4-H Members at Florida 4-H Congress

August 2005
Sonja C. Crawford - Hendry County Extension, 4-H Coordinator/Livestock Agent II

More than 400 4-H youth ages 13-18 from Santa Rosa County to Collier County were able to get a taste of college life by participating in the 2005 Florida 4-H Congress held at the University of Florida on July 25-29. This fabulous week enabled many 4-H members to learn and share with other 4-H'ers across Florida.

Florida 4-H Congress

Florida 4-H Congress is divided into competitive and non-competitive sessions. The non-competitive portion is devoted to educational/leadership workshops addressing the interest of Florida' s youth including animal science, individual and family resources, plant science, environmental education, citizenship and leadership, communication arts as well as science and technology. The competitive portion of Congress is where the first place senior District winners compete against other county District winners in a variety of events, such as fashion revue, demonstrations/illustrated talks, and public speaking. County 4-H Judging teams participate with other teams across the state in various judging contests. Furthermore, interviews for State Recognition and Scholarships are also conducted during this event.

Christa Carlson of DeSoto County and Sonja Crawford of Hendry County presented one of the leadership tracks titled "Exploring the Nations Livestock Industry." Fifteen youth learned more about Florida's beef industry, as well as the Nation's beef industry from the number of cattle and calves to national ID. Dr. Terry Houser of UF Animal Sciences Meat Extension Department presented a presentation on Food Safety and Brian Esquivel of the UF Meat Lab conducted a tour of the Meat Lab from holding the live animal to fabrication. Next, the group was treated to a delicious 6 ounce sirloin steak at Texas Roadhouse sponsored by Hendry and DeSoto County 4-H. Before returning to UF Campus, the group participated in a meat identification lesson where the group answered questions ranging from the location of the 7-bone roast to the temperature of the meat cooler. Interested 4-H members can contact their county offices for more information on the next congress.

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