Winners of Dairy division of 2022 Skillathon Contest at Iowa State Fair ...

This year at the Iowa State Fair held in Des Moines August 11-21, a total of 213 youth from 63 Iowa counties participated in Iowa State University (ISU) Extension and Outreach Skillathons for dairy, meat goat, sheep and swine. Each skillathon team was comprised of three individuals and included five stations where youth worked together to solve problems and identify dairy, meat goat, swine or sheep production components. Participants identified feed samples, breeds and meat cuts while also answering questions about genetics, nutrients, quality assurance, handling and biosecurity.

The Allamakee County 4-H trio of (left to right in above photo) Sophia Palmer, Keagan Palmer and Emma Palmer participated in the Skillathon event and finished as the top team in the Dairy division of the competition. They are the children of Stephanie and Eric Palmer of Waukon and are members of the Elon PMC 4-H Club.

Amy Powell, animal science education specialist with ISU Extension and Outreach, developed and coordinated the events. “One of the main goals of the Skillathon is to teach youth life skills like decision making, critical thinking and communication as well as animal husbandry and the science and math involved with raising an animal,” Powell said.

All participants received a t-shirt and the top five teams were recognized in each specie. Awards for the swine skillathon were sponsored by the Iowa Pork Producers Association. The sheep and goat skillathons were sponsored by Premier 1 Supplies, and the Iowa 4-H Foundation Dairy Endowment sponsored the dairy skillathon. “We offer special thanks to the 40 volunteers who served as station facilitators,” Powell said.

For more information about the Skillathon, contact Amy Powell at 515-294-3441 or For more information on 4-H opportunities, contact the ISU Extension and Outreach Allamakee County office in Waukon at 563-568-6345, or visit the Iowa 4-H website at Submitted photo.