Story in Brief
Through collaborative efforts and assistance from the University of Georgia Poultry Science Department, UGA Extension agents developed a live virtual district-level contest for both Northeast and Southeast region participants. The virtual event included all aspects of the Georgia 4-H Poultry Judging contest including oral reasons. The goal in planning was for the virtual event was to mimic an in-person event as much as possible. The agents created classes using video and photo images to be shown via Zoom to participants during the contest time. The completed competition was critiqued by a UGA poultry scientist in advance of the competition. With this being the first competition of its kind in the state, team coaches attended an orientation meeting prior to the event to view the format and better understand procedures. Competition organizers also selected 4-H professionals from the two districts to serve as oral reasons judges. On June 9, 2020, 47 youth from 10 counties competed in the first ever live virtual poultry judging contest through Georgia 4-H. Based on feedback from participants, the contest maintained its competitive integrity and gave 4-H’ers the opportunity to exhibit their skill sets in a competitive format. Skills that 4-H’ers identified developing through Poultry Judging not only include knowledge about chickens and eggs but also how to compare and contrast, analyze, critically think and communicate. Due to the success of this contest in a live virtual format, organizers of the state-level Virtual Poultry Judging Contest adopted many of the best practices used to execute a similar event for Senior 4-H’ers (grades 9-12) across the state in July 2020.