Story in Brief
As a result of COVID-19 Georgia 4-H animal science state contests were shifted to either a virtual format or outright cancelled. To provide youth and adults a fun and free opportunity to compete on a state, national and international level, several UGA Extension agents collaborated to offer a series of virtual skill-a-thons. The Virtual Invitational Dairy Bowl was held June 1, 2020 and was open to youth in 4-12 grades. The Monroe County Extension agent created a 50-question Junior test for 4-8 grade students and a 100-question Senior test for 9-12 grade students. Each test consisted of multiple-choice questions, fill-in-the-blank questions and expanded response questions. The Virtual Invitational Equine Skill-a-thon was held on July 30, 2020 and was open to all youth and adults. The Monroe County agent collaborated with the Jones County 4-H agent to create two tests. The four-part test consisted of multiple-choice questions, picture stations, a video of four horses to be evaluated for conformation, and a situation where a short answer response was submitted. The Virtual Invitational Sheep and Goat Skill-a-thon was held on September 21 to 27, 2020 and was open to all youth and adults. The Monroe County agent, in collaboration with the Upson/Lamar County and Pike County agents, created two four-part tests that consisted of multiple choice questions, picture identification stations, two videos of four market lambs and breeding does to be evaluated for conformation, and a keep/cull situation where performance data on ewes and rams was presented. The Virtual Invitational Dairy Bowl engagement in social media contacts exceeded over 5,000 individuals, and 67 youth from seven states participated. The Virtual Invitational Equine Skill-a-thon engagement in social media posts contacts exceeded over 8,000 individuals, with 59 youth and 41 adults from 13 states participating. The Virtual Invitational Sheep and Goat Skill-a-thon contacts in social media exceeded 19,000 individuals, with 146 youth and 116 adults from 35 states and four countries participating.