Bond And Clinton 4-H Members Win Dairy Quiz Bowl

ILLINOIS SENIOR TEAM: Four youth were selected as the 2019 Illinois 4-H Dairy Quiz Bowl Team and will compete at the National 4-H Contest in Louisville, Ky., this fall. Team members are (left to right) Addie Raber, Gridley; Hannah Albert, Keyesport; Taylor Huels, Greenville; and Brady Heinzmann, Carlyle.

Every chance they got, the father-son team practiced. Whether doing chores or riding in the car, 11-year-old Drew Lueking of Centralia and his dad, Doug, rattle through dairy cattle facts in preparation for the Illinois 4-H Dairy Quiz Bowl contest.

Doug, a registered Holstein dairy breeder and ag teacher, serves as coach for Drew and daughter Shana, as well as other 4-H members in Clinton and Bond counties. The team practices once a week.

That practice paid off. Drew was part of the winning team in the junior division of the contest held Saturday, Feb. 23 in East Peoria. Drew was joined by Evan Beal of Centralia and Kaylie Huels of Greenville to claim the win for the team.

In total, 57 4-H members from 12 counties competed for top awards and the chance to represent Illinois at the National 4-H Dairy Quiz Bowl to be held in Louisville, Ky., in November.

Although winning is good, Drew’s mother, Sheila, said it’s more important that young people are able to speak confidently about the dairy industry, especially in recent years which have hit independent dairy farmers hard. “As farm numbers diminish, the people who are left have to be exceptional in their knowledge of the industry.”

Youth from Stephenson County earned second place in the junior division. They include Magen and Abby Busker of Ridott and Blake Komprood and Jayse Rudwill of Orangeville.

Four teens were selected to represent Illinois in the national competition. They are Addie Raber, Gridely; Hannah Albert, Keyesport; Taylor Huels, Greenville; and Brady Heinzmann, Carlyle. Alternates include Rosalee Zehr, Graymont; and Nathan Erbsen, Lanark.

Local participants include:

Bond County – Ellie Albert, Hannah Albert, Kasey Clanton, Brayden Huels, Kaylie Huels, Taylor Huels, Kaleb Johnson

Clinton County – Evan Beal, Jackson Brammeier, Brady Heinzmann, Samantha Heinzmann, Drew Lueking, Shana Lueking, Emmet Shoemaker

TOP JUNIOR TEAM: The first place junior division team at the 2019 Illinois 4-H Dairy Quiz Bowl is from Clinton/Bond County. Team members are (left to right) Evan Beal, Centralia; Kaylie Huels, Greenville; and Drew Lueking, Centralia.

Dave Fischer, University of Illinois Extension 4-H dairy coordinator and coach of the Illinois dairy teams, celebrated his 30th year at the helm of this year’s state dairy contest. Fischer retired as U of I Extension animal system educator in 2010 after 39 years with the organization, but continues to serve Illinois 4-H as coordinator and coach of the Illinois national dairy team. The dairy quiz bowl challenges 4-H members’ knowledge and quick recall of various aspects of dairy cattle management and products, Fischer says. Members take an individual knowledge test which helps rank them for the quiz bowl section of the contest. During the quiz bowl, each team first answers 12 one-on-one questions. Then, each team competes against another team in a timed contest where the first to buzz in and answer correctly wins points. Teams lose points for incorrect answers.

“The dairy quiz bowl requires many hours of dedicated learning and a good understanding of the dairy industry,” Fischer said. Several 4-H volunteers assist the members in their study and help with the state contest.

Famed University of Illinois dairy specialists Mike Hutjens and Gene McCoy serve as quiz masters, along with Fischer and Rod Stoll, Farm Credit Illinois vice president of marketplace engagement and 4-H dairy cattle breeder alum.

“You know your diseases,” Stoll quipped when a young 4-H member named the correct metabolic disorder for a description of illness. “We’ll call you doc.” Stoll’s good-humored nature helps relax the contestants and encourages them when they struggle finding the right answers.

Think you have what it takes to compete? Better know what disease is caused by the mycobacterium paratuberculosis organism first. Then, you might have a chance to compete.

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