The second most attended event during the 4-H year is the Project Bowl competition. For four students who have competed together in this competition for over six years, they have come to see the fruits of their labor.
Isabella Portner, Bethany Seifert, Sabrina Portner and Russel Hoffman participated recently in the State Dairy Project Bowl, coming in second place and winning a trip to Louisville, Ky., to compete at Nationals.
Patterned after the golden-oldie television show “College Bowl,” the competition challenges teams of 3-6 youth on their knowledge of 4-H project areas. This team’s area is expertise is Dairy.
And for good reason.
Sabrina and Isabella have grown up on a dairy farm milking approximately 250 Brown Swiss.
Bethany has grown up on a dairy farm helping with the milking operations of a herd of about 250 Holsteins.
Russel has grown up on a dairy farm where about 130 Holsteins and Jerseys are milked daily.
“It is interesting connecting what you do on a daily basis with everything you are expected to know at competitions,” Sabrina added.
There are four Regional Project Bowls, followed by the State Project Bowl. Each has two divisions: Junior (grades 3 - 8) and Senior (grades 9 - 4-H graduation). Regional winners advance to the State Project Bowl and state winners in dairy, general livestock, horse, and poultry go on to national contests.
At the Reginal contest the team went undefeated out of eight teams. At the State level they won two rounds and came away with three wins and two losses placing them in second place.
This team of students has been participating in these competitions for over the past six years, introduced to it early on when their older siblings were involved and with several of their parents helping coach the team.
The group of four said they’ve continued to compete for so long because of the friendships they’ve developed with each other and others they’ve competed with and because their team chemistry works well together. A mantra they’ve continued to follow throughout the years is: “Success is never final; failure is never fatal. It’s courage that counts.”
“I am very proud of them,” said coach Barb Seifert. “They’ve come a long way since they started this venture and their work shows.”
Page 2 of 2 - Sabrina said that the knowledge she has gained from this competition helps her in other ways too.
“I used the knowledge I have gained when working on the farm or taking with the public as a dairy ambassador,” she said.
Bethany added that she enjoys the competition the project bowl provides and being able to use that knowledge she’s gained on a day-to-day basis on the farm.