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Illinois young beef producers win scholarships

URBANA, IL -- Five youth from across Illinois were each awarded $1,000 scholarships at the 2016 Illinois Superior Young Beef Producers contest. The contest, sponsored by Archer Daniels Midland of Decatur and the Illinois State Fair, was held on August 10th in conjunction with the Illinois State Fair. Twenty 4-H and FFA members from Illinois competed in this three-phase competition challenging their knowledge of beef production.

The scholarships, presented to the highest-scoring individuals overall, went to Lindsey Decker of Philo, Devan White of Iuka, Eric Schafer of Owaneco, Lucas Wisnefski of Wyoming, and Easton Beard of Dahinda. The Land of Lincoln Purebred Livestock Breeders Association supplied the individual plaques presented to the scholarship and phase winners.

In the beef management test, Decker, White and Schafer sorted themselves to the top and received plaques for their achievements. In the skill-a-thon phase, Wisnefski and Schafer received honors. White took home the top spot. In the judging competition, Blake Hennefent of Gilson, Wisnefski, and Easton Beard made up the top three.

Travis Meteer, University of Illinois Beef Extension Educator, said, “This contest allows young producers to showcase their knowledge of the beef industry and provides them with assistance through scholarships to pursue further educational opportunities.”

This year marked the 18th consecutive year for the Superior Young Beef Producers contest which has provided participating youth the opportunity to compete for $95,000 in college scholarships since its inception. The purpose of the contest is to create an educational activity that promotes youth development, career development, and personal growth through increased knowledge of the beef industry.