University of Vermont

4-H Teamsters Compete at Eastern States

Vermont 4-H teamsters (left to right) Krystin Skoda, Randolph; Kate Gallant, East Calais; and Amanda Ferris, Braintree; pose with Eugene Cassidy, president and CEO of the Eastern States Exposition, after winning the Champion Herdsmanship Award at the Youth Working Steer Show, held Sept. 22-24 at Eastern States. (photo: courtesy of UVM Extension 4-H)

Burlington--Three Vermont 4-H teamsters were among the 19 competitors from five New England states who took part in the Youth Working Steer Show, Sept. 22-24 at Eastern States Exposition in West Springfield, Massachusetts.

The Vermont delegation--the only all-female 4-H working steer team at the show--included

Amanda Ferris from Braintree and the Clever Clovers 4-H Club, Krystin Skoda from Randolph and the Hooves and Horns 4-H Club, and Kate Gallant from East Calais and the Backwoods Teamsters 4-H Club.

On the first day of the show, the 4-H'ers competed in the senior division fitting and showing competition (ages 14-18) in which they were evaluated on their animals' appearance, including fit of equipment, and how well they presented and handled their team. All three Vermonters received a blue ribbon with Krystin coming in second overall and Kate, third.

The cart class, a timed event held the next day, challenged the youths to quickly hitch their team to a cart and maneuver through a short obstacle course. Krystin earned a blue with her fellow Vermonters both receiving reds.

The final event of the show was the stone boat pull, another timed event, with the judges awarding points according to how well the team responded to voice commands to pull a stone boat, a type of sled to move heavy objects. Kate earned a blue, Amanda, a red, and Krystin, a white, in this event.

Vermont tied with Connecticut for the Champion Herdsmanship Award. Several criteria were considered in determining the recipient of this award including cleanliness of stalls, feed and tack area and animals; personal appearance of the exhibitors; and how well each state's delegation interacted with the public and provided agricultural education through informational exhibits and displays.

Krystin was the recipient of the Robert Young Spirit Award, presented to a great all-around teamster who is helpful, encouraging and supportive. It is given in memory of the former fair superintendent by his daughters Joyce and Diane. Eugene Cassidy, president and CEO of Eastern States Exposition, made the presentation at the awards ceremony at the conclusion of the show.

Accompanying the group were adult 4-H volunteers Gail Billings and Deb Skoda, both from Randolph; Terri Chamberlin, Pomfret; and Amy Ferris, Braintree (barn manager). Steve Chamberlin, Pomfret, transported the teams for the 4-H'ers.

To learn more about the Vermont 4-H working steer program, contact Wendy Sorrell, University of Vermont Extension 4-H livestock educator, at (802) 651-8343, ext. 513.