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MADISON -- County livestock teams comprised of 4-H members all across the state of Wisconsin represented their state well competing at national judging events.

The Columbia County team traveled to Nebraska last fall to compete in the Ak-Sar-Ben National Quiz bowl contest. The team earned the right to compete at the National contest by winning the senior division at the 2018 WI 4-H Livestock Quiz bowl and Skill event.

The state senior division champs competed in three rounds before being eliminated from competition. Team members include: Justin Taylor, Zach Michelson, Tyler Cross and Hayden Taylor. They were coached by Todd and Lynette Taylor.

Joining Columbia County was the Jefferson County 4-H senior division team which competed in the livestock judging competition. The team earned 17th place out of field of 27 teams. Colton Klecker was 21st overall in beef judging.

Jefferson County team members included Alexis Schultz, Colton Klecker, Danielle Chwala and Trevor Messmer. They were coached by Ed Bielinski.

Skillathon Contest

Wisconsin 4-H was represented well at the 2018 North American International Livestock Exposition in Louisville, KY at the Livestock Skillathon Contest. A team from Marathon County participated on behalf of Wisconsin. Team members included: Kailen Smerchek, Stephanie Witberler, Emilie Pauls and Cortney Zimmerman, along with coach Mark Zimmerman.

The team placed 7th overall with Kailen Smerchek earning All-American status by finishing 10th overall. The team also placed 4th overall in Evaluation, 9th in ID and 5th overall in Quality Assurance.  

Runner-up senior division team, Iowa County, also represented Wisconsin. Team members include Brady Palzkill, Morgan Vondra and Brandon Springer along with coaches Mike Robinson, Lora Springer, Jeff Thomas and Matt Heins.

Meats judging

Grant County 4-H represented the Badger state at the 2019 National Western Round-Up Meats Contest held in Denver Colorado on Saturday, Jan. 12, 2019. There were 30 youth that participated from 8 states that took part in this year’s event. Grant County members competing were Blake Wegmueller, Abby Meier, Cora Kleist and Kendra Jentz. The team was coached by Dennis Patterson.

The team from Marathon County finished eighth out of a field of 27 teams, with Mallory Schmoll placing 10th overall. The team is made up of Kailen Smerchek, Stephanie Witberler, Schmoll and Hunter Falkowski.  They were coached by Dan Smerchek.

For more information on these contests or how to become involved, visit

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