Students use practical life skills at Morgan County 4-H competition

May 2—HARTSELLE — The scorching of a chief rib steak on a forged iron skillet could possibly be heard Wednesday morning as Eva Elementary pupil Mason Walker flipped, seared and grilled it to medium-rare perfection, repeating a household custom handed down from his father at the 2024 Morgan County 4H Round Up competition.

Walker was certainly one of 150 college students in Morgan County who registered to compete within the competition at the Sparkman Civic Center in Hartselle, with 20 completely different occasions starting from images and inside design to culinary arts, woodworking and gardening.

Students competing within the chef occasion needed to put together and prepare dinner their dish in quarter-hour or much less in entrance of two judges: Morgan County 4-H Agent Assistant Kathleen Woodside and Amy Shelton with the Morgan County Soil and Water Conservation District.

“You’ve got one minute and 11 seconds left, do you want to go ahead and start slicing it up?” Shelton requested Walker as he positioned his steak onto a plate.

“I’m letting it rest,” replied Walker, a fifth grade pupil.

Walker seasoned his steak with garlic and pepper and mentioned he and his father often grill beef on their smoker, however he prefers utilizing a skillet. He is trying into the culinary area as a future profession possibility.

“I can control the meat more on a cast iron than I can with a smoker,” Walker mentioned.

In the following room, a number of college students have been competing in a bake-off the place they made cupcakes, brownies and intricate-looking muffins. They ready two completely different baked items apiece and have been required to print their recipes and dietary data.

The college students needed to bake their items in keeping with a theme and this 12 months’s theme was carnival meals. Some of them have been influenced by household recipes handed down from generations previous.

Eva fifth grade pupil McKenzie Bailey baked popcorn cupcakes with mini marshmallows resembling popcorn.

“This was my great-grandmother’s recipe before she passed away,” Bailey mentioned. “The secret is just one cup of sprinkles.”

Bailey additionally baked a chocolate chip cookie cake she mentioned she produced from her mom’s recipe.

“We love baking these for birthdays, but it’s usually bigger,” Bailey mentioned. “My secret ingredient for that is one fresh farm egg.”

James Harton, a fourth grade pupil at F.E. Burleson Elementary School, baked some fudge brownies and banana bread cupcakes. He used butter, chocolate, sugar, milk, vanilla and salt to make the icing on the cupcakes.

“That was my great-grandmother Dykstra’s recipe,” Harton mentioned of the cupcakes.

In the inside design competition, college students needed to design a fictional room of their selecting. Crestline Elementary fourth graders Ellie Houser and Rowe Swafford designed a child’s nursery and posted pictures of their thought on a cardboard cutout.

“It’s for a baby girl’s nursery, so we went with pink,” Houser mentioned.

Austin Blankenship, a Franklin County 4-H agent, and Dylan Gilbert, a Winston County 4-H agent, have been judges for the intense birdhouse competition, the place college students needed to design and construct a birdhouse in any vogue they selected. Blankenship mentioned college students who’re concerned in 4-H familiarize themselves with practical life skills by coming into competitions just like the Round Up.

“Across 4-H, all of our competitive events build upon life skills and those life skills are really the foundation for what our kids need to go into the workforce,” Blankenship mentioned. “With this extreme birdhouse, they work with power tools and work on design plans. These projects also help show students what they are talented in.”

Those who positioned first in Wednesday’s competition will advance to the 4-H Regional Congress for Northwest Alabama at Calhoun Community College on May 17.

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