Sarah Lyman holds up her award for finishing 8th in the National  Skillathon competition. Photo by Amanda Zamudio

On Monday, Nov. 18, Santa Cruz County 4-H members Sarah Lyman, Marin Tomlinson, Brianna Young, Lauren Fletcher and Carolina Quiroz (alternate) competed at the North American International Livestock Expo in the National 4-H Livestock Skillathon Contest. 

The one-day event, held in Louisville, KY, tests the competitors’ knowledge about the production and management of beef cattle, sheep, swine and goats. At this year’s competition, the members had to solve and present various challenges and scenarios to a judge. Their rotations included meat and carcass evaluation for swine, beef performance and marketing, livestock feeding and ration balancing, goat animal breeding, sheep quality assurance, and beef reproduction. Each member had fifteen minutes to complete the following rounds: livestock equipment identification, retail meat identification, breeds of livestock identification, hay judging and questions, wool judging and questions, an industry quiz, and a quality assurance exercise. 

The team placed 17th in the nation. Lyman, of Elgin, was recognized for her outstanding skills in evaluation and was recognized as 8th in the nation.