prepare your favorite food and set a card table with a creative place setting on it that fits the meal. For entry forms and more information come by the Extension Office. This is an individual competition and a great way to show off your creativity and culinary skills!
Family and Consumer Sciences Home Ec. Bowl is done in game show fashion using the buzzers. We have lots of fun learning about different Home Economics areas and competing with the responders. We need 4 to 5 members for this contest in a specific age group, so talk to your friends about getting on a team with you!
Presentations Presentations can be done in the areas of Agriculture, Home Economics or General. Length of time varies depending on the age group. Visual aids are allowed. The presentations could be in the form of an illustrated talk or demonstration. Power Point is also a method that can be used.
Public Speaking The Public Speaking Contest is for prepared speeches. This is a more formal presentation. At the state level there is a category for Prepared or Impromptu Speeches. This is an opportunity to show your ability to get up in front of a group and talk about a subject that is important to you.
Poetry Poetry has been a popular contest with the Novice and Junior Roosevelt County 4-H members. It is an opportunity to recite one of your favorite poems you have learned at school or to find a new one you really like. Cowboy poetry is a fun choice as well. Poetry is not available for Sr. members but there is a new Talent Show contest available at the state level. If you are interested call or come by for more information.
Frequently Asked Questions
Who can compete in 4-H contests? Any 4-H member who has an interest in a particular contest can compete at the local level. You do not have to be enrolled in specific projects for most contests.
How does a 4-H Member begin the judging process? Members must voice their interest to the county agent and participate in judging practices prior to the county contest. Practice is a crucial part of achieving success in judging activities.
Where do we compete?
4-H Members begin down the road to competition by participating in at least one county contest judging event. By competing at the county level and qualifying in a particular event members are then eligible to compete in District or State 4-H Contests.
What is District 4-H Contest? District Contest is the judging competition open to 4-H members from the Southeast 4-H District. The Southeast District is made up of Chaves, Curry, De Baca, Eddy, Lea, Lincoln, Otero, Quay, and Roosevelt counties. District Contest is held on a rotation basis and moves around the district each year. It is for Novice and Junior Members (ages 9-13 before Sept. 1). Each contestant should compete in at least 2 contests.
What is State 4-H Contest? State 4-H Contest is open to senior age 4-H members (14 and 19 years old) that have competed in a county contest and qualified to attend the state event. State Contest is held in Las Cruces each year during July. This year the dates are July 11-15. We stay in the dorms at NMSU. In addition to the contest there are dances, motivational speakers, workshops and election of state officers held during the week. Sr. members interested in becoming a part of the State 4-H Leadership team won't want to miss this opportunity. State record book and scholarship winners are announced and honored at the final awards ceremony. State contest is a great activity to build on teamwork and commitment for senior members. To be successful 4-H members must be willing to dedicate time and energy to practice and be committed to the team.
Why would I want to compete in a 4-H judging contest? Judging is a great learning opportunity as well as being a fun activity. Judging provides the opportunity to learn more about a wide variety of different agriculture and home economic areas. It provides opportunities to meet other people with similar interests. Judging also involves traveling to other places for practice and competition within the state and Nation.
Am I too young to compete in a judging contest? It is never too young to start. When you start as a first year 4-H member you will have the opportunity to learn and build on your knowledge over the years. As you can see there are some great goals to work towards, as you become Sr. members. Contest difficulty is geared toward the appropriate age groups.
How do I sign up to judge? Signing up to judge is as easy as coming by or calling the Extension Office and letting Patrick and Connie know that you want to judge and which contest or contests you are interested in competing in. After you are signed up attend all judging practices and begin the learning process. Judging can be one of the best experiences 4-H members participate in.
How do the 4-H Agents decide which contests are available in our county? Due to time limitations, we try to work with contests that have the greatest interest expressed by members. Some of these contests require a full team and others can be done as individuals. Let us know if there are other contests that you are interested in. Additionally, we welcome and encourage parents, leaders, to become involved as well. The more adult leadership we have available, the more opportunities we can offer our members to learn and become involved.