September 12, 2018
By: By: Leigh Fuson, 4-H Agent
DeKalb County 4-H members Creston Bain, Hailey Bogle, Clayton Crook, and Lily Martin smoked out the competition at the Central Region 4-H Outdoor Meat Cookery contest, held each year at the Wilson County Fair in Lebanon. The team placed 1st overall and will be representing DeKalb County and the Central Region at the state contest in Knoxville on October 13th. Will Mathis also competed as an individual in the junior high division. There were over 150 participants this year from around 20 counties, marking the biggest contest to date.
4-H’ers in grades 7-12 can participate in this fun, practical contest that not only teaches them how to grill, but how to do it safely. Each contestant must start his or her own charcoal grill, prepare the meat, and cook it to perfection. On a four person team, each member is responsible for grilling a different species of meat: beef, poultry, lamb, and pork. They are judged throughout the cooking process to make sure they start their fires properly, prepare the meat safely, and cook it to the correct temperature. Finally, the meat is judged on taste, texture, appearance, and originality of recipe.
Individually, Clayton Crook placed 3rd in beef, Creston Bain 1st in lamb, Hailey Bogle 1st in pork, and Lily Martin was 1st in chicken. Will Mathis placed 10th in lamb in the junior high division.
As regional champs, they were invited to attend the Tennessee State Fair celebrity grilling contest where local news channel personalities grilled hamburgers and sides to showcase local Tennessee food products. Creston and Clayton attended and served as “consultants” to the competitors. They also started and prepared the grills for their teams. They were able to interact with agriculture and media industry leaders and even made television appearances! This was a wonderful opportunity to showcase DeKalb County 4-H.
Congratulations on representing DeKalb County so well! The 4-H members would also like to say thank you to Smithville Food Lion for helping to supply quality meat for the contest. If you are interested in participating in this contest next year, or any other activities, please contact the 4-H office at 615-597-4945.
4-H is the Youth Development program for University of Tennessee and Tennessee State University Extension. 4-H teaches leadership, citizenship, and life skills to more than 302,000 youth in grades 4-12. UT/TSU Extension provides equal opportunities in programs and employment through the cooperation of county, state, and federal governments.