NEW ULM — Nearly 40 youth teams from central and southwestern Minnesota participated in the 4-H Regional Project Bowl in Redwood Falls. This competition challenges teams of three to six youngsters by testing their knowledge of a variety of animal science topics, including dogs, horses, poultry, rabbits and livestock in general.
This was the second appearance for Brown County 4-H youth at multiple regional meets held in March of this year. Participants demonstrate a wide range of skills and experience in their respective species projects and can compete at the junior (grades 3-8) or senior (grades 4-12) levels. In Redwood Falls, Project Horses and Rabbits teams tested their skills through one-on-one quizzes and open rounds. The first participant to “buzz” with the correct answer earned points for their team. Many of this year’s participants were new to the Project Bowl contest and the subjects themselves, and took the opportunity to learn new skills through guidance from 4-H coaches and volunteers.
“Our horse bowl teams did a great job this weekend,” said coach Julie Hellendrung, who also shared that the junior team of Millie Lax, Savannah Forster, Kaylie Piehl and D’Lyla Todd were within 10 points of winning a game. The senior horse bowl team consisted of Sophie Gustafson, Andrew Hellendrung, Leah Kucera and Sydney Zarn. Coach Hellendrung also highlighted the learning and leadership skills acquired through the project bowl and added, “The one kid I didn’t think I was paying attention to or wasn’t going to respond to was the one pushing all the buttons.”
All Brown County 4-H bowl teams began training for this competition during the winter. Both bunny bowl teams were coached by Nicole Rustman, who groomed them on everything from rabbit breeds and anatomy and reproduction to flashcards, group games and spending time with “baby rabbits”. Their efforts paid off as the Junior 2 rabbit bowl team of Levi Bailey, Lillian Brandes and Jaxson Rustman demonstrated their new found knowledge and confidence in their first live bowl competition. The Rabbit Bowl Junior 1 team, including Greta Bailey, Madisen Enevoldsen, Calleigh Frederickson, Taylor Wyczawski and Annika Wyffels, took second place among all rabbit bowl teams and qualified for the State Project Bowl on April 9 at Sauk Rapids-Rice High School.
“4-H Project Bowl not only equips young people with the knowledge to excel in a given species or project area, but also equips them with skills in communication, teamwork, and study, to name a few. some.” said Brown County extension educator Janessa Palmer, “These experiences contribute to their success in school, their future areas of study in college, and their eventual careers,” and added that these learning opportunities are open to all K-12 youth, regardless of their prior knowledge of 4-H or species.
To learn more about the 4-H Project Bowl, visit extension.umn.edu/4-h-events/regional-state-project-bowls. For other local 4-H opportunities, visit z.umn.edu/bcProgramCatalog or contact Brown County Extension Educator Janessa Palmer at 507-794-7993.