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Ody's Country Meats

4-H Dairy Project Bowl


Fri, Jun 4th, 2010
Posted in Agriculture

The two-time State Champion Fillmore County Junior Dairy Project Bowl Team A. Back row (L to R): Haely Leiding, Coaches Stacy Leiding and Chris Troendle. Front row (L to R): Travis Troendle, Kayla Leiding and Jared Troendle.

What compartment of the cow's stomach is referred to as the "paunch"? What does MO stand for? Name four management practices that can prevent navel illness in newborn calves. What does IBR stand for?

If you can answer any of these questions, and buzz in quick enough, you might be ready for the 4-H Dairy Project Bowl! Those questions were favorites of two-time state champion Junior Dairy Project Bowl Champion Team members from Fillmore County Team A, Haely Leiding-13, Kayla Leiding-13, Jared Troendle-11 and Travis Troendle-13.

Not only does Fillmore County have the state champion team, but also the fourth place team! Fillmore County Team B, consisting of Abby Hopp-12, Megan Hopp-9, Stephanie Sukalski-13, and Coltin Wingert-10, also qualified and did an outstanding job representing Fillmore County!

The road to the state championship started approximately three years ago when Fillmore County 4-H began its Project Bowl team. Under the guidance of coaches Stacy Leiding and Chris Troendle, the teams met weekly each Sunday afternoon to practice beginning the last week in December for about an hour and a half.

Studying for the project bowl topics requires knowledge of topics including: feeding, diseases, judging, showing rules, important dates, breed history, dairy processing industry information as well as other information listed in provided references. Questions are gathered from previous project bowl competitions and the 4-Hers are quizzed on their knowledge.

While they study all areas, the members of Team A explained that they each have areas of expertise: Jared's area is ruminant nutrition/digestion; reproduction, vitamins and minerals are Haely's focus; Kayla also concentrates on vitamins and minerals; and diseases are Travis' specialty.

At practices it is important to learn the knowledge but also to learn how to use the buzzers. Buzzers are used, like on Jeopardy. Travis Troendle explained, "You don't want to buzz in too quickly because they may have changed the words to a question."

The first competition of the season was an invitational held in Rochester in January as a fun, friendly warm-up contest. It is a great chance to learn how to use the buzzers and the format of the contest. A bit complicated to explain briefly, the first round has 16 questions directed with each team member having a chance to answer 4 questions against an opposing team member. The second round has questions that anyone can answer with possible bonus questions attached to certain questions.

On March 13, it was time for the Regional Project Bowl competition in Hastings. Nine teams competed in the Junior Dairy Project Bowl, including Fillmore Team A and Fillmore Team B. After a great day of competing, Team A placed first, and Team B placed third! "It was a good birthday present to win it on our golden birthday," explained Haely who celebrated her birthday along with her sister Kayla at the Project Bowl! The top four teams qualified for state, so teams A and B were both headed for state competition!

As April 17 drew near, the excitement did as well. Team A was excited to possibly repeat as possible state champions and Team B was eager to take part in the competition and see how well they could do! On April 16, they traveled to Foley, MN to compete in the State Project Bowl held on the 17th.

Team A had a shaky start in the double elimination contest, losing its first round. The coaches were a bit concerned wondering if they should have called a timeout. They had never been in that position before. The kids were a bit tired, and after that first game they practiced, focused and got back on track.

To repeat as champions, they had to beat Meeker County twice, which also happened to be the team they beat the previous year. In the end, of course, they did just that! They won, repeating as state champions! Team B also had a great day, placing 4th!

When asked what they liked best about Project Bowl, a combination of fun, friends, facts, mixed in with competition, seemed to be what the 4-Hers seem to enjoy:

Jared, "It's fun! And I like buzzing in!"

Travis, "I like the trivia facts about the dairy industry and competing."

Haely, "I like that it is hard and learning new things every time. I also get to meet new people and see my friends from around the state!"

Kayla, "I like learning about cows and the friends!

Coltin, "I like testing my knowledge against other kids my age and the chance to go to state my first year of being on the team."

Abby, "One of my fun memories is when Teams A and B competed against each other!"

Megan, "I liked getting together each week to practice with my friends."

It takes a lot of hard work and dedication to be on a project bowl team and coach Stacy Leiding summed up the work of Team A and B members, "For being teens and younger they have lots of energy and enthusiasm for the dairy industry. We ask them to do something and they do it; they are very dedicated."

So, did you want those project bowl question answers? Here you go! Rumen. Molybdenum. Clip it, feed colostrum, dip in iodine, clean bedding. Infections Bovine Rhinotracheitis. Are you ready for Project Bowl?

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